Pettiskirt for a Ballerina

Shrovetide (fastelavn) is coming up here in Denmark, and Ronja wants to go as a ballerina. I decided to try to make her a pettiskirt, and even though the rest of the costume isn’t there yet, I wanted to show you how it turned out.


I have been sewing for most of the day today – geeeeez, there are so many yards to go over!

I should share the details, because I have been using quite a few resources, and learnt a few things during my sewing. I know I link to this tutorial/video in my section of tutes that I want to try. I did watch the video in the link, as well as read through the instructions, but I needed a bit more than that. A link in the comments led me here (update: a tutorial which is unfortunately no longer online), and that tute did it for me. But you know, I do tend to Google everything to the extreme, so I’ll share a few more links.

  • Martha Stewart tute video with Kandi Lightner (update: unfortunately no longer online, but there are a ton of other great tutorials on YouTube)

Let me tell you right away – I got the fabric wrong. And it wasn’t because I didn’t know what was recommended, no actually I was just way too late. Ronja needs the costume by tomorrow, and I didn’t go fabric shopping until yesterday afternoon. Noone has nylon chiffon in the shops, polyester chiffon is supposed to fray a lot, soft tulle wasn’t an option since the shop I went to didn’t have it in pink (the requested colour), so I had to take a wild guess on what would work. I left the shop carrying a bag of organza and some satin.

Organza does have the right lightness to it, but it still frays terribly. It’ll do the job, but you will be tearing your hair out over why you didn’t get the right fabric from the beginning – I know, ’cause I have been doing just that all day.

Making Ruffle Fluff

I got myself a gathering foot for my sewing machine, and I must say, I couldn’t have done the pettiskirt without it. I know some would – but they would have to be much more patient than I am – and not have kids. You are supposed to be able to attach and gather at the same time using the foot, but I tried that with the tiers, and it was a complete nightmare. The organza kept slipping out of the foot, and I had no control whatsoever. Soooo, I cut 9 new 4½ inch strips of organza, and decided to just be happy that I bought enough. Then I gathered first using the new presser foot, and attached afterwards using my regular presser foot.

It does take a long time, but still it’s a fun project, and once you get it, it’s not difficult.

OK then - I like it!

Ronja loves her skirt. She wasn’t overly enthusiastic while I was sewing, but she definitely was when it was finished, so I just had to show you right away in spite of the lack of light for photos. Tomorrow for shrovetide celebration the rest of the costume will be a simple improvisation. I will tie her hair up in a bun if she’ll allow me, and I have sewn some of the pink ruffles to an undershirt to go with the skirt. A bit of facepaint and she will be ready to go.

The only problem is, that after Frida saw this skirt, she is not quite happy anymore, that she is going as Pippi Longstockings. Do I need to say that I will be making more of these?


  1. Jeannine McCloskey says:

    Wow Astrid, what a beautiful skirt. You have way more patience then I do. I have been asked several times to make one, but NO WAY! is my answer. I hate doing ruffles.
    I am glad she likes it, and maybe tomorrow you can get some pictures in the light.

  2. Melanie says:

    It looks great from here! I can’t believe you took that on, what a project. Nice job, though, Ronja looks very pleased. I hope Frida will be patient for you to get the right fabric. =)

  3. Dina says:

    Hi, I’ve come here through Millie. The skirt is beautiful. Is Shrovetide the same as Carnival? We have Carnival coming here too next week. I am actually looking for a quick cute pattern to make for my little baby girl who is 5 months old. My other two children are sorted with costumes for now 🙂

  4. Prinsessapieni says:

    Ooo, so cute little girl ja dress :)!! My girl allso wants to be a ballerina and your links are great help for me, she wants me to make her a beautiful-princess-ballerina-dress 😛

  5. Marie-Louise says:

    🙂 Ja, man kan hurtigt komme på overarbejde med de fastelavnskostumer. Mine døtre kan ikke helt bestemme sig for hvad de vil være. Det skifter hele tiden, men nu er der købt ind til et kostume, så nu bliver det sådan! Ballerinaskørtet er virkelig fint, meget vellykket. Godt gået.

  6. Millie says:

    How fabulous! I’m afraid that would be outside my comfort zone though! We have a hand-me-down ballerina outfit that has been very useful, not nearly as wonderful as this though!

  7. Kathryn says:

    Too cute! For anybody else who is in fabric extremis (nylon chiffon only being available online from the states) I have successfully used the soft netting from a princess-style bed canopy/mosquito net. The organza has loads of oomph though – I think it looks almost nicer than nylon chiffon.

  8. Rosanna says:

    Nårrrh… hvor er hun skøn! Du fik da fabrikeret et fantastisk prinsesseskørt. Selveste Mary må da være misundelig nu, IKKE!??

  9. Marina says:

    Hvor er hun dejlig (som altid) og skørtet er da helt fantastisk. Jeg håber du vil være med i vores idebank på Fadera og meget gerne med begge kostymer. Det ville ikke være helt rigtigt uden dine fine kreationer.

  10. Frau Putz says:

    Hold kæft (sorry) hvor er den bare flot. Hatten af for din indsats.
    Så håber jeg bare, at hun får lov til at gå med den også efter fastelavn – sådan som det ind imellem ses i bl.a. USA. Nyd det så længe hun gider. Lev prinsessedrømmen fuldt ud!
    Emilie (7 år) mener i hvert fald, at det er PINLIGT med sådan noget lyserødt og tøset og prinsesset. “Ej mor, hvor PIIIINLIGT er det lige at have en prinsesse-madkasse, når man går i 1. klasse?”…
    “Mor, må jeg ikke nok få nogle sorte bukser og en sort, langærmet trøje?”



    KH Frau Putz

A penny for your thoughts?

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.