Cascading Ruffle Skirt (A Tutorial and Free Download)

Cascading Ruffle Skirt Tutorial and Free Pattern Download via

Boo has a skirt similar to this made of chiffon and I wanted to recreate the cascading ruffle effect using lightweight t-shirt material for some fun fall skirts! So sassy!


Cascading Ruffle Skirt Tutorial and Free Pattern Download via


I gave her some party streamers to play with in the yard last night so I could snap a few photos.

(more after the jump)

Cascading Ruffle Skirt Tutorial and Free Pattern Download via

She paired her new skirt with a Vintage Lucy’s tank and some Lil Blue Boo leggings: 


Cascading Ruffle Skirt Tutorial and Free Pattern Download via

I’m super happy with how the skirt turned out…..I’ll be making many more! It would be adorable with chiffon ruffles or t-shirt scraps for an upcycled look!


Cascading Ruffle Skirt Tutorial and Free Pattern Download via

I used lightweight jersey for the ruffles but chiffon or spandex could easily be substituted.


Cascading Ruffle Skirt Tutorial and Free Pattern Download via

Here’s is the tutorial. The measurements used are for a 4T/5T size so you’ll just have to adjust it slightly for other sizes.

Step 1: Cut 2 9.5″ x 20″ pieces of cotton lycra or stretch knit. This will be the front and back of the skirt.
Step 2: Cut the sides of the 2 pieces at an angle as shown in the photo
Step 3: Fold both pieces in half and use a marker to draw a curve at the bottom of the skirt as shown in the photo.
Step 4: Cut out the curve at the bottom of the skirt.


Cascading Ruffle Skirt Tutorial and Free Pattern Download via

Step 5: Take one of the pieces for the back and cut it into 2 using the fold.
Step 6: Place the two newly cut pieces face down onto the front piece and sew up the sides shown.
Photo 7: This is how your skirt will look at this point.
Step 8: Print out the template at the bottom of the post and use it to make a full template shown in the photo (i.e. not on the fold). Cut out your ruffle pieces (cut one to test first….see next step).


Cascading Ruffle Skirt Tutorial and Free Pattern Download via

Step 9: Before you cut all of the ruffles stretch one out and make sure it is long enough for your skirt. If not, lengthen or shorten the pattern as needed.
Step 10: Cut all of the ruffles. I cut about 4 at a time……I needed 15 ruffles total for my skirt. You may need more or less depending on how ruffly you want it.
Step 11: Mark the center of your skirt.
Step 12: Tick off 1.5″ or 2″ increments all the way around the top of the skirt starting at the center point.


Cascading Ruffle Skirt Tutorial and Free Pattern Download via

A note on design: the ruffles are cut in a half circle and the shortest part of the circle (the inside) are sewn onto the skirt leaving the longer edge (the outside) to drape. There is no magic folding involved.

Step 13: Use your ruler and a disappearing ink pen to mark some guide lines down the skirt for the ruffles. Lay out your ruffles just to make sure the alternating colors work out before you start sewing.
Step 14: Lay out your first ruffle (pin if you like but I just sew without pins) and sew along the edge to attach it.
Step 15: Lay out another ruffle and sew the edge to attach.
Step 16: Continue adding and sewing ruffles until the entire skirt is covered. You can sew along the top edge of the skirt once you are done to keep the tops of the ruffles in place.


Cascading Ruffle Skirt Tutorial and Free Pattern Download via


Cascading Ruffle Skirt Tutorial and Free Pattern Download via


Step 17: Fold the skirt in half right sides together. Carefully sew the back shut so you don’t sew over any ruffles.
Step 18: Cut out one piece of stretch knit 4″ x 24″ for the waistband and fold in half long ways (right sides together) and sew the edge shut as shown.
Step 19: Mark the waistband in quarters.
Step 20: Fit the waistband over the right side up skirt (waistband should be inside out) and pin in quarters all the  way around the top of the skirt.


Cascading Ruffle Skirt Tutorial and Free Pattern Download via

Step 21: Carefully sew the waistband to the skirt.
Step 22: Cut a piece of 21″ piece elastic and sew the loop shut.
Step 23: With the skirt inside out, carefully sew the elastic to the top of the waistband all the way around. You will have to stretch the elastic to fit the waistband.
Step 24: Once the waistband is attached, turn the skirt right side out and flip the waistband under. Top stitch the waistband on top of the elastic all the way around, stretching to keep it smooth.


Cascading Ruffle Skirt Tutorial and Free Pattern Download via

A finished skirt!


Cascading Ruffle Skirt Tutorial and Free Pattern Download via

Cascading Ruffle Skirt Tutorial and Free Pattern Download via

Cascading Ruffle Skirt Tutorial and Free Pattern Download via


This tutorial is for personal use only. No commercial use. Have fun!



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About Ashley Hackshaw

Living a simple, creative life in #smalltownusa Bryson City, NC. Renovating a 1960s ranch house and an old train depot. Thank you for reading! Read more in my about section. 


  1. 1
    yanira clemente says:

    Thank you!

    • 2
      sharon reese says:

      Does anyone know how to print this out ; so i do not have to write it out by hand?
      i cannot see that option.
      thanks so much.

  2. 3

    This skirt is so cute!!! I just have one question, how do you fold the ruffle to sew it, I don´t understand that part.

  3. 5

    Thank you for providing this pattern and tutorial! I’ve seen these skirts in stores and always balk at the price. I knew I could make one myself, I just wasn’t sure how until now. Thanks again!

  4. 6

    This is so cute! I can’t wait to make one for my niece!

  5. 7

    I love this. I’m going to make one for myself for my Halloween costume!

  6. 8

    Adorable! Thank you so much for putting this tutorial together!

  7. 9

    Oh this is adorable! Thanks for the tutorial.

  8. 10

    Love it! I know some little girls who would love this!

  9. 11

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! I love this and I know my little miss will too. Awesome :)

  10. 12

    omg, perfect timing!! I’ve been wanting to make a couple of skirts for the fall for my sweet girls!! Thanks sooo much for posting!!

  11. 13
    Its Sew for You says:

    I pinned this…my 4 year old would LOVE this skirt!! I love the knit, but think the chiffon is probalby adorable too, now I want to make both!

  12. 14

    SO cute! I’ve been wanting to make one of these for my daughter but haven’t made the time to yet. Love the different colors you used! PS are those crocs boots?

  13. 15

    What a fabulous tute, can’t wait to try! Your skirt and model are adorable!

  14. 16

    That is so cute – I can’t wait to make one for Ruby! Thanks for the template.

  15. 17

    I can’t believe you are giving this tutorial away! I LOVE this skirt! I have to tell you I made the halter t-shirt dress of yours and now when I go shopping I spend more time looking for interesting t-shirts to cut up (as opposed to upcycling them) haha. You are awesome!

  16. 18

    Love the skirt and can’t wait to make one!!! Thanks for the tutorial. Wondering why you are cutting the back down the middle. Couldn’t you just leave one side seam open until the end with the same result, and no extra back seam?

    • 19

      You could Monica….I just wanted the ruffles completely symmetrical all the way around and they get too close to the side seam. I wanted any adjustments to be in the very back instead of near a side (I’m OCD and any measurement differences would have ruined the project for me lol!!!)

  17. 20

    Thank~You, It’s adorable and I can’t wait to make one!!

    Huggs, Nancy

  18. 21

    A lot of what I sew is based on pictures my kids draw of clothes they want me to make them… My oldest daughter drew a very similar skirt for me to make for her first day of school… you saved me a ton of time figuring out how to get the ruffles… Thanks!

  19. 22

    Thanks so much ,just think you things are the cutest

  20. 23

    I saw skirts like these too and wondered how to make it, thanks for offering it for free, it could have very well been established as one of your paid things.

  21. 24

    Ashley- This is fabulous! I seriously can. not. wait. to make one for Piper Jane. Oh my goodness. :)

  22. 25

    sweet ! thank you thank you! my daughter will be so happy!

  23. 26

    Ok I am a 27 yr old woman and I want one for myself lol. I may just have to make one for my daughter and nieces and make one for me as well lol.

    • 27

      I am 28! and i want to make one for my 1 yr old girl and one for myself as well! :P

    • 28

      i totally want one too!!! i’m wondering if the semi circle thing would work for a longer skirt…. it’s in the works in my brain….

  24. 29

    Love. love. LOVE this!! Thanks for sharing!!

  25. 30
    Linda Lincks says:

    This is precious! Might be beyond my current sewing skills. LOL You are so creative, thanks for sharing!

  26. 31

    You’re making so much nice thinks, I love this like very time. Thank’s for giving me so many idears, I whish I have time to make them !!! Your girl is lovely in it !!!

  27. 32

    Made it! Thanks for the clear and easy instructions. My daughter (her name is Sienna too) loooooovvvvves it! Thanks you so much!

  28. 33

    I guess it’s wonderful to play twirls with this skirt!!! I would make one for me too! :D
    I have a tecnical question, I hope you can answer me (here or in private message): what kind of software do you use to put your patterns in pdf? They don’t seem scanned from hand drawing and they look so precise and professional!
    Thank you very much!

  29. 34

    Thank you so much for making this a free tutorial…. Really that was so generous of you! I love it and I can’t wait to make some for my girls to wear:) twirling is so IN at our house with two little girls!

    That boo just keeps getting prettier and prettier!

  30. 35

    Lol and every time I read the “speak your mind” up there where you post comments I always start singing “speak your mind and the rest will follow…” ;)

  31. 36

    LOVE IT!!!! I wish I had time to make stuff like this.

    If you sold it in your shop, I’d buy it


  32. 37

    Hey Ashley! If you have time could you tell me some basic measurment rules? I would like to make one for my two and 5 month old daughters and I’m not sure how big I should make the 2 main pieces! I’ve sewn lots but pretty new to sewing clothing! Thanks so much! This skirt is just adorable!! Your talents amaze me!!

  33. 38

    How adorable is this????

  34. 39

    I saw this on Running with Glitter! I’m going to add this to my to do list!

  35. 40

    Love this! Thanks for sharing the info.

  36. 41

    I made one and she’s already worn it twice, she loves it! Thanks!

  37. 42

    I really love this tutorial thanks for sharing!!

  38. 43
    Caren Smith says:

    How flippin cute is this?!!! I’m pretty new to sewing and am intimidated by this but once I’m comfortable, I’m making one or more for my daughter! LOVE IT! Thank you so much for sharing and taking all the time it took to post. Thanks again!

    Caren Smith from

  39. 44

    Thanks so much for sharing this tutorial!!!! I can’t wait to make one of these skirts for my daughter!!!!!! I am SO glad I found your blog tonight (via the Silhouette giveaway) – I’ve been reading your various posts for the last hour and just can’t get enough! Your strength, positivity, and color (yes, color!) are so inspiring! By “color,” I mean the beautiful array of colors in all of your projects, your pictures, and your radiant personality! I don’t even know you, so this is weird writing all of this, but I guess you are that joy-inspiring!!! Thank you!!!!

  40. 45

    I just made one and my daughter loves it. She finds it very comfortable! You can see the version I made on my blog. Thanks for the nice tutorial! This project reconciled me with sewing knits! Happy New Year!

  41. 46

    Made one for my dd who is always very skeptical about my creations but she loved it so have made a second. Will grab a photo when it’s out of the laundry she wouldn’t take it off …..

    Thanks for the great tutorial and sharing your knowledge with us mere mortals :)
    And a big hi to Boo from New Zealand.

    PS I also know that when my dd’s friend see the skirt I am up for making her one too :)

  42. 47

    Made one for my dd who is always very skeptical about my creations but she loved it so have made a second. Will grab a photo when it’s out of the laundry she wouldn’t take it off …..

    Thanks for the great tutorial and sharing your knowledge with us mere mortals :)
    And a big hi to Boo from New Zealand.

    I also know that when my dd’s friend see the skirt I am up for making her one too :)

  43. 48

    Adorable! And so is the skirt…thank you so much!

  44. 49

    This is such a cute skirt. I am so pleased I found your website on pin interest. Thank you so much for sharing the pattern and instructions. I will have to try to make it for my daughter.

  45. 50

    So Cute!!! Thanks for sharing

  46. 51

    What a beautiful skirt. I will be adding this one to my to do list. Great tutorial

  47. 52

    Oh, My, Goodness! I am SO NOT pinning this SO THAT i can be the first person in my creative friends group to make this. Then I will promptly pin it.

  48. 53
    Sarah Roberts says:

    Can anyone tell me how much material is needed for the ruffles?

  49. 54
    Amy Rose Baldridge says:

    Ashley, how do you know what kind of fabric to use for the ruffles so that they won’t shed? I’ve found that in making “yarn” out of t-shirts, the edges that are cut just shed something awful! Is there a trick to that?

  50. 55
    Catherine Turner says:

    What was your daughters waist size? I’m trying to upsize this for my 6 yo and her waist size is a 22 so was thinking 1 1/2 times the waist minus the 6 inches…which would be 27 inches. What do yall think?

  51. 57

    Love this! Your daughter is adorable!!!

  52. 58
    Chris V says:

    Aaaack! Must find some t shirts right now! This is so adorable… thanks for the tutorial Ashley!!!

  53. 59

    why oh why are you so nice to us all? i love this! thank you <3 k'~~

  54. 60

    Thank you so much! I hope to make something like this for my granddaughter. It is SO incredibly cute. I know she and her Mommy will love it!

  55. 61

    This is so cute! I have a little girl who basically refuses to wear shorts and pants, period. We have to have a skirt or a dress. so I am going to make this!! Any suggestions on sizing it? I have an older girl in a 6/7 and a younger one in about a 24 months. Do I just need to size the first part of the tutorial? I don’t sew much, but this seams pretty easy.

  56. 62

    So I made this cute skirt for the 4th. If you want to see how mine turned out, click over here:
    So cute and thanks for the great tutorial!

  57. 63

    I would like to print this out. My daughter would like to make this skirt for her 4-H project. Can you please help me? This is adorable and the first one she really likes!! :)) Thank you

  58. 64

    Cute skirt! I can’t wait to make one! I’m new to sewing and just have 3 quick questions. I’m a little nervous about stretching the elastic while I stitch. Would it be ok to make an elastic casing? I was also thinking of just sewing this on to one of her already made skirts. If that’s not to complex of a question, would that work? I would obviously make sure that the measurements matched up. Ok, last one: since jersey stretches one way, which way should the stretch be facing? Anyone can answer these, I don’t mind! Thanks!!!!

  59. 65
    Harriet Katz says:

    Can I f get a download of the cascading ruffle skirt?. The download on the site is no longer available. I only want the rufle pattern..
    Thank you in advance,

  60. 66

    I loved this tutorial for ages, and finally made it past weekend! I used plain jersey, and love the skirts!

    My niece loved them… :-)

  61. 67

    Besides the skirt (super cute) where did you get the chandelier tank top? I would love to get one for my daughter!!!

  62. 68

    Thanks!Great idea!I put your link on my blog:)))

  63. 69


  64. 70

    oh my gosh, this is amazing!! i MUST make one for my daughter… and maybe also for myself! :) lisa

  65. 71
    Terrie Brown says:

    My two granddaughters are having a ball with these skirts. They wear their boots and look too cute!

    Thank you very much. God bless you.

  66. 72
    Estera F says:

    Hello Ashley
    Can you give me an idea , about this model of ruffle .
    What pattern they uses? I want to try to do. Thanks,Estera.

  67. 73

    Just made this skirt and absolutely love the design and the way it falls. Had a problem with sewing the elastic to the waistband. Can you tell me how wide an elastic you used? I used 1 inch wide elastic and it was very tough to stretch.
    I ended up making the traditional pocket and pulling the elastic through with a safety pin.

  68. 74
    Michelle says:

    I made two of these one for each of my girls and they turned out so cute! I love the concept of the verticle ruffle. I made mine entirely out of recycled clothes. I cut the ruffles out of t shirts and then for the base I used a t shirt cutting it from the underarm to the desired length leaving the bottom hem in tact . Then I cut the waist band off of a pair of well loved shorts that had a great wide band of elastic. I left a band of fabric below the elastic to attach the skirt to. It worked out awesome!

  69. 75

    Hi there, the whole thing is going sound here and ofcourse every
    one is sharing data, that’s in fact fine, keep up writing.


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