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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Barbie's Cece-Inspired Circle Skirt

Today we have Tasha Engh here as a guest to show us how she took our popular Cece's Circle Skirt pattern and used it to create a Cece-inspired skirt for Barbies!  Since the iconic dolls are so tiny, their clothes require different steps than the children's clothing we're used to making. I'm so excited that Tasha has agreed to share this with us today.  Here she is! 

Thanks so much for letting me share this cute little Barbie skirt through your blog! I primarily sew for my daughter (which is why I decided to momentarily lose my marbles and sew teeny tiny Barbie clothes!); you can find more of my sewn, ready-to-ship stuffs at Little Chickadee Boutique

Barbie’s Cece-inspired Circle Skirt

You will need:          One scrap/small piece of fabric approximately 17”x 8”, 1/8 yd, or scraps!
                                One 4” long piece of ¼” elastic
                                Matching thread
                                Downloadable pattern piece

Since this pattern is for such a small piece of clothing, seam allowances throughout with be ¼”. If you are finishing your seams with a serger, you may find it easier if you do a three thread serge (as if you were doing a rolled hem) to make it a little narrower.

Cutting: Cut 2 of skirt pattern piece, each on the fold
Cut 1 ruffle piece 1.5” H x 32” L OR  2 pieces, 1.5” H x16.5” L ( the two pieces will work better if you are using a scrap of fabric or something small such as a fat quarter). 

If you are doing a narrow hem by hand on your ruffle, you will need to increase the height of the ruffle to 1.75”.
 -If you are using a piece of fabric 17” x 8", cut your ruffle pieces first along the long edge. Then use the remainder to cut your skirt pieces.
-If you are using 1/8 yard, cut your two skirt pieces first. Then use the remainder to cut your ruffle pieces.

Step 1: If you are using two pieces for your ruffle, sew the short sides together to make one piece. Finish as desired. Make sure you DO NOT sew the ruffle pieces into a loop as you would with a girl’s skirt.

Step 2: Pin one edge of your skirt pieces, right sides together. Sew and finish seams as desired.

Step 3: Serge or zigzag across the top of the skirt pieces (at the waistline). Set aside.

Step 4: Roll hem of your ruffle.

 Step 5: Put in your gathering stitch of choice across the unfinished long edge of the ruffle piece.
Gather ruffle and pin to bottom edge of the skirt. If you used two pieces in your ruffle, match up the center seam with the side seam of the skirt. I find it easiest to leave the very ends of the ruffle flat, as shown.

Step 6: Sew the ruffle to the skirt. Finish as desired.

Step 7: If desired (or if it will drive you crazy to not finish it right), press seam toward body of skirt. Top stitch from the right side, 1/8” from seam.

Step 8: We will now be doing the elastic waist at the top of the skirt. Make sure that you have your bobbin loaded with thread that matches your skirt (again, if that’s something that will bother you. If you’re more of the “Meh, it’s going on a Barbie” type, use whatever you want).  Lay your skirt piece right side down. Match the end of your elastic to the side of the skirt, just above the  ‘notch’. Stitch forward a few stitches, then backstitch. We will now stretch the elastic as we sew it down. The elastic needs to be about ½” from the top edge. I find it most helpful to keep the edge of the fabric at my ½” mark on my plate, then center the elastic under my presser foot as I sew.  Make sure the needle is down before you start to stretch your elastic! Or you WILL pop that puppy right out! I also find it helpful to use my left hand to held the tail of my fabric that has already had the elastic stitched to it.

 Sew straight until you reach the seam joining your two skirt pieces.  At this point, you may need to put your needle down and pivot slightly. Stretch the remaining amount of elastic to the notch on the other side of the skirt, and continue sewing. Once you reach the edge of the fabric backstitch several times to finish. If you have a little bit of elastic hanging past your skirt, trim it off.

Once you are finished with step 8, your skirt should look something like this:

Step 9:  Now to make the casing! Starting at one end, we are simply going to fold the top edge of the skirt down over the elastic (see why we finished that edge?!) and stitch close to the side, about 1/8”, as if we were topstitching it. Because it is going right over onto the elastic, I choose not to iron mine. You can pin here if you feel like you need to.  You may need to stretch the elastic slightly as you sew to help the casing lay flat.  Now step back and admire your, erm, skirt?

Step 10: To finish! Fold your skirt in half, right sides together, pin the unfinished edges together. You will notice that our little “notch has disappeared on this side because we’ve sewn the casing. Just match your sides up as best as possible. Sew. Serge or zig-zag as desired.

 And Ta-da! You are done! Quick, now go find a Barbie to stick it on! (I find that she is much more cooperative about modeling my creations when and where I want her to than some of the other models I get to work with). Was it as difficult as you imagined?    

Thank you so much, Tasha!  My daughter is going to LOVE having a matching skirt for her Barbie!   

We hope you all enjoyed this free pattern today. And don't forget to go check out Little Chickadee Boutique to see the other cute items Tasha has available and show her some love. 

Let's Create! ~ Kristen  


  1. where is the pattern for the top that is with the skirt above

  2. Replies
    1. Under the title there is a downloadable link to the pattern.

  3. Thank you so much this pattern is lovely