Summer Swing Skirt

This swingy summer skirt is made with a one-size fits most design, but can easily be adapted to plus sized by adding a square or made smaller by removing a square from the top layer of the skirt. It’s just that easy! Look for easy size changes in italics.

1 Santorini layer cake
1 Santorini Jelly Roll
1/2 yard of any Santorini fabric
1 package of 1 inch no roll elastic

This skirt is made in three layers. The first layer is 5 pieces of your layer cake. Seam allowance is 1/4 inch through out this project.
Pam: Just grab any five!
Elizabeth: Uh, no. Of course you don’t grab “any five”. You need to stare at all of them for awhile…stripes are slimming, but you can’t have nothing but stripes…hey this one with the green I think is my favorite so it has to be on the front…gotta get the combination of colors just right…so keep agonizing until Pam shoots you a dirty look and tells you she could have the skirt halfway finished by now.

Stitch your five layer cake pieces together forming a tube. This is the top tier of your skirt.

Unroll your jelly roll strips and gaze at them a bit. Doesn’t Moda do a nice job with these fabrics?

At this point you should try it on and make sure it’s not too big or too small. Add on a square to make it a plus sized skirt. Subtract a square or a portion of a square to make it smaller.

Ruthlessly cut them in half at the fold.

Pam: Randomly pull strips from the pile and stitch them together.

Elizabeth: OK, this time you try to be totally random…so you get into the spirit of just grabbing prints, until Pam tells you that you’re about to have a big blob of green in the middle of your skirt. So I guess you sort of randomly pull strips. They all go together quite well, and it’s fun to see combinations of prints you might not have thought of trying, but avoid blobs of one color. At all costs.

You will need 50 strips for this tier. For every 1 inch you added to the top tier, add 1 strip. (one layer cake square equals 10 strips) For every inch you removed, remove 1 strip.

Press seams in one direction.

Once your strips are all stitched together, stitch into a tube.

Trim to length. For our ‘maxi’ skirt we trimmed to 19 inches. Total length of the skirt is 38 inches. This is the perfect time to measure a skirt you love pick your own perfect length. Most purchased tiered skirts are between 34 and 36 inches long, as a guideline. For an average length skirt cut at 18 inches.

Gather your tier using your ruffler attachment, or your favorite method of gathering.

Ours was gathered using the ruffler foot set at 6 and stitch length set at 4.3. Yours may vary.

Pin your ruffled strip to your top tier. Stitch together.

Woo hoo , it looks like a skirt now doesn’t it!
Randomly select 20 layer cake pieces from your remaining pile for your last tier. For every 5 strips you added to your second tier, add 2 layer cakes pieces. For every 5 strips you removed subtract 2 layer cake pieces. Its not critical that you add or remove at this point. Its going to be ruffly regardless.

Gather at the same settings used before. Attach gathered layer cake tier to strip tier.

How cute is this?

Hem your skirt by turning up bottom tier 1/4 inch, then again 1/4 inch, for a nice small hem. For a more casual look, stitch 1/4 inch from the pinked edge and let it get that frayed look. Its summer fun, go for it!

From your 1/2 yard of waistband fabric cut (2) 2 3/4 inch strips. Stitch short ends together for one long strip and trim to 48 inches OR the measurement of the top of your skirt, if you made any alterations.

Elizabeth: Pam’s measurements and instructions are exactly right–but be sure to use a very accurate seam allowance when you stitch the waistband to the skirt and when you top stitch the top of the waistband make sure you stitch very close to the edge…because it might be a tiny bit difficult to thread the elastic through the casing. And if you tell Pam that the waistband should be cut maybe a little wider she’ll tell you “no”. If you don’t think you want to be that precise, you could cut your waistband pieces maybe 1/8″ wider, and Pam probably won’t find out.

Stitch into a tube leaving a 1 inch opening in the seam as shown. This will be the opening to insert your elastic. Fold right sides together and press.

Pin your waistband to the right side of your skirt with the opening facing away from the skirt.

Top stitch at the fold very close to the edge. This gives a nice professional look to your garment.

Insert elastic into your waistband and adjust to fit comfortably.

Stitch elastic ends securly everlapping for a flat finish.

Whip stitch the casing closed.

Pam: I used contrasting thread so you could see the stitching!

Elizabeth: Psst! Just between you and me? She used green thread because that’s what was already in the needle.

Your swing skirt is done! Go on, celebrate!

One very swingy summer skirt!

Summer fun brought to you by Elizabeth and Pam!

Piece of Cake Apron

1 layer cake – featured here is Glace’ by 3 Sisters
5/8 yard for pocket lining and lower ruffle
1/4 yard tie ends and upper ruffle
(3) 3/4″ buttons

3/4 yard 3/4″ rick rack

Note: all seam allowances are 1/4″ unless otherwise indicated.
Step 1
Choose your favorite square for the front pocket.

Step 2
Pick a square for the pocket trim and cut (2) strips 1 1/2″ wide.

Step 3
Stitch to each side of the pocket and press toward the pocket trim.

Step 4
Turn in 1″ on upper edge of pocket and press. Set aside.

Step 5
Choose a minimum of 6 different squares and cut each into (9) 3″ x 3″ squares.

Step 6
Arrange squares and stitch into 6 rows of 9 squares each. Press seams of odd numbered rows to the left and even numbered rows to the right.

Step 7
Stitch rows together. Press the seams in one direction.

Step 8
Turn under 1/4″ and then another 1/4″ to make a narrow hem on each side. Stitch close to fold. Turn under 1/4″ and then
1 1/4″ on the upper edge and press.

Step 9
Stitch “in the ditch” of the top seamline. This will form your casing.

Step 10
To make tie ends, cut (2) strips 2 1/2″ x width of fabric. Stitch strips together along one short side. Press seam open. Press tie in half lengthwise forming a crease.

Step 11
Open tie and turn in short ends and press. Press long raw edges to meet center crease.

Step 12
Fold in half again and topstitch close to edge.

Step 13
To make the double ruffle, cut (1) strip 2 1/2″ x width of fabric and (1) strip 5″ x width of fabric. Turn under 1/4″ and another 1/4″ to make a narrow hem on both short sides and one long side of each ruffle strip. Place the upper ruffle on top of the lower ruffle with wrong sides together and raw edges even. Stitch 2 rows of machine basting stitches within the seam allowance. Pull up the gathers to fit the width of the apron.

Step 14
With right sides together, pin ruffle to bottom of apron. Stitch ruffle. As you can see from my photo, you can easily do this late at night when the lighting is poor!
Press the ruffle down. Topstitch rick rack over the seam if desired. Insert tie through the casing.

Step 15
To make detachable pocket cut a square of fabric 13″ x 13″. Pin the right side of the pocket to the wrong side of the lining. Beginning at the top edge of the lining, stitch one side seam, then stitch across the bottom, then back up the other side seam ending at the other top edge of the lining, using 5/8″ seam allowance.

Step 16
Turn pocket. Clip the lining where it meets the top of the pocket close to stitching.

Step 17
Fold remaining seam allowance of pocket lining to the back, tucking in the raw edge. Press under the top edge of the pocket lining 1/4″ and then another 1 1/2″ forming a hem. Topstitch sides of lining, close to fold, from top edge to top of pocket.

Step 18
Mark and stitch 3 buttonholes for the (3) 3/4″ buttons. Center one buttonhole and the others should be placed 3/8″ from each side. The buttonholes should begin 1/4″ from the top.

Pin the pocket in place on the front of the apron matching centers. Mark position of buttons and stitch them in place.
Now you’re finished! You can wear your new apron with or without the pocket.

Wasn’t that fun? You’ve got enough squares left over to make some more! I’ll bet you can think of someone who would love an apron of their own.
If you’d like to know what else I’m up to besides cutting up squares and stitching late into the night, please come see me at or

1 layer cake will give you enough squares to make 5 aprons.

by Elizabeth Scott