Ruffled skirt on wooden background

Super fast, super cute overlocker skirt

Did you know you can sew a full summer skirt with just an overlocker? Let us show you how.

These stash-busting ruffled skirts are super easy to sew. Use the gathering foot and voila, you’ll have a full skirt in no time.

You can make as many layers as you want. In general, I normally use three to four tiers. The top tier has an elastic casing, followed by two layers of ruffles and sometimes a last layer forming a cute ruffle at the bottom.

Choose your fabrics

Allow for some contrast in colour, tone and pattern. Pattern clashing a floral print with a geometric print works well. Quilting cottons are perfect for this project.

Tip: Lay your fabric out in the sequence you think you would like to use them before you start sewing.

Determine the length of the skirt and the depth of the tiers

Take the full desired length of the skirt and add 5cm for the top, 3cm for each consecutive tier and 3cm for the hem.

For example, a skirt with 4 tiers and a total length of 50cm, will be 70cm (50 + 5 + (3 x 4) + 3).

Divide this total into 4 for a top that is slightly smaller and the other sections to be equal. This is the depth of the tiers.

Thus, 70 divided by 4 = 17.5cm for each tier.

You can play around with this formula – if you want to do a ruffle at the bottom, take this measurement off the total, and then divide into as many tiers you want.

Once you’ve sewn your first skirt, why not play around with the lengths/numbers of tiers to make a whole wardrobe of fun skirts?

The width of the tiers

Decide how wide you want the top tier – this is the one that will have the elastic band at the top. As a guide you can use 1.5 times to twice the waist measurement.

Use our table below to calculate the rest of the tiers and ruffle if applicable.

Table of measurements for ruffled skirts:

Cut the fabric tiers to your chosen width and lengths. If you’re using material from you scrap pile, your fabric might not be wide enough. To solve this, sew multiple parts together (like patchwork) to create the desired length and finish the seams off. Not only will this help you use up your small scraps, it’ll mean your skirt is one in a kind and no one else will have one.

Sewing the tiers together

  1. Using the gathering foot SA213 on your overlocker, change the machine settings. Have a look at our video for settings and easy instructions.
  2. Do a quick test to see if the denseness of the ruffles suits the look of skirt you want to achieve, and adjust if necessary.
  3. Sew the prepared tiers together, starting with the first and second tier. The shorter tier is always on the top. Sew together.
  4. When you reach the end of each seam, trim the second band to match the first.
  5. Continue in this way to add as many layers of ruffles as you require. When you are done, match up the horizontal seams and sew the side seam.
  6. Finish the skirt: Sew a channel in the top and insert elastic. Hem the bottom.

This is such a fun project: once you get going you’ll be able to sew a new skirt at speed! This kind of skirt makes a great birthday gift for little girls, and a great stash buster for you.


Bonus: here is a planning grid for your skirts. Print out the sheet and fill it in when you are planning to make calculations easy.

We can’t wait to see what you make! Remember to tag in Brother on Instagram and Facebook so we can share your makes and inspire others.

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