Make Your Own Petticoat – Tutorial

The Mission: Simple slip, Big effect

To give life to vision in my brain, the girls’ Easter dresses needed some serious poof-age.

For little Gladys’, I built netting right into the dress, but I wanted Gianna’s to be more versatile. (Think easier laundering, ability to wear petticoat under multiple dresses, etc…) 

Mission Accomplished.

And for you, a tutorial.


  • pre-made knit camisole
  • lining fabric (approx. 1 yard)
  • soft netting (approx. 4 yards)
  • thread, marking pen, pins, etc, etc..

Step 1: Make Bodice and Skirt of Petticoat

Cut off the waist of the camisole to match the length of the dress’ bodice from shoulder to waistline (plus seam allowance).

Cut out a rectangle of the lining fabric for the petticoat’s slip. The length of the rectangle is equal to the desired skirt length, plus hem and upper seam allowance. We will be using the full width across the lining fabric (from selvage to selvage) for the skirt width.

For example, I wanted Gianna’s slip to have a 13 1/2 inch skirt when done, with a 2 inch hem on the bottom and a 1/2 inches seam at the top (plus an extra inch for finishing the top edge*). Meaning,  I cut a piece 16 inches long and 60 inches wide.

Finish the top edge of the skirt (overlock, zig-zag, whatever), and hem the skirt bottom. I know, I know. Usually hemming is the last step, but it will be easier now without the netting, and this will be worn under a dress and no one will notice.

*This lining stuff frays like crazy. So, instead of overlocking, I hemmed the top edge to keep it from fraying. This is not necessary for other fabrics.

Step 2: Prepare Skirt Netting

Using a removable marking pen, mark a line 2 inches and 6 inches from the skirts top edge. This is where we will attach the netting.

For each of the marked lines, cut a piece of netting with a length twice the distance from the line to the bottom hem long and a width 2 to 3 times the width of the skirt piece.

For Gianna’s skirt, this meant to one piece of netting was 23 inches long (2 x 11.5) and the other was 15 inches long (2 x 7.5).

I used the full 4 yards (144 inches) of netting I had available for the width. Gianna’s skirt piece is 60″ wide, so I needed somewhere between 120 – 180″.

In summary, one piece of netting was 23″ by 144″ and the other was 15″ by 144″.

Step 4: Gather netting and sew to skirt along placement lines.

Fold the shorter of the two pieces of netting in half width-wise (fold parallel to long edges) . Baste the long unfolded edges together, and then pull on the bobbin thread to gather it down to the skirts width. Pin in place along lower placement line and sew with a zig-zag stitch.

Repeat to sew a second layer of netting along the upper placement line.

Step 5: Sew the Skirt’s Side Seam

Fold the skirt in half lengthwise (fold  parallel to short edges), netting inside. Sew the short ends together, keeping the netting out of the way as much as possible. Turn right side out. Now we are ready to put the cut-off cami and skirt together!

Step 6: Sew Skirt to Cami Top

Gather the top edge of the skirt with basting stitches. Pin it to the bottom of the cami right sides facing. Sew together with a stretchable stitch (either an actual “Stretch Stitch”, or a slight zig-zag). Remove basting stitches, and you’re done!

Did you enjoy this tutorial?
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22 Responses to Make Your Own Petticoat – Tutorial

  1. E-von May 1, 2012 at 8:44 pm #

    What a great lil model! And a very helpful tutorial. I made a ballet dress not too long ago for my girl and her tulle ended up pricking her. I will try out this tutorial, because my mistake was leaving out the lining!

  2. Karen May 1, 2012 at 11:57 pm #

    You’re a genius! Beautiful tutorial!!

  3. luvinthemommyhood May 2, 2012 at 9:41 am #

    Love this!!!! Great idea! I def have to make one or 4 of these…lol.

    • Jodi May 2, 2012 at 12:13 pm #

      If you make it a half slip instead of a full, they would be a great addition to your sweetheart dress. :)

  4. Monica May 2, 2012 at 8:51 pm #

    Yay!! I have a little girl who is so getting one of these! I’m a beginner sewer, and this tutorial looks wonderfully laid out and explained. I can’t wait to browse around your site :)

    • Jodi May 2, 2012 at 11:23 pm #

      I hope you give it a try then. I’m here to help if you run into any trouble. :)

  5. SimplyMe May 22, 2012 at 2:38 pm #

    Exactly what i needed to make my little D’s dress.
    Thanks for a lovely tutorial. I am linking to this.

  6. Elisa May 30, 2012 at 8:41 pm #

    Hi I’m wondering about making this for my 8 year old, I am thinking about making a casing at the top and just putting a piece or elastic in it instead of attaching it to an undershirt. Her waist is 23.5 inches so what measurements should I cut the lining out to for her waist, I know I need 16″ for the length. Any help would be appreciated. Thx

    • Jodi May 30, 2012 at 10:12 pm #

      I would suggest making it 2 to 3 times the waist measurement. This will give it plenty of poof and allow for freedom of movement.

  7. Caroline October 14, 2012 at 7:27 am #

    thanks for this tutorial. I made one and linked to it here Already planning to make more, thanks again.

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  9. Kathleen Rogers June 16, 2013 at 4:04 pm #

    TIP: Sandwich the camisole top between the underslip and the top netting. Then when you turn it, the seam allowance is in between the netting and the slip and does not scratch.\

  10. Chris July 3, 2013 at 10:49 pm #

    BRILLANT! Thank you so much.

  11. Melody August 7, 2013 at 1:47 pm #

    Hi I want to make this for a size 12months. I want to build it right into the dress I’m making, the skirt is 10 3/4 ” long with an Embroidered scalloped hem. Would you still use the same cutting measurements the 2″ & 6″ down? I’ve never made a petticoat b/4 so any help you could give would be great.

  12. Kayla February 23, 2014 at 1:48 pm #

    Genius! I’m working on a flower girl dress and this looks wonderful!

  13. tyisha March 26, 2014 at 6:31 am #

    Awesome making men’s shirt dress for my girls and had no idea how I was going to get the bottom to poof up. Great tutorial Thanks a million.

  14. brooke October 15, 2014 at 9:50 pm #

    Thank you sew Much for doing a great Tutorial for a PettiCoat I’m doing a costume for my daughter and just needed a little something and this is it ^_^ Bless you mam :)


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