Stripwork Tutorial for the Tie Dye Diva Twirl Skirt - or ANY pattern!

A big TDD welcome to Rachel of Missy Mae's Closet! Not only is she part of Team Tie Dye Diva as our marketing assistant, she is wonderfully creative and talented we are sharing some of that awesomeness with you today! Rachel's going to show you how to take the Miss Muffet pattern and make it into a beautiful stripwork skirt. Read through, and you'll learn how to make *any* pattern stripwork! 

You know the Miss Muffet Twirl Skirt with Bloomers pattern is already pretty versatile. You can make it with bloomers attached or without, as a simple twirl skirt. Did you know you can also make the bloomers on their own by simply extending the bloomers portion of the pattern 3.25" longer at the waist edge? 

Now you do.

 Here's Rachel showing you another way to get more from this great pattern!


Stripwork is a simple way to get more value out of your Tie Dye Diva patterns; you can create a fun new look without purchasing any additional patterns. Stripwork is also a great way to use up scraps or small cuts of fabric from your stash! 

I am using the skirt portion of the Miss Muffet Twirl Skirt in size 2T for this tutorial, but the principles can be applied to any gathered skirt in any size, and really, to any rectangular cut of fabric in any sewing pattern, or even to non-rectangular pattern pieces. 

Stripwork Skirt Tutorial

Choose the number of fabrics you will use. Begin by selecting the fabrics you would like to use.  An odd number of fabrics tends to be most appealing to the eye, so I am going to demonstrate 3 fabrics and 5 fabrics, but use what looks good to you - you can even make each strip from a different coordinating fabric.

Decide how many times each fabric will repeat. Once you have selected your fabrics, decide if you want your fabrics to repeat only once across the front and back of the skirt or if you will use multiple repeats. For example, suppose you are using 5 fabrics:

You could have one repeat  - 5 wider strips, or two repeats  - 10 narrower strips.
If you are using three fabrics you more likely want multiple repeats. I've chosen to do 3 repeats of 3 fabrics. 

*** The math part begins! (Don't worry, it is really easy.)***

Find the total number of strips. Multiply the number of fabrics you chose by the number of repeats to get the total number of strips for each panel. I chose 3 fabrics and 3 repeats, so I will have 9 strips for each of the front and back panel.

Determine how wide to cut each strip. 

1. First, find out from your pattern how wide your finished panel should be. If you are working from a pattern piece rather than a cutting chart, measure the widest part of the pattern piece. Then subtract the pattern's seam allowance from each side. 

For the Miss Muffet skirt, looking at the cutting chart for the skirt panels, I find the width of the skirt panel for the 2T I am making is 28", less 1/2" seam allowance x 2 = 1"; 28" - 1" = 27".
    2. Divide the finished panel width by the number of strips and take a look at your result.
    3. Last, add 1" for seam allowances to each strip (1/2" for each side). In our example,  3" + 1" = 4". So, we will cut the strips 4" wide.

    The length of each strip will be the same length as the original skirt panel in the instructions. For the 2T, this is 6.5".

    To sum up, for a three-fabric skirt, we will cut 9 front strips and 9 back strips, each 4" wide by 6 1/2" long. See how awesome that is? You can use up your scraps. We'll cut six of each of the three colors for our 18 total strips.

    *** The math part is done! ***

    Choose your layout. Once your strips are cut out, it is a good idea to lay them out in order and make sure you like your fabric placement.

    (You might also like to cut the waistband and ruffle according the the pattern instructions at this point to see how it all will look. Here I am trying out the waistband fabric, keeping in mind that the it will become the dominant color for the skirt.)

    Sew. Lay two strips right sides together and sew one long edge using 1/2" seam allowance. A word of caution here, do take care to use an accurate seam allowance.  While an 1/8" deviation on your seam allowance does not make much difference when you only have two side seams, over the course of nine strips per panel, an 1/8" does make a difference!  Perhaps not so much on a gathered twirl skirt like this one, but it would make a difference if you were using this method for a more fitted garment. 

    Repeat until you have two panels each made up of 9 strips. Finish the seams and press them all in one direction. This is a good time to check that your skirt panel now measures the same as the panel given in the pattern instructions.  

    For a pretty, finished look, topstitch along each seam.  Lay the panels right sides together and sew the side seams to form the 'skirt loop' referred to in the instructions. Finish and topstitch these seams as well.

    Enjoy. Your skirt panels are finished! Complete the skirt according to the pattern instructions.  Enjoy your new, fun stripwork Twirl Skirt!

    This method of stripwork can be applied to any rectangular gathered skirt or "skirt" portion of a dress. Try it on the Perfect Party Dress pattern, Big Bow Dress pattern, or Fair and Square Dress pattern for an exciting new look on those patterns as well!
    Pictured with Tie Dye Diva Peasant Blouse Pattern (long sleeve option) and Double Layer Flower tutorlal.

    Thanks, Rachel for this excellent tutorial! You can give her some FB love at

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