Rockin’ the Zero Waste Ruffle skirts [Tutorial]

Zero Waste Upcycled ruffle skirts

If you are a regular reader, you will know that I have been on a real Zero Waste binge lately. Well after a few fails this week (if you were wondering if the zero waste hoodie graded to bigger sizes easily – well no) I needed a bit of instant success. These sweet little skirts were just the thing.

I am calling these Zero Waste, as all the pieces can be cut from a rectangular piece of fabric with no leftovers. But technically these skirts are ‘Negative Waste’ – made from off cuts of partially re-purposed t-shirts, un-wearable muslins and off cuts from previous projects. Fabrics that were already ‘waste’.

upcycled ruffle skirts

So let’s get down to it:

As usual, there is a ‘proper’ calculated way to make this kind of skirt, and if you are a perfectionist, my method will probably make your head explode. So if you would like to do it the ‘right way’ check out this super detailed and calculated post on making this type of skirt written by someone way more detail minded than me.

But if you would like to use the super fast ‘Liz Method’ this is how I did it:

  • Cut 3 inch strips from your fabric remnants and other waste fabrics. I used all knit fabrics but this would work with wovens too.
  • Serge each colour together into a very long strip. For an idea of about how much of each colour you might need – this is how the skirt goes together.

Ruffle skirt tutorial

  • Serge along one long edge using your regular settings – just to finish the edge.
  • Serge along the other long edge using this method to gather this edge slightly (or a lot if you want). Do this for all the colours except the colour that you are using for the waistband/first tier.

Ruffle skirt tutorial

  • Cut your waistband strip to the hip measurement of your model plus 2cm for seam allowance.
  • Take the serged bottom edge of your waistband piece and place it over the gathered edge of the first gathered strip by around 1cm-ish and sew the 2 layers together with a strait stitch. Trim the layer that you just added to the same length as your waistband piece.
  • Repeat this step until your skirt is the required length. (I used 4 strips including the waistband for my 4 year old and 5 strips for my 6 year old)
  • Sew your skirt together into a circle (this will be the center back seam).
  • Now all you need to do is add elastic to the top edge and you are done. This is a great video that uses the same method as I do to add the waistband elastic.

Now you have a fantastic little skirt!

Ruffled Skirt tutorial

With plenty of twirl factor!

If you have a go at a zero waste, up-cycled, ruffle skirt, be sure to grab some pics and hashtag them #SEW4BUB I would love to see your creations!


As always, thanks for reading.

Liz xx

Ruffle Skirt tutorial


4 thoughts on “Rockin’ the Zero Waste Ruffle skirts [Tutorial]

  1. Very excited to try this! I have a bunch of t shirt scraps and will just mash up any 3in tall pieces until I get the lengths I need. Things were a little confusing for me here but I will read it again without a headache and hope it makes more sense.

  2. I’ve been enjoying reading your posts so much… I’ve been thinking a lot on how I can make my sewing more sustainable. I’m going to use some of your tips for sure! Thank you!

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