Ceri : This is a free pattern and tutorial to sew an easy ballet wrap skirt — the perfect project to try out Spoonflower’s new Chiffon. I found the fabric to be beautifully sheer yet surprisingly strong and smooth — essential qualities for a skirt that will be put through its paces in the dance studio. Choose a design from Spoonflower’s enormous selection in the Marketplace or create your own design, and get it printed onto a yard of chiffon to create a totally unique ballet skirt.
My downloadable pattern fits waist sizes approximately 24–28 inches, but you could easily hack the pattern to fit a narrower or wider waist.
1 yard of chiffon (I’m using Ditsy Flora and Fauna by…me!)
2.5 yards of satin bias binding
Rolled hem foot (optional)
1. Print out the downloadable PDF pattern pieces and stick them together with tape. For a Letter size PDF click here. For an A4 size PDF click here.
2. Cut out the skirt from the chiffon fabric.
3. You are going to sew a hem along the longest edge. With fine fabrics like chiffon, one of the neatest way to do this is with a rolled hem. A rolled hem is a very narrow double-folded hem. Many sewing machines have a special foot which will sew a rolled hem for you, but if you don’t have one, Youtube is a great resource for tutorials on how to sew one by hand. The hand-sewn method will be more time-consuming but you will get a beautiful result. Alternatively you could serge your hem. Again, Youtube is a great reference if you need guidance for serging with sheer fabrics.
4. I have a rolled hem foot for my sewing machine. Its a little more fiddly to use with sheer fabrics, so its a good idea to practice first on a scrap. Make a narrow double-fold at the starting edge and finger-press it.
5. Place the finger-pressed edge under your rolled hem foot and stitch a few stitches to get started. Then hook the edge of the fabric around the curve of the foot and continue stitching. Take it slowly and steadily, guiding the fabric as you go. When you’re confident, go ahead and sew the rolled hem on your skirt. It should look like this the photograph below. Press the hem with a warm iron (remembering to protect the chiffon with a cloth). Do not use a hot iron!
6. Next you’re going to attach the satin bias binding to the waist edge to create the waistband and ties.
7. Find the centre of the waist edge of the skirt by folding the fabric in half and marking the centre point with a pin. Do the same with the bias binding. Match the centre of the waist with the centre of the binding. With right sides together, starting at the centre point, pin the (unfolded) bias binding to the skirt, working outwards in both directions. The bias binding will extend further than the waist edge as it will eventually form the ties. Don’t worry about this yet, just pin the binding as far as the edges of the waist. Machine sew along the length of the waist edge, following the top crease in the bias binding, as shown in the photograph above.
8. Using a warm iron (with a protective cloth over the chiffon), press all the seam layers upwards towards the binding as shown above. Then fold over the bias binding to meet the stitched edge of the seam. Tuck in the raw ends of the binding at both extreme ends. Pin or baste to secure.
9. Machine stitch along the entire length of bias binding to enclose the waist seam. You will have automatically created the ties at the same time. See photograph above. Press the finished waistband.
That’s it! You’ve created a beautiful ballet wrap skirt. I’d love to see your interpretation of this pattern, so please share your makes on Instagram with the hashtags #balletwrapskirt and #spoonflower and don’t forget to tag @cerigwen and @spoonflower!
Thanks to my daughter for modeling, and to Ballet Cymru, Newport, South Wales, for allowing me to use their dance studio for the location shots.
Heading to the beach this summer? Ceri’s ballet wrap skirt tutorial can also double as a lightweight beach cover-up! Make your very own version and start exploring the Marketplace today.
Ceri Staziker is a freelance graphic designer, working from home in an old cottage in the countryside on the outskirts of Cardiff (the capital city of Wales). I love to photograph my morning walks and sewing projects which she documents on Instagram (@cerigwen). Nothing gives her more pleasure than working with fabrics she’s designed herself.
I can’t wait to try this pattern. I think this pattern gives me the perfect excuse to finally get a rolled hem for for my sewing machine too. Thanks for such detailed instructions!
Hi there where is this fabric from? I haveade a few skirts using this pattern and managed to adjust them each time to fit better so Thankyou so much for publishing this!! My friend birthday is next week and I’d really like to make her a ballet skirt, I think this fabric would really suit her, is it from spoon flower if so what is the name of it? Xx
Hello and thank you for your interest in this project!
Here is a link to the fabric design Ceri used:
Really excited to try making this!! What width of satin bias binding do you recommend?
We suggest using 1/2 inch binding, but up to 1 inch could also work if you want a thicker waistband!
Would love to try this….email options.
Thanks for this tutorial, it was so helpful!
Dance-student who just saved a lot of many while having a lot of fun
How do we make this skirt pattern wider? Thanks.
To make the pattern wider, we recommend extending the right side of the pattern where you cut on the fold based on your waist measurements. We encourage you to start with a muslin before cutting into your final fabric to make sure the updated pattern fits. I hope that helps, but if you have any more questions don’t hesitate to ask!
Hi, I’m very very new at sewing and I was wondering if for an adult size I would also need only 1yard or should I get more? Im a dance teacher and I’m 5’4 and usually use ballet skirt size medium. I want to order some fabric from the website you mentioned because they are beautiful but I’m not sure how much to order. Thank you.
Great question! We recommend using your waist measurement to determine how much fabric your project will require. This specific pattern uses 1 yard of fabric for a waist that measures 24-28″. Once you have your waist measurement, you can then determine if you’ll need to adjust the pattern and order more than 1 yard. I hope that helps, but if you have any more questions don’t hesitate to ask!
How big is your bias binding? Looks smaller than 1/2 inch
Thanks so much for this pattern! I have been a ballet student for ten years and at the age of 60 tend to avoid ballet skirts as those that are commercially available tend to be tizzy and make me feel like mutton dressed as lamb. But this one has such a simple flattering shape – I made it on the weekend and it worked so well, a perfect fit and importantly, stays put in class. No alterations necessary! Thanks so much for sharing this beautifully presented pattern. Also, your daughter looks gorgeous in your skirt- such a lovely print and fabric.
Thanks so much Ceri for the beautiful ballet skirt pattern. Have just made it and it works a treat. I’m a 60 year old ballet student of ten years and have always avoided commercially available ballet skirts as they are so tizzy and make me feel like mutton dressed as lamb- not a good look where everyone in the class is younger! Your pattern has a beautiful shape and is flattering but practical. Perfect fit too. Your daughter looks gorgeous in your version. Your pattern is also beautifully presented, so thank you again.
I’ve just made two for a friend’s little Ballerina. Hope she loves them because with your pattern they were so easy!
Thank you so much. I plan to make my granddaughter several skirts of different colors and lengths.
I’m planning to make this skirt for myself but I was wondering how long it is. I tend to prefer slightly longer skirts so I need to know if I should tweak the pattern
The skirt is about 11 inches long at the front and about 14 inches at the back. I hope that helps, but if you have any more questions don’t hesitate to ask! – Meredith
I just finished doing this skirt and it turned out so lovely! The instructions are so well explained that the process was really easy for me, even if this was the first piece of cloth that I\’ve ever done.
P.S. Thanks a lot for providing a pattern! (:
Thanks for sharing! Ceri is great at writing tutorials and we’re happy to hear you enjoyed her ballet skirt project.
This pattern is inaccurate, but I appreciate the attempt at making this skirt an easy thing to make. The pattern only considers diversity in waist widths but not hip widths or butt size. My waist is 24 inches but my hips and butt are 40 inches, and my first attempt at the skirt was hilariously short in the back, barely covered half of my butt.
Hi Sarah. Sorry you had to make adjustments to make the pattern work for you. Hope you got there in the end. And yes, a ‘one size fits all’ pattern isn’t easy to get right for absolutely everyone.
Hi! Thank you for the beautiful design! My daughter is going to try to make one of the skirts for a friend:) One request though is if you could put a 2″x2″ measuring square on the pattern just to make sure we’ve printed it out correctly. Thanks again!
Thanks Joy, thats a great suggestion. As it stands, as long as you make sure you print ‘at actual size’ you’ll be fine.
Hi this is really pretty. I am not a dancer but I really love this (and happen to have a bunch of chiffon on hand). Do tou think this could work as a longer skirt if i lengthen the pattern? Would love your advice. Thanks!
We’re glad you like it! And that’s a great question–we haven’t tried lengthening the pattern to investigate, but in theory it should work. You’ve piqued our interest, though, so if you try it, please let us know how it works. Post to your favorite social media channel and tag Spoonflower!
Thank you so much for this! At 34 years old I just signed up for beginning ballet classes. Now I can let my personality show by making my own skirts. So very appreciative!
That’s fantastic Kacee! Please let us see what you make.