Pretty Petti

My goodness I totally LOVE these!

Shy & Cold

Pettiskirts are light, full of fluff and can twirl like no other.


Yes! I made this. I was prepared for the worst and heard horror stories. I read of people who didn’t and wouldn’t even try to make these, but would spend $80 for one.

Pettiskirt fluff

But. I wanted one. I wanted many.

It Twirls!

I knew I couldn’t afford them so when I found the fabric (you have to use nylon chiffon) for only $1.50/yd, I took the leap.

People! It’s easy. Scratch that. I mean it’s easy if you have the right equipment. I have a gathering foot which works very well on my machine. The hardest part is figuring out how many yards you need because at $18 for shipping & handling , you don’t want to order more anytime soon.

So the details:

I used about 7 yrds of nylon chiffon and 1/4 yrd of silk charmuse. I really don’t think you have to use the silky stuff. It depends on the look you want, I guess. I think a cute cotton print would be just as pretty. My daughter is a small 2T so for larger sizes I would figure for more.

There are two layers of chiffon and silky stuff. The skirt has four tiers. Top tier is the silky, the next two are the chiffon loosely gathered, then the bottom layer is called ruffle fluff. A good name I think.

Here are my dimensions:

I wanted the skirt to be about 11″ long.

I cut 18 strips (from selvage to selvage which is 54″) 5″ wide. That’s eighteen 5″ x 54″ strips.

For the ruffle fluff, I cut 90 (!!!) 2″ x 54″ strips. My gathering foot gathers the 54″ strip down to 8″ which is why you need 90 strips!

I followed the directions from the forum post closely, but did sew the skirt from the bottom up starting with the ruffle fluff.

Overall, a fun and darn cute project which I can’t wait to sew again. Really, I loved making this and really really love the pettiskirt. If you want to try one, let me know if you have any questions. I’d be happy to help you whip one up!


33 responses to this post.

  1. Fabulous! Your daughter is the cutest twirly bug ever.


  2. That looks great. I’ve seen the directions on how to make one and was scared away. It looks so hard.


  3. Posted by mommiemarzie on December 11, 2008 at 11:42 pm

    how cute!!!! You make it sound very easy. I’ll have to remember for future reference!


  4. WOW, it turned out great! I hope the instructions I posted helped. It really is easy if you have sewing skills, a lot of patience and a little time on your hands!


  5. I love your girl. She’s too lovely in the skirt.


  6. OMG it looks Soooooooo good. Love LOVe the color! Livvie is just too darn cute it it too!


  7. Oh, wow!– So cute!… You do such an amazing job with everything you sew…

    Love the snow pics too. I have a very sick boy today so we’re looking at it from indoors!


  8. Posted by masa_inn on February 13, 2009 at 5:32 am

    I’ve found your pics on Flickr while looking for the sewing directions – want to make a pettiskirt for DD’s birthday. THANK YOU for this post 🙂

    I have a question, thou – I still cannot figure out how to gather the ruffle fluff. Do I fold 2″ strip in half? Or just set my gathering foot so it will gather in the middle of the strip? If the latter, how do I attach the RF to the bottom tier?

    Thank you so much in advance! I might be back with more questions, if you don’t mind.

    BTW – you daughter is adorable and the skirt looks absolutely wonderful.




  9. Posted by natasha klein on February 18, 2009 at 9:45 pm

    I love you so much I want lots of them to but couldn’t bring myself to pay$$$ I bought the ruffler for my machine but was worried about buying chiffon and not being able to do it cause of all the bad press yepppy!!!!!!!!! I’m doing one right away saw yours on Flickr!!!! thanks so much Natasha


  10. Posted by natasha klein on February 19, 2009 at 8:41 pm

    Hi I’m sewing right now but I’m in a bind (LOL)
    I’m using a ruffler foot,
    ruffled my first row not the waist band(yoke) but the next row, looks big!
    do I ruffle the 3rd row with the same ruffle settings? or do I need to change them to ruffle tighter?
    (which I have not figured out how to do?)because theres more fabric
    row #1 232″
    row #2 406″
    hope to hear from you soon


  11. Posted by MommytoMaddieRaine on February 24, 2009 at 9:30 pm

    Beautiful Job! I have a question about attaching the ruffle fluff, since I am having a hard time visualizing how to do it….when you make the fluff you are sewing along the center of the strip with the ruffler,and when it is all done where do you sew to attach it? from the edge of the fluff? from the centre (folded in half)? this is where the confusion lies for me!! LOL Maybe someone can help!


  12. I am so new to this. I have seen them and fell in love with them cant afford to spend 90 on a skirt for a 6 month old lol..What do I need to make this? a sew machine and what else? lol sorry.. I live in las vegas and have been looking for classes on how to make these but cant find anything. Can anyone help.. Like I said I dont know anything about any of this but would love to make them for my little girl. Thanks for all your help


  13. OK….This is going to be the FIRST thing I make when I move back to the US in the next couple weeks. My duaghter is older, almost 8, but this is sooooo up her alley it is not even funny. She saw it and said “Mom, that is a great skirt” Then she proceeded to pull fabric from my shelves. But…I don’t have any of the chiffon, We will have to wait until after the move. Great information on how to make one! Thank you so much!



  14. Posted by April on August 20, 2009 at 3:01 pm

    Hi I was wondering if you could help me out! How did you get your gathering foot to work? What settings did you have your machine at to get the 54″ down to an 8″ section?


  15. Posted by Dawn on November 8, 2009 at 5:13 am

    I am also attempting to make a pettiskirt. I have all the fabric, ruffler, etc. But cant get the ruffler to work correctly on the chiffon. What settings did you use?


    • Actually, I did not use my ruffler foot, but instead used a gathering foot. I couldn’t get the ruffler to work on the chiffon either. You may want to check out the SewMamaSew forum post (there’s a link to it in my blog post) because the lady who gave me all the great suggestions uses a ruffler foot. She may be able to give you some pointers.


  16. Posted by Twila on November 17, 2009 at 6:48 pm

    Adorable pettiskirt! I have three granddaughters, two of which LOVE the tutus I have made for them. (The third is more of a tomboy.) I wanted to make pettiskirt but have had a hard time finding chiffon that doesn’t ravel. I see from your post to buy NYLON chiffon and it will not ravel. QUESTION – Does this mean you do not have to finish any of the seam edges?

    I’d like to address the comments on the ruffling. In my experience using the gathering foot – the tighter the stich – the thighter the ruffle. Also with the ruffler – I had a ruffler with my old singer machine. It was easily adjusted with the dial on the side. I haven’t used it in a while because it doesn’t fit my new machine. Google the name of your machine and ruffler and you should get detailed instructions on how to adjust it to get a tighter ruffle.

    One more question – where do you find the NYLON chiffon for $1.50 a yard? I can’t wait to make pettiskirts for my little princesses AND not spend my life savings!!!

    Thank you for all your instructions and suggestions


    • Twila,
      Nylon chiffon does not ravel at all and this is the best part about the whole skirt. You do not have to finish a single seam. The yards and yards of fabric can simply be cut and gathered.

      Thanks for the gathering tips. It can be tricky with each machine.

      And as for where to buy the nylon chiffon, I bought mine here: Shipping can be expensive so order more than you need. Also, I just found the same stuff at my local fabric store for the same price, but it was labeled something else. I can’t for the life of me remember what it was labeled, but it was with the knits. You might want to check out your local store before buying online. (Warning- it will not be next to the tulle you used to make the tutus. I found mine across the store in with the knits!)

      Good luck!


      • Posted by Vanilda on January 21, 2011 at 1:57 am


        Just wondering if you remember the other name for nylon chiffon that you found at your local store. Thanks in advance

      • I think it was in with the knit netting and was simply called nylon tricot. I can’t remember for sure. If I go back, I’ll post it!

  17. Hello! Was looking around the net for information on pettiskirts and saw your blog !! You make it sound so easy ! I think I might just try making one! By the way, you mentioned that you made 2 layers of the ‘skirt’ … did you put any soft silky stuff for the bottom layer so that the chiffon (or maybe netting) won’t irritate the skin ?


    • Thanks for visiting!
      Pettiskirts are easy, but time consuming so be prepared to give-up a day for this skirt. As for your question- No, I do not line the skirts because the chiffon is actually very soft and almost silk-like. My daughter has not complained about it at all so I don’t think you would need to.

      Take care,


  18. Posted by Casey on March 30, 2010 at 5:41 am

    I have a question. Where do I buy the silk charmuse? I have the other fabric but forgot to get the silk stuff. Can I get that at a fabric store or can you only get it online? I love your skirt, and what a very cute model you have!! 🙂 I was hoping to make a pettiskirt for Easter but if I have to order fabric then I wont be able to make it intime :/ bummers.


    • I’ve seen it online yes, but the last bunch I bought was from Fabric Depot here in Portland. If you have a large fabric store in your town, I would check them out first. It’s not always labeled right so I would go by the look and feel.
      Good luck!


      • Posted by Casey on April 1, 2010 at 4:22 pm

        THANK YOU!!! I went to JoAnnes and bought something there. Hope it works. I am going to a friends house to make it- she has a gathering foot and I don’t. Didn’t want to do that part by hand. When I am done with it, I’ll come back and show you pictures!!! CAN’T WAIT!!!!
        Have you made more then the one skirt? I haven’t looked through your blog to see.
        Thanks again!!! 🙂

      • Yes, I have made 3 skirts, but only posted 2 photos.
        A word of warning for Joann’s- make sure you’re buying NYLON chiffon or chartreuse. Look at the fiber content on the bolt. If it’s not nylon, it will most likely fray and it’s not nearly as soft. I would double check that before going through all the work of a pettiskirt. You can always save the other stuff for tutu’s!

  19. I am working on one of these for my daughter couple of questions though, I saw you went to fabric depot and bought some supplies, was that the nylon chiffon or the chartreuse? I want to make something vibrant and loud for some pictures we are doing and then Im going to auction it off for charirty to help donate money to the local childrens hospital my way of giving back for all there support in my daughters medical care. I would love any help you could give. Thanks


    • Hi April,
      Yes for that particular skirt, I ordered the chiffon from AFC and bought the chartreuse at Fabric Depot in town.

      Are you in the Portland area? If so, you might want to check it out. Several months later, I found nylon tricot at Fabric Depot and as far as I can see, it’s the same as the nylon chiffon.

      Good luck!


  20. Posted by Taryn on April 29, 2010 at 3:44 am

    I’m also wanting to make one of these, but wondered how you got your ruffler to take 54 in. down to 8 in. I have it on the longest stitch and 162 in. went down to 90. It seems when I do a smaller stitch it won’t gather. Any help would be appreciated.


  21. Posted by Elizabeth on October 7, 2010 at 9:16 am

    Hii!!! I love the skirt that you made, and it looks great! I have a couple of questions about the measurements I should use.. I’m making this skirt for a newborn and I have no idea how much fabric to buy and how long to make it. What do you think would be the appropriate length to make it and how many fabric pieces should I cut, etc.. ?? Thanks sooo much!!!


  22. Posted by Elizabeth on October 17, 2010 at 3:58 pm

    Hi there, I am wanting to make one of these lovley pettiskirts and have been searching the internet for ideas and instructions that I can understand and I am getting all different things and now Im getting confused. I wanted to make and adult sized pettiskirt for a halloween costum. I want it to be 19 inches in length. I bought a total of 8 yards of Nylon Chiffon but after reading your website you used that much for a two year old size. How do I figure out how much nylon chiffon I am going to need?


  23. Posted by evelia on July 8, 2011 at 3:19 pm

    how do u make the bottom to curl? I barely started sowing and want to learn but its really hard!


  24. Posted by KatieH on August 20, 2012 at 8:56 pm

    I just found this post after seeing all the talk about it on Sewmamasew. You did an amazing job!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: