Project Lovely Lace Children's Petticoat

By Stephanie Struckmann

Skill Level: Intermediate  

-+ FromTo Love List

A princess gown wouldn’t be complete without a petticoat to give the skirt some shape. This child-sized petticoat is ideal for flower girl dresses, first communion gowns and pageant dresses. Or just wear it for dress-up! Almost the whole project can be made on your Baby Lock serger. Download printable instructions.


  • 4 cones Madeira® Aerolock Premium Serger Thread to match
  • Madeira® Aerofil Sewing Thread to match
  • 60” of lining fabric
  • 4 yards of tulle or netting (stiff netting for fuller or soft tulle for less full petticoat)
  • 1” Soft braided elastic for the waistband
  • Optional: About 5 to 6 yards of 1” wide (or smaller) lace for skirt hem
  • FINE disappearing ink marking pen
  • 5-in-1 Sliding Gauge



  1. Measure from child’s hip (where the skirt should sit) to the ground. Subtract about 3” from that measurement to get your skirt length.

    1. Then, measure around the hips (where the waistband will sit) and this will be the circumference for the waist.

    2. Take that circumference measurement, add 2 inches and divide by 6.28 (learned from Simple Simon and Company.) to get your waist circle radius answer.

    3. Add a ¼” to that (because we need to build in a seam) and you get your NEW answer for the waist circle radius.

    4. Using that NEW waist circle radius measurement and your measuring gauge, mark from the center point down, creating a quarter circle.

  2. Cut that piece out from the corner. Make several markings from the curved waistline to the skirt length, creating a second circle using a tape measure or ruler. Cut.

    1. Make one straight cut from the hem to the waist. This will create your center back seam. Mark your center front with a marking pen.

    2. When you open up the entire skirt and it looks like a donut, you’ve done it correctly!

  3. To cut the netting, leave it folded widthwise. Then, fold it over several times lengthwise and with a rotary cutter, cut about an inch off to make it even.

    1. Measure over and cut your preferred length. I cut it about 6” less than the length of my skirt. You should have two long strips (four yards each) of netting/tulle.

  4. Now let’s move on to putting all these pieces together! Follow the construction instructions to get started!

  5. Hem your circle skirt with either a 3-thread flatlock (follow the curve, cutting none or about a ½” off, and it’s hemmed!).

    1. You can also use the lace applicator foot and 4-thread overcasting stitch to trim the hem with lace. Flip lace down and press.

  6. Next, take your two long strips of netting, each being roughly four yards long. Sew the two strips together at one seam.

    1. Serge the upper edge with a 4-thread over-casting stitch and gather the ruffle with the two needle threads.

  7. On your skirt lining fabric, measure from the hem to 1” longer than the length of your netting and mark several times around.

    1. You want the netting to sit shorter than the length of the skirt lining so the netting won’t irritate the wearer’s feet.

  8. Pin your ruffle evenly with the marks you just made. Match up the open seam of the ruffled netting with the open slit of the skirt and match your center fronts.

    1. Pin gathers evenly. Stitch the ruffle to the skirt using a cover hem on you serger.

    2. It’s typically not recommended to use pins with a serger, so make sure to remove all pins before they even get close to the foot!

  9. Measure elastic around the child and add a couple inches. After inserting the elastic into the elastic serger foot, adjust the tension screw to full tension.

    1. Place foot and elastic on machine. Set your stitch width to the widest. Insert fabric under foot and serge with a 4-thread overlock stitch. Trim excess elastic.

  10. Replace standard serger foot. Open elastic out and serge the center back seam.

    1. Try the petticoat on the child and take in the center back seam at the waist, if necessary. One last step, and you’re almost finished!

  11. Secure serger thread tails. Stitch the elastic down to one side, and you’re done!

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