How to Make a Poodle Skirt for Kids

By Cheryl Stephenson-Hearns
Poodle skirts, all the rage, the 1950s
fifties girl image by Maria Bell from <a href=''></a>

Poodle skirts were a major fashion trend for teenagers and young women in the 1950s. The large circular swing skirts fell at or just below the knee and were named after the fabric poodle that was appliqued onto the bottom of the right side of the skirt. The poodle appliques were usually embellished with sparkly collars and eyes for added detail. Today, poodle skirts make wonderful costumes for dance recitals or Halloween. The skirts are relatively easy to make and can be customized with different appliques, colors and trims to suit individual tastes.

Step 1

Measure your child's waist. Add two inches to the waist measurement, divide by 3.14 and then divide by two. The resulting number is equal to the radius of your fabric circle.

Step 2

Fold your skirt fabric in half horizontally and then fold in half vertically. Pin the fabric along the open edges.

Step 3

Take the measurement you obtained in Step 1 and measure that distance down from the center point of the fabric folds (i.e. the upper left corner of the fabric). Use a fabric pencil to mark the fabric. Repeat these measurements at several different angles and use a fabric pencil to connect the markings to form a curve for the waistline of the skirt. Mark a 1/4-inch seam allowance above the waistline that you have drawn.

Step 4

Take a measurement from your child's natural waist to her knee or just below her knee to determine the skirt length. Add half an inch to this measurement for a seam allowance and mark the fabric. Repeat the markings on the fabric by taking measurements at different angles and using a fabric pencil to connect the markings to form a curved line.

Step 5

Cut the fabric along the marked lines and along the horizontal folds.

Step 6

Remove all pins and unfold the fabric. Pin the fabric pieces wrong sides together and stitch the side seams with a 1/2-inch allowance stopping on one side approximately 6 inches below the waistline. Finish the inside raw edges of the skirt with a zigzag stitch to prevent fraying.

Step 7

Create a hem on the bottom of the skirt by folding the fabric 1/4-inch to the inside of the skirt and ironing flat. Fold the fabric over another 1/4-inch, iron again, pin in place and stitch the hem.

Step 8

Place the unfinished edges of the waist into the the bias tape, pin in place and stitch. Sew Velcro onto both sides of the opening you created in Step 6 to form a closure.

Step 9

Use fusible webbing to adhere your chosen applique to the lower right side of the skirt.

About the Author

Cheryl Stephenson-Hearns works as a public servant in St. John's, Newfoundland and Labor, writing articles for several newsletters. She has also been writing children's books since 2005. Stephenson-Hearns holds a Bachelor of Arts in French language and literature from Memorial University of Newfoundland.