Learn to Sew Supplies
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Color Block Skirt

Color Block Skirt --- The Lost Apron
Color Block Skirt --- The Lost Apron


This is a simple color block skirt.  It has no hemming or casings to sew down.  This pattern is specifically designed to be able to sew on a base model sewing machine.  It is designed to be simple enough for children to sew.

Color Block Skirt --- The Lost Apron
Kona Cottons work great for Color Blocking


Materials needed:

  • 1/2 yard of cotton fabric for the waistband and hem band
  • 1/2 yard of coordinating cotton fabric for the body of the skirt
  • 1 yard of 2" elastic
  • thread

This skirt uses the entire width of the normal 44/45 width cotton fabric.  The mentality is that of the pillowcase dress.  The same width fits all.  

Color Block Skirt --- The Lost Apron
Cut off the selvages of both fabrics, making sure they are the same width.  If using a rotary cutter, have an adult do all the cutting.


Cut a strip 6" wide for the waistband.  Cut another strip 9" wide for the hem band.

Cut the elastic to fit the normal waistline plus 1" to overlap.  Pin together with a safety pin.  While trying on the elastic, measure from the bottom edge of the elastic to desired length of finished skirt.  Subtract 3".  This measurement is the width of the strip for the body of the skirt.  

Color Block Skirt --- The Lost Apron
In a class with 3 different 10-year-old girls, this length came out to be 10 1/2", 11" and 13".

Color Block Skirt --- The Lost Apron
Turn strips right sides together and pin short edges.  Young students like using the Wonder clips instead of pins. (Read Learn to Sew Supplies.)

Color Block Skirt --- The Lost Apron

Mark a 2" opening on the lower half of the waistband.  You can use pins in an X to mark where to stop and start again.

Color Block Skirt --- The Lost Apron
Sew the 3 strips using a 4/8" seam.

Color Block Skirt --- The Lost Apron
Iron all the seams open.

Color Block Skirt --- The Lost Apron
Iron the waistband and the hem band in half, wrong sides together.

Color Block Skirt --- The Lost Apron
Having the waistband with the opening side up, tuck the body piece (right side out) inside the entire circle.  Use pins instead of Wonder Clips for these seams so that they don't come off while using the free arm of the sewing machine.

Color Block Skirt --- The Lost Apron

Match and pin the seams together first, then continue to pin all 3 edges together all the way around.  Sew in one continuous seam 4/8".  Repeat for the hem band.

Iron seams toward the body piece.

Color Block Skirt --- The Lost Apron
Color Block Skirt --- The Lost Apron Color Block Skirt --- The Lost Apron Color Block Skirt --- The Lost Apron


Feed the elastic through the opening using a safety pin on one end.  Overlap elastic by 1" and pin together.  Try on skirt and adjust elastic if necessary.  Pull the elastic away from the skirt to sew ends together.   Hand sew elastic together using a needle and thread if using the Sew Mini sewing machine. Sew by machine if using a sturdier sewing machine.

Color Block Skirt --- The Lost Apron
Tuck the elastic back into the skirt and adjust gathers.  Hand sew the opening closed.

Color Block Skirt --- The Lost Apron
Note about the inside of the skirt:  Normally, the goal is to have the inside of the skirt be finished.  This would require a much more complicated technique to sew to hide all the seams of the waistband and hem band.  It would also require sewing over many more layer of fabric.  At most, the technique used here only sews over 6 layers of fabric.  Using a topstitching method, this would require sewing over almost twice that at the seams.  The Janome Sew Mini works best over only 6 layers of fabric.  See Mini Friendly Patterns designed for children learning to sew.

Extra project with the scraps:  

Color Block Doll Skirt --- The Lost Apron
American Girl Doll Color Block Skirt 

Cut strips:

  • 2 1/4" X 24" for waistband
  • 4" X 24" for body
  • 3" X 24" for hem band

Assemble just like the girl skirt with 4/8" seams.  Use 1/4" elastic.

If you are interested in making skirts for girls in foster care, please visit Simple Simon and Company as they launch Skirting the Issue 2015.

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