How to Make an Easy-Sew Poodle Skirt

DIY poodle skirt

The Spruce / Mollie Johanson

Overview
  • Total Time: 2 hrs
  • Skill Level: Beginner
  • Estimated Cost: $10

It's time to rock around the clock in this easy DIY poodle skirt. These simple circle skirts adorned with fluffy pups originated during the 1950s, and they're still popular as Halloween costumes and for themed dances and parties. It's quick and easy to make your own with simple supplies and basic sewing skills. You can adjust the skirt for any size by measuring the waist of the wearer.

poodle skirt supplies

The Spruce / Mollie Johanson


What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • Tape measure
  • Pen
  • Sewing scissors
  • Pins
  • Sewing machine and matching thread
  • Craft or fabric glue

Materials

  • 2 yards 72-inch-wide felt
  • 2-inch-wide soft elastic (enough to fit the waist of the wearer)
  • White or black felt for poodle decoration
  • White or black rick rack trim
  • 1 Small black pom-pom

Instructions

  1. Measure and Mark the Waist Opening

    First, measure the waist of who will wear the skirt. Add 3 inches to this measurement, and then divide the total by 6.28. This gives you the radius for the waist opening. There's a bit of flexibility in these measurements, so you can round the number to the nearest fraction. For this sample, the measurement rounded to 5.25 inches.

    Next, fold the felt in half, and on the fold mark a center point. Then, pin or hold the end of your tape measure to the marked point. Place your pen on the tape measure at the measurement you just calculated, and use the tape measure like a compass to mark a half circle on the felt.

    marking the center opening

    The Spruce / Mollie Johanson

  2. Measure the Length and Cut the Fabric

    Now, decide how long you want the skirt to be. Typically a poodle skirt falls just below the knee. Add your desired skirt length to the radius of the center circle. For this sample, we added 25 inches for a total of 30.25 inches. Use the tape measure and pen like a compass to mark a half circle the size of your total measurement along the bottom of the fabric.

    Cut out the large circle and the center opening. Keep your cuts as smooth as possible for a great finished edge without the need for hemming.

    marking the hem

    The Spruce / Mollie Johanson

  3. Cut and Sew the Waist Elastic

    Measure and cut a piece of elastic that's 2 inches longer than the actual waist measurement (not the circle opening measurement). Fold one end of the elastic under 1 inch, and sew it to the other end of the elastic, overlapping the ends.

    waistband

    The Spruce / Mollie Johanson

  4. Pin the Elastic to the Skirt

    Pin the elastic into the center opening of the skirt. Space the pins and the extra fabric evenly. The top of the felt should be at about the middle of the elastic.

    poodle skirt waistband

    The Spruce / Mollie Johanson

  5. Sew the Elastic to the Skirt

    Working on the wrong side first, sew around the waist, stretching the elastic as you sew about 1/8 inch from the edge of the felt.

    Next, working on the right side, sew down the bottom edge of the elastic, once again stretching the elastic as you sew.

    poodle skirt waistband

    The Spruce / Mollie Johanson

  6. Create the Poodle

    Download the poodle body template and poodle tufts template. Print the pages at 100% for an average adult-size skirt, or shrink them for a smaller skirt. Be sure to shrink both templates equally.

    Use the templates to cut out pieces of your white or black felt, and arrange the pieces in the poodle shape near the hem of the skirt.

    Then, glue down the poodle pieces with fabric or craft glue. Spread the glue rather than just running a thick line, which can show through the felt.

    felt poodle pieces

    The Spruce / Mollie Johanson

  7. Finish Decorating the Skirt

    Use the rick rack to make a collar and leash for the poodle. Run a thin line of glue in the shape of the leash, and then press the rick rack onto the glue. Try to avoid thick glue lines, which will show when they poke out from under the rick rack.

    You can also sew the poodle pieces and rick rack onto the skirt, but for most situations glue works fine.

    Finally, glue on a small pom-pom to create the poodle's nose.

    decorations on poodle skirt

    The Spruce / Mollie Johanson

  8. Let the Glue Dry and Enjoy

    Be sure to let the glue dry before wearing the skirt.

    Pair your poodle skirt with a simple T-shirt and a cardigan for a '50s vibe. Add a neck scarf, bobby socks, and some saddle shoes or tennis shoes to complete the look.

    person wearing poodle skirt

    The Spruce / Mollie Johanson