Home generalSew Balloon Skirt - Free Tutorial + Sewing Pattern

Sew Balloon Skirt - Free Tutorial + Sewing Pattern

  • Pattern and material selection
  • Sewing instructions - balloon skirt
  • variations
  • Quick guide

Balloon skirts are always an eye-catcher - whether in the summer with sweet sandals or in the cooler months with pantyhose underneath. And it does not just suit little girls, even though it looks especially adorable on them.

How to create a pattern for a balloon skirt yourself according to your desired measurements and also how to sew it, you will learn today in this beginner-compatible manual. Whereby there is actually no real pattern. As always, I will try again this time to give you a variety of options below.

Difficulty level 1/5
(this pattern guide is for beginners)

Material costs 1-2 / 5
(depending on choice of fabric and size about 5-20 euros)

Time required 1.5 / 5
(depending on experience and accuracy 30-60 min per balloon skirt)

Pattern and material selection

A real pattern in the sense of balloon balloons there is not. In this tutorial, work is done on a fabric patch, the width of which is determined as follows: the measured hip circumference is rounded up by 5-10 cm to the nearest 10 cm. If the hip circumference is 92 cm, take 100 cm in width, if it is 86 cm, take 90 cm in width. In infants and children rounding up in 5 cm increments is sufficient. The length is a matter of taste, but it has proven a length of 30 - 40 cm for ladies . For toddlers I would use about half, for girls about 25 cm . You can also measure the desired length directly if you then add seam allowances at the top and bottom.

Since the narrowest fabric is thus much wider than the widest part of the body (the hips), you can let off steam in the selection of materials almost indefinitely. I would only exclude firmer, bocky fabrics, as they do not fall so nicely. For balloon skirts, I prefer to wear cotton (for the summer), jersey fabrics (for the transitional season), or slightly thicker but softly falling fabrics, such as different sweatshirts (for the cooler months). So it does not matter if the fabrics are stretchable or not!

You'll also need some cuffed waistband and bottom hem instead of the hem. My abdominal cuffs are usually 12cm high, so I need a cutting height of 24 cm +1.5 cm seam allowance (for infants and children accordingly lower). For the width of the waist circumference is taken and then calculated according to taste x 0.7 or x 0.8. The lower cuff is measured directly at the lower edge of the fabric and x 0.7 is calculated. I like doing it for ladies 3-4 cm high (double laid, so 6-8 cm incl. Seam allowances) and 2-3 cm in toddlers .

I would like to sew a skirt for my daughter. She has a hip circumference of 55 cm (with diaper) and a waist circumference of 48 cm. The balloon skirt should be 15 cm long, so I need about 12 cm in length, because even a cuff comes to the hem edge.

My working dimensions are thus:

  • From the main fabric: W 60 cm, H 13.5 cm
  • For the abdominal cuff: W 48 x 0.8 = 38.4 + 1.5 cm NZ = 39.4 -> rounded B 40 cm, H 14 cm
  • For the hem cuff: B 60 cm x 0.7 = 42 cm +1.5 cm N = B 43.5 cm, H 5 cm
    For this I use Season Colors by Cat Wienett in the color setting Summer by the Twisted Pirates (Fabrics), a soft organic cotton jersey. The cuff fabric uses a dark lilac.

Tip: If you are going to sew a women's balloon skirt for winter and use a fabric that is roughened inside, the balloon skirt may later "hang" or "crawl up" on thicker tights. If so, just cut some lining with the main fabric and sew it like a second layer. Just remember to make the lining stuff!

Sewing instructions - balloon skirt

First, I fold the main fabric in the bow right to right (ie with the "beautiful fabric sides" to each other) together and sew together at the open edge with a minimally stretchable stitch. I do the same with the two cuff strips.

Especially with thinner fabrics, the back seam is better if you unfold the seam allowances and stitch them on each side. Make sure that the stitch length is set slightly larger. If the fabric still wrinkles, you get it straight again by ironing.

I now mark four clues at the top and bottom of the main fabric, as I always do when sewing cuffs: one directly at the back seam, one at the front middle just opposite and two halfway between. I halve the two cuff strips so that the "nice" fabric side is on the outside and put both layers together at these four clues.

Now the balloon skirt is almost finished. First, I put the abdominal cuff together at the marker points. At the point with the seams, I try particularly hard that these are exactly on top of each other. Then I sew already firmly: I sew with a few stitches and put all three layers of fabric on edge of each other. At the same time, I stretch the cuff so far that it no longer wrinkles. The main substance is not stretched.

So I sew from mark to mark and align in between all the fabric layers from edge to edge.

With the lower cuff I do the same: put dots together, sew on, align fabric layers (with slight stretch of the cuff) at the same angle. Since with me the lower hem is much narrower and could easily fold up to the outside, I step outside again on the seam allowance.

Tip: Many do not like to hear / read it, but iron the skirt again, especially the cuff edges, then the desired folds look nicer and the cuffs are smoother.

And the balloon skirt is ready for my princess!

Have fun sewing!


Such balloon skirts are also ideal for residual use, as this "pattern" is suitable for every type of fabric. Create a patchwork stripe and make it unique for yourself or your girl!

Even embellishments can be made entirely according to your mood: When sewing the hem cuff, simply sew a pompom trim or a lace trim and the balloon skirt will look completely different again.

You can also put a decorative ribbon over the fabric and sew it tight before sewing it together. Then continue working as described in this guide and let yourself be surprised how it works.

In my tutorial on 3D applications, I also showed how to make a flower of fabric yourself. Here you could prepare flowers in different colors and sizes to sew on. Among them, I could well imagine an embroidery as a flower stalk with leaves. So even plain-colored fabrics suddenly come to life. Or you can apply your favorite motives with felt on wiped fabric.

In my example, I used the same color for the belly and hem cuffs, but this is not mandatory. Vary already in advance by putting on different cuffs and fabrics in front of you and trying out different combinations.

Quick guide

1. Cut the fabric and cuff parts for the balloon skirt in the fracture
2. Place each one on the right side on the right side (the "nice" sides)
3. Close open edges
4. Mark four landmarks with pins
5. Landmarks also at the cuffs after folding left to left
6. Attach the abdominal cuff to the upper markings and sew on
7. Put the hem cuffs on the lower markings and also sew them on
8. For lower hem cuffs, stitch seam allowance all around again.
9. And you're done! (if necessary iron everything again)

The twisted pirate

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