Tutorial: Christmas Bustle Skirts

(you know cause when aunty says stand by the tree she really means lay under it and pretend that you’re a present)

I’ve been drooling over and pinning all the bustle skirts that have been floating around the blogosphere over the last year (like this, this, and this). I had plans to do one for valentine’s day, then forth of july, then just any old day and I finally have done one in time for Christmas. Yeah sometimes it takes me a bit to get around to things.


I love making the nieces holiday skirts but they grow so fast that I wanted something that would last longer than just this Christmas. So my solution was to make this a two part skirt. The bottom skirt is made of two layers of red and white. The top bustle layer is made up of a fun snowman fabric I found in my stash. Since the Christmas-y part is separate the girls can where the underskirt whenever or if I feel adventurous I can make more top skirts for say Valentine’s day, Fourth of July and more since the red and white would work with so many holiday and everyday fabrics.

I was having too much fun at craft day to remember to take a ton of pictures but if you know how to make a basic skirt (or can make sense of my written directions) you should be able to do this. If you have never made a simple gathered skirt you might want to check out this tutorial from made (with lots of pictures) for a better explanation of the basics. And  little pink monster has a good tutorial on for how to do a similar layered skirt which is close to what I did for my underskirt.

What You Need

  • layer 1 underskirt fabric (my white)
  • layer 2 underskirt fabric (my red)
  • ruffle fabric
  • lace
  • bustle fabric
  • ribbon
  • elastic

What to Do

  • Unfortunately I don’t have too many pictures and wasn’t super picky about measurements I just cut the white fabric a little shorter than the red fabric so for the girls the white was about 8 inches the red was 10 and the ruffle was 4 (they are 3 and 4 years old). The bustle fabric was 10 inches. So these are the full width of the fabric so for the bustle the piece is 10 X 44 (since the width of the fabric is 44 inches). This post has a good chart on skirt/fabric length suggestions for skirts. Think of it as the length if you weren’t adding a ruffle or lace. You’ll want to do some math to accommodate for those things.
  • Attach the lace to the white piece.  You can do this with a serger like me or french seam or however you’d normally sew a seam.
  • Finish the edge of the red fabric (or whatever that layer is for you). I did this with a rolled edge but you can do a basic hem or zig zag on your sewing machine to mimic a rolled edge.
  • Finish the long edges of the ruffle. Attach to the underside of the red piece. The goal is to make it look like it’s two layers but it’s really just a ruffle underneath. You could just do a whole extra layer if you like.
  • Lay out the fabric so that everything sticks out the amount you want, cut off some of the tope if necessary so the layers stick out how you want them to and pin (or if you have a serger just serge the layers together at the top). Sew the ends of the fabrics together (both layers) so you have a tube.
  • Next make a casing at the top edge and add your elastic. You should now have the white and red skirt finished. This can be worn as is or with a bustle top skirt. And the best part is that you can make a bunch of top skirts to change things up
  • For the bustle layer. Hem one edge of the bustle fabric. Sew the ends to form a tube. Finish the top edge (or just roll under twice) and make a casing.
  • Before you put in the elastic put four pins spread out evenly around the hem of the skirt.
  • Then sew the sew from the edge to the waistband pushing and scrunching the fabric so it gathers.
  • See how you like the length if you want it shorter just repeat and scrunch some more.
  • Add bows. I sewed the ribbon in the middle then tied the bow then took a few stitches so the bows wouldn’t come undone.
  • Add elastic and you’re done.

Let me know if you have questions and I’ll do my best to help. And as with all my tutorials if you try it out I’d love to know and see pictures. And as always I’d love you to add them (and any other creative, delicious or fashiony posts) to my What We Wore and Made Link Party that I hold every week.

 Too cute. Easy sewing tutorial for bustle skirts. The layers makes for lots of wearing options. Great DIY tutorial Let’s connect! You can also find me hanging out here.



  1. Adorable! I love the fabric combination.

    ~Mrs. Delightful

  2. My kids are the cutest. True story.

  3. how adorable are those two?! hahaha

  4. What a cute idea for girly skirts! Very sweet tutorial. If I would be a little girl I would be totally all over these darling creations :)
    Good luck!


  5. Oh, what darling nieces you have! I love the bustle you sewed for them, adorable! Thanks for inviting me to link up to your meme, I’ll have to remember that.

  6. That skirt is so cute, and I just love the kids’ expressions. Too funny!

    Twitter: @GlamKitten88

  7. So, so cute! How do you think they’d look on a slightly bigger bustle? Great blog!

  8. do you mean on bigger kids or bigger skirts? I think either would be super cute

  9. What cute skirts! I love that you can trade out the bustle and still have a skirt. My favorite is the laying under the tree.:)

  10. you have such cute ideas! These turned out great. My link party is going on now, and I’d love you to link this up! http://caribbeanmissionarywife.blogspot.com/2011/12/t-time-48-and-link-party.html

  11. SOO FLIPPIN’ CUTE! Love the Bustles!

  12. You are my kind of Christmas crafting genius. :)

    So glad I found your project via Centsational Girl.

    I would love for you to visit Decor To Adore. I am in the midst of a “Gifts You Can Make” series.

    Be merry and bright!

  13. SEW CUTE!!!! you have some very spunky little one’s… :) I would love for you to share this over at http://shoprubyjean.com/2011/12/sew-crafty-tuesday-linky-party1/

  14. you guys are so nice, thanks so much for all the kind words!

  15. I’m having a linky party right now on my blog! I would love it if you would link up your holiday stuff! So cute! Here is my link http://www.thesouthernproductqueen.com/2011/12/13/linky-party/ Thanks!

  16. Seriously cute! I wish I could sew!

  17. So cute <3 you should stop over and link up at my new link party http://www.getouttamyheadplease.com/2011/12/show-it-off-link-party-2.html

  18. genius!

  19. Awww…those are SO sweet!

  20. ADORABLE kids and skirts! Wow! Thanks for sharing the tutorial too. The photos are priceless. Have a great week. Linda

  21. Hi! I love these skirts! I pinned them. Also, I’m your newest follower! And I also linked up to your latest party (had trouble with the button html); but still added a link to your blog. Glad I found you!

  22. SO cute!

  23. These would make cute gifts! Feel free to come link up at our Crafty Christmas gift link up! http://raisingoranges.blogspot.com/2011/12/crafty-christmas-link-up-party.html

  24. SO cute and your girls are ADORABLE! Thanks for linking this to my blog!

  25. thanks for linking up to mom it monday! I have shared your idea on the Brassy Apple FB page!

  26. Adorable! I’m now following from the Friday blog hop. Can’t wait to read more!

    You can check me out and follow at http://beatnikki.blogspot.com.

    Happy Holidays!


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