DIY “American Girl” Circle Skirt Tutorial

AG skirt watermarked final

American Girl Dolls are extremely popular among a lot of lucky young girls (and some boys probably too!)  My niece LOVES her doll.  She enjoys dressing it up in different outfits and I keep wanting to make her clothes for it!  This skirt was super simple to make so I thought I’d share a tutorial so you can try it too.

I used 2 layers of fabric to make this skirt because I dislike making 1/4″ hems on small items.  If this skirt was larger, to save fabric, I’d use one piece of fabric and make a 1/4″ hem.  Since this skirt is so small however, I found it easier to sew 2 layers of fabric together for a nice finished edge and the skirt ends up being lined in the end.  You could use 2 different fabrics and make a reversible skirt this way if you’d like!

To start, pull out a box of parchment paper to draft your pattern. photo 1

Cut an 11.5″ square. photo 2

Fold into fourths. photo 3

If you have a compass handy, the next step will be really easy.  If you don’t (like me) you can get resourceful and use some string and a marker! photo 4

Hold the yarn at the folded corner of the square and make it long enough for the marker to reach an opposite corner.  Draw a a curved line from corner to corner.  (I couldn’t take an accurate picture because I only have 2 hands, but you get the idea hopefully!) photo 5

Measure a smaller length of 1.5″ for the waist and draw another curved line holding the yarn at the folded corner. photo 1

It should look something like this in the end. photo 2

Cut it out. photo 3

Open up one fold and pin the pattern piece to your fabric with the folded edge of the pattern matching up to the folded edge of your fabric.  Cut out 2 circles. photo 5 photo 1

Pin circles, right sides together, and sew a 1/4 seam around the outside edge. photo 2 photo 3

Trim raw edge with pinking shears.  Turn skirt right side out and press. photo 1

Sew a 1/4 seam around the finished edge. photo 2

At this point, you could sew on the elastic and be done BUT what’s a girly skirt without some Tulle?!!!!  It’s super easy to add some on. Using your pattern, cut out 2 layers of tulle but make the circle slightly larger (longer) to allow the tulle to peak out from under the skirt. photo 4

Pin both layers of tulle to the inner edge of the skirt.  (Sorry it’s hard to see with the pink on pink but 2 layers of tulle are there!) photo 5

Secure into place by sewing a seam allowance a little less than 1/4″ if possible. photo 1

Okay – now we can add elastic!  I used 5/8″ fold-over elastic but if I could do it again, I’d use 1″ fold-over elastic.  A little extra elastic width would’ve been nice! photo 3

Cut elastic a bit smaller than the waist circumference.  I used 9″, next time, I’d probably go even smaller.  This stuff doesn’t have as much elasticity as regular elastic. photo 3

Sew ends of elastic together to make a closed loop.  Insert pins on top, bottom, left and right to make reference points on the elastic.  Do the same on the skirt. photo 5 photo 4

Pin the elastic onto the skirt by matching up the 4 points.  Since it’s fold over elastic, pin the wrong side of one half of the elastic to the wrong side of the skirt. (I know it’s hard to see the the picture because it’s all the same colour BUT if you look closely, I have half of the wrong side of the elastic (dull side in this case) pinned onto the wrong side (tulle side) of the skirt.  Stitch around the edge of the elastic to attach it to the skirt.  Normally you would stretch the elastic as your sew but since it’s such a small waist, the arm of the sewing machine kind of stretches it out for you! photo 1

Turn the skirt right side out and slide it back onto the machine.  See how the other half of the elastic is ready to be folded over and sewn into place?  Fold it over, stretching it as you go and sew it into place with a 1/4 inch seam. photo 2 photo 3

…and you’re done!  A neat and tidy waistband indeed!  Now the question is, should I make one in my size? photo 4

Thanks for stopping by.  If you have any feedback or good tips, please feel free to share!

Happy sewing!



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