Home » Featured » 30 Minute Stretchy Tube Skirt….(with enclosed elastic waistband)

30 Minute Stretchy Tube Skirt….(with enclosed elastic waistband)

I took Elli and Connor school clothes shopping last week, to get a few new things for their new school year.  While walking through the little girl department, Elli saw these little knit Tube Skirts and said she wanted one in every color.  I picked one up and almost threw it in the cart, but……. I. Just. Couldn’t.  Yeah, they weren’t that expensive but I knew I had some cute knit fabric at home, check.  And I knew I had wide elastic at home, check.  I just couldn’t bring myself to purchase something as simple as that skirt, when I knew I had the stuff for it and could make it in like 2 seconds at home.


Okay,  not 2 seconds……but like, 30 minutes.






And she said she wanted one in every color, while at the store… I couldn’t stop at just making one skirt.





The elastic waistband is enclosed in the same knit fabric and is attached to a slightly gathered skirt section, to give a little more space for the hips/bum area.


But while the skirt is on, it appears straight and not gathered in the slightest.  (I Elli her tuck in her shirt, to show you…)





And wouldn’t you know, these Tube Skirts are stretchy and comfy and really great for school……..or play.  (She’ll just have to wear some knit shorts under them because this girl still forgets to keep those knees together while sitting.  Or swinging.  Or hanging from the monkey bars.  So, the knit shorts do the trick. :) )





But keep in mind, these would be great for girls of all ages, adults included.  Instructions below will help with that. :)



And truly, you can mix and match these little knit skirts with anything and have some fun with mixing prints and colors.  (Do you remember back in the day, when everything had to match?  The pink stripe in your shirt had to match the exact pink of your socks?  Or your headband?  If not, you weren’t matching…remember?!  And mixing stripes with polka dots [or gasp, plaid!!] was such a no-no?  Ha!  I’m so glad that’s out. :) )

(**By the way, that Puffy Ribbon Flower shirt above, is one I made a couple weeks ago and a few asked about how the ribbon would wash.  I suggested hang drying if you were concerned.  However, I have washed and dried that shirt twice now……and yeah, it’s wrinkled up the petals a teeny bit, but it still looks puffy and super cute!  Just an FYI.)




I have to admit, I was a little surprised Elli was even drawn to these skirts at the store, because they’re not frilly like she usually requests.  Hmmmm, maybe she feels a little more grown up in them??  I’m not really sure, but I know she won’t be giving up ruffly skirts for a long while.  She still loves them.  Whatever works little Miss…….if you want to add a few straight Tube Skirts to your wardrobe, no prob, these are simple to make. :)


I can hardly believe it, but next week, this little chickie is…




Do you have 30 minutes to make your own Tube Skirt??



Let’s whip up a few tube Skirts.  But keep in mind, you will need KNIT fabric for this project.  Knit is stretchy and will allow your subject to slip in and out of the skirt, without any problems.  And will offer comfort while it’s being worn.  A woven cotton would never slip over hips and would be impossible to wear and sit in, following these instructions.


Okay, first things first……cutting.


First, measure your subject’s (or your own) waist.  Then cut a 2 inch wide piece of elastic the same length as the waist measurement.  Then, cut a piece of fabric for the waist band that is the same length as the waist measurement but is 5.25 inches tall.  And lastly multiply the waist measurement by 1.33 and that will give you the width measurement you need.  (If it’s a crazy fraction, just round up.)  Then, figure out the desired length of your skirt (above the knee, at the knee, below the knee, etc.) and then add 1.5 inches to that length.  This number will be the height of this main fabric piece.



For example, Elli’s waist is 21 inches and I wanted the skirt to be 13 inches long.  So I cut a piece of elastic that was 21 inches long and the waistband fabric piece 21 x 5.25 inches.  Then, I multiplied 21 by 1.33 and that gave me 27.93… I rounded up to 28.  So, I cut my main piece of fabric 28 inches wide by 14.5 (13 + 1.5) inches tall.  That’s it.


Then, fold the main fabric piece in half (width wise), and sew the two ends together, using a 1/2 inch seam allowance.  Repeat with the waistband piece of fabric.



Grab the waistband fabric and open up the seam and lay it flat.




Then fold the fabric in half, down onto itself, placing the wrong sides of the fabric together.




Keep folding and manipulating the fabric until the entire circle of fabric is folded in half onto itself.




Then, place the two ends of your elastic together, overlap by an inch, then sew the two ends down with a zig-zag stitch.



Then, open up your circle of fabric slightly and place your circle of elastic down inside of the fold.  Line up the raw edges of fabric so that they’re even and pin in place, all the way around.



Then, sew around the top edge of the raw edges, sewing the two layers together.  Use a zig-zag stitch and a 3/8 seam allowance.



Then, divide the top edge into eighths and place pins there to mark it.  (To get your eighths, fold in half, place pins at both sides, fold in half the other way, place pins……and continue on until it’s divided evenly.



Divide the top edge of the skirt the same way and add pins to mark the 8 sections as well.



Now, match up the 8 pins of the waist band with the 8 pins on the skirt, lining up the raw edges of both.



Then, sew together from one pin to the next, pulling the waistband fabric slightly so that it’s the same length as the skirt fabric and sew.  Once you let go, it will spring back.  Continue all the way around the skirt, using a zig-zag stitch and a 1/2 inch seam allowance.  (If you need another visual of this process, check out this elastic waistband skirt.  Same idea…..except the elastic is exposed.  The the pulling of the elastic while you’re sewing is the same.)  Trim away any excess fabric.



Then fold up the bottom of your skirt 1 inch and pin in place.



Then sew a hem along the bottom of the skirt, 3/4 inches from the bottom, using a double needle.  Need help using a double needle??  (You can also use a zig-zag stitch…….but using a straight stitch won’t work because then the hem of the skirt won’t stretch when it’s being worn.)




Now, don’t forget the last important step.  Ironing. 


Most likely, you have some puckers and a little bit of pulling that happened while sewing with your knit.  Don’t worry, it happens to me too.  But if you iron/steam your seams, you will see a huge difference.  But be sure not to press and then pull the iron across the fabric…….just press, lift and then move to a new spot and press again.  The steam will help the fabric kind of shrink up again, so don’t forget that either.


And just so you can see, here’s the top of the skirt before ironing…



…and here it is after ironing.  It’s nice and flat and a little more professional looking.  Press the bottom hem too.



Aaaaaand, that’s it!


Now, surely you’ll need to make a few more in different colors.  Have fun!






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Ashley Johnston
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Ashley Johnston

Owner at Make It & Love It
Ashley Johnston is a professional DIY costume maker, sewist, crafter, and owner of Make It & Love It. She is a mom of 5 and a wife to a very patient (with the craft clutter) husband. In case you’re wondering, she always chooses crafting/sewing/designing over mopping/dusting/wiping base boards……but bathrooms/laundry/full bellies are always attended to. Whew!
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  1. Pingback: DIY Harem-Style Baby Leggings ...with a Kangaroo pocket! (template included) | Make It and Love It
  2. Dalia says:

    Hi Ashley,

    I tried to sew the skirt for my little girl. She is 5 years old and has the same waist measurements as your little princess.
    Now, I am little confused about the waist measurements. When I multiplicate the waistmeasurements with 5,25 I have a total waist of 105… it’s correct? I sounds to much.
    I am from Germany and I have to convert the measurements in centimeter and that would be around about 2 meters. Is that correct?!
    Thank you very much for your help.

    Greetings from Germany

  3. Red says:

    Thank you so much for this tutorial, I just ran up one of these on my server for my daughter and we both love it. She is so so skinny, but super tall and anything that fits round her is indecently short. Thnk there will be plenty more of these to come, they are so quick to make and just perfect for school.

  4. Toni says:

    I don’t know if you read comments on old posts (but it’s new to me, I love your blog and awesome tutorials, thanks!) but I have a question, when you attached the waist to the skirt, you sew through the elastic and the knit waist and the knit skirt right? It’s not like you are just sewing the two knits together with the elastic kind of floating in the waistband? Just want to clarify before trying…
    I’m new to sewing and I love your blog! You rock!

  5. Deanna says:

    Is there a reason this couldn’t be done with a repurposed tshirt? The hem is already finished and the fabric is free. I think it is worth a try.

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  7. Victoria says:

    Love these!! I am definitely making some for my daughter. I also shared this on my blog:

  8. lisa says:

    have you ever added the shorts to the skirt and sewn them into the waistband? I think that would cut down on the bulk but I have never tried it.

  9. Megan says:

    We totally had the same idea! I bought one tube skirt at Old Navy the other day and realized it was too easy to not make one! I made two more today for my girls and just used the one I bought as the pattern. Good idea to add elastic on the inside though.

  10. Becky says:

    Love!! I’ve been looking for this exact type of tutorial, thank you! Now, I was wondering, I’ve seen this type of skirt with a ruffle attached at the seam. Is there a specific way to do this without the ruffle sitcking straight out from the hips? Any help would be great, thanks!

    1. Ashley says:

      I have been thinking of making this skirt with the hip ruffle. Maybe I will now. But I’m thinking instead of gathering, I’ll just used a curved circle strip and sew it in and let it ruffle itself. You know, like a circle skirt. Anyway, I’ll have to add that to my list! :)


    2. Becky says:

      Oh that’s a great idea! I never would have thought of that on my own, I get stumped, overwhelmed, then frustrated and decide to stop before I go nuts ;)

      I’ll keep an eye out for updates to this tutorial, thank you!

  11. Michelle says:

    Please share where you buy fabrics! I can never find anything that cute in store.

  12. Angela @ says:

    Love those skirts! And wow…you can make them in 30 minutes?! i bet she does feel so grown up and special to have such a wonderful Mom! Love the crafterscrate too! My girls are teens, but when my 2 year old baby girl gets older, we are ordering those…oh yeah! :)

  13. Britney L. says:

    Ok. I love the fabric, but when I go to Joann’s there is never cute patterned knits. Where did you get this fabric?? And general, could you pretty please share on your posts where you picked up the fabric? You always have the cutest stuff!

    Love the tutorial Ashley. You are my sewing hero.

    1. Ashley says:

      Great idea, I need to remember to do this. I do remember about 7% of the time…..but yeah, that’s not enough. Haha! :) I bought the polks dot fabric at and the striped fabric I’ve had for years and can’t remember. Sorry! But has plenty of knit fabrics and also has really cute prints. Give those places a try. Good luck! :)


  14. Marnie says:

    So cute!! Great tutorial.. I love it that you have already figured out the formula for the measurements. That’s the part I hate. By the time I’ve done the trial and error bit a couple of times I’m way done with the whole project. Thank you! (By the way..Adorable little model you’ve got there)

    1. Ashley says:

      Yeah, that’s sometimes the trckiest part. So, you’re very welcome! :) And thanks…….I think she’s the sweetest little 6 year old model around. :)

  15. April says:

    How would the measurements for this skirt change to make it maternity? I love the idea of the knit fabric being stretchy and I think I could make up a few of these in work appropriate fabrics.

    Thanks for your help!

    1. Ashley says:

      I guess I’d just measure under the belly where an elastic band would sit. And then follow the instructions from there. If you like wearing things mid bellow, that wouldn’t work though. You’d need an extra insert of fabric that rounds out for your belly. But if you don’t mind things under your belly, this would work great. Good luck! :)

  16. Des Dana says:

    I am SO glad you posted this! I was at Old Navy and my daughter also fell in love with that skirt, but like you, it kills me to buy it if I could possibly make it! You’re wonderful sharing the measurements and that awesome trick with the waist band! Thank you. And while I am pregnant all I wear are skirts and since I live in the desert they have to be shorter skirts with stretchy waist, I am so excited! Did I already say thank you?!

    1. Ashley says:

      Haha……yep, you said thank you……..but you’re so welcome! It makes me laugh that I wasn’t the only one passing up those simple skirts. Ha!

  17. Amanda Angert says:

    THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! I took my girls shopping last week and saw these same skirts and said the EXACT SAME THING — I could make those. Thanks for posting instructions to make this easier for me! Can’t wait to try!

    1. Ashley says:

      Hahah……..I LOVE it!!!! Glad I could help! :)

  18. Cristina says:

    oh that’s very nice and simple, thanks for sharing!

  19. Kristina Noall says:

    Yes, pretty please share where I can get knits for a good price! I’ve been wanting to make a skirt like this for a few weeks, since I went to a maxi skirt party and they were way expensive. :/ Again, you worked your magic and posted just the right tutorial, at just the right time!

    1. Ashley says:

      Oh good, glad I could help! :) And I bought the polka dot at and the stripe……I can’t remember. But sometimes I find cute knits at Joann’s. Have you heard of They have really cute knits too. Hope that helps! -Ashley

  20. Shannon says:

    Where do you find the adorable fabrics?

    1. Ashley says:

      I bought the polka dot at and the stripe……hmmm, I’ve had it for years. I can’t remember. But sometimes I find cute knits at Joann’s. Have you heard of They have really cute knits too. Hope that helps! -Ashley

  21. Amber says:

    I made your circle skirt last week for my daughters baptism. I think that she would love this one. I kind of want one too!

    1. Ashley says:

      Oh good, glad the circle skirt worked out for you! You’ll love this for you AND your daughter!!

  22. colette says:

    my mom always said that to me when she took me shopping, i now say it to my daughter. The only difference is you actually follow through. super cute skirt!

    1. Ashley says:

      Haha……I remember my mom saying the same thing. And yeah, most of the time it never happened. I don’t always follow through either…….ack! :)

  23. Gloria Cabral says:

    I love this skirt, so easy! I will be trying it it soon! And I feel so lucky that my daughter and your daughter are the same age and built, so I rarely have to alter measurements from your girls clothing tutorial!

    1. Ashley says:

      Oh, that’s perfect! Glad to help!! So, you don’t want me to stunt Elli’s growth or anything, I’m guessing! ;) -Ashley

  24. Allison says:

    Hmm, I’ve never tried adding elastic this way before. I’m intrigued. I’ll have to try this soon.

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Hi, I’m Ashley—the DIY-enthusiast behind this crazy blog!

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