vintage may inspiration: little skirts with vintage flair

vintage may-1

i’ve long been intrigued by vintage trims like lace, doilies, and rickrack.  what would i use them for?  are they too granny?  i’ve kept my eyes open to see how people use these sweet little trims in modern design, and i finally i know – you use them to make little skirts even cuter!

little skirts with vintage flair tutorial

while i love vintage style and drink it in online, my own home, clothing choices, and what i sew for my kids tends to be more vintage-inspired.  i love to follow purely vintage blogs for the eye candy and thrifty inspiration (smile and wave, cakies, bleubird, and a beautiful mess are some of my faves).  months ago, i spotted an adorable doily skirt on cakies, a rickrack pocket skirt on bluebird, and i finally got the chance to try making them both!  i’m super in love with the results and i thought i’d share a couple mini tutorials today.

little skirts with vintage flair tutorial


make a simple selvedge-to-selvedge skirt (follow the oliver + s free lazy days skirt pattern, eliminating the ribbon hem and adding an extra .5″ to the length allow yourself to make a double fold 1/4″ hem).

little skirts with vintage flair tutorial

my skirt fabric is kona mustard and the pocket is a vintage sheet.


make your pocket.  cut two 5″ or 6″ squares out of your pocket material.  fold in half and round all four bottom corners.  sew right sides together, leaving a space to turn on the side.  turn right side out, press.  find the center of your skirt by folding it in half with the back seam, and also find the side the same way.  center the pocket between the front and side.


slide rickrack under the pocket, and pin well.  ease it around curves and try to keep the part poking out even.  topstitch close to the edge of the sides and bottom of the pocket, which will close the opening in the pocket and secure the rickrack.  add elastic to the waistband, hem the skirt, and you’re done!

little skirts with vintage flair tutorial



rubyellen’s doily skirt is hand-stitched, but i wanted to try machine-stitching it because it’s quicker and more secure.  first make a skirt with a contrasting waistband (follow dana’s market skirt tutorial for directions but you won’t add the bottom band, so be sure to give your skirt enough length to work without it).  wait to add the waistband elastic.  i used a lightweight chambray and the waistband is a fat quarter from my stash.  my chambray is two pieces, each 12.5″ long by 35″ wide for my petite four year old.  i wanted it FULL.  for best results, be sure your skirt material has some drape if you want to make it as full as this.

little skirts with vintage flair tutorial

the doily looks like it’s from an estate sale, but it’s really from joann (probably would’ve been cheaper to thrift it, but i liked the look of this one, it’s cotton and sturdy).  wash, dry, and iron it flat.  i used basting spray for quilting to adhere the doily to the skirt centered between the front and side seam, and pinned around the edges as well.


take a close look at your doily and try to identify the “rings” that seem thicker and continuous so you can easily follow them around the doily.

doily skirt

starting in the very center, sew around a few “rings” using coordinating thread, backstitching at the beginning and end.  then slowly sew around the perimeter of the doily, trying not to stretch it as you sew – just hold it down flat to the skirt.  i sewed it on with a normal foot and my machine had no trouble – my stitches completely disappeared into the doily.  can’t even see them from the front.

doily skirt

add elastic and you’re done!  now your little gal can pick some flowers and relax in the shade with her best friend!

little skirts with vintage flair tutorial
little skirts with vintage flair tutorial

if you make a rickrack pocket or doily skirt using this tutorial, please add them to the vintage may flickr group!

vintage may
today jess over at CINO has posted a tutorial for a beeeeeautiful eyelet overlay dress!  you’ve gotta go check it out.

16 thoughts on “vintage may inspiration: little skirts with vintage flair

  1. Michael Ann says:

    These are darling! And oh my goodness I can’t believe I’m only just now at your blog, I’ve seen bits and pieces of your work around the interwebs and I love it! I will definitely be checking back for more vintage may goodness 🙂

  2. Ana says:

    These skirts are so cute! I’m a vintage lover and love love to sew. I’m really enjoying your Vintage May series! Thank you for visiting my blog!

  3. Rae says:

    hee hee…I LOVE that we will always be able to pick Em out of a headless lineup…all that dancy-dance energy has to go somewhere! 🙂

  4. Rachel says:

    you know I was going to say that this is a great way to start sewing vintage (or even sewing in general) ~ little girl cotton skirts, they were some easy projects when I really got back into sewing (I started with O+S lazy days skirt which is a free pattern & starting with free patterns is a safe way to go, too). anyway, like I said little girl’s skirts in cotton is a better way to start sewing than say O+S patterns with a 3 scissors level, you’d probably want to wait until several projects later (or a couple of years experience) before attempting otherwise it could be very frustrating…

    • kristin says:

      i agree – i started with the lazy days skirt too. simple skirts are the perfect (and very rewarding) first sewing project! thanks rachel.

  5. Jessica at Me Sew Crazy says:

    Thank you so much for sharing these adorable skirts with SewSet!!! I have featured them as one of today’s top patterns. Love them!!

    Hope you are having a great day Kristin!

    – Jess,

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