DIY – Hula Skirt
I got crafty this weekend and decided to make a hula skirt for our ‘luau’ themed day at the office. This all started because I couldn’t find a costume that I liked so I decided to make the costume that I wanted instead. I wanted a hula skirt that looked like it was made out of leaves, and looked a little more authentic looking than the “plastic” grass skirts you see at the party supply store. This picture was my inspiration.
- Broadcloth (or your preferred fabric) waist measurement X 3
- Matching thread
- Fusible, same length as the broadcloth
- Sew on snaps, or Velcro.
- Iron, sewing machine
- Plastic flowers X a bunch + greenery
I was at Joann’s and I took the bolt of broadcloth and literally wrapped it around me twice and figured that that would work. I didn’t have a pattern to go off of, so I was making this up as I went along. You, lucky person that you are, don’t have to guess because I’ve done that part for you. The wrapping it around yourself twice version of measuring worked pretty good. I would suggest to make it three times around though, and that way the skirt will be fuller and you won’t have gaps between the “leaves.”
Since I was using broadcloth (because its the least expensive colored fabric I can get) the fabric is really lightweight, so I wanted to give it some more weight and body so that it would hang better. I decided to add fusible to the broadcloth to accomplish this. However, fusible is stark white and having that on the back side of green leaves would be unsightly, so I decided to sew two layers of broadcloth together with the fusible in between. Think of it as a broadcloth sandwich. The fusible would be ironed and adhered to one of the broadcloth layers. (Where would we be without heat activated glue?). I chose two different strengths of fusible, one was really lightweight for the skirt, and the second was really thick and heavy to use as the belt that all of the leaves would attached to.
Here is the pattern that I used. I made two different sets of leaves. I wanted the leaves to taper so that they had a more natural effect so the sizes were 1.5″ – 2.5″ and 2″ -3″. I used a dark green marker to draw the lines on the fabric so that I could sew lines to either side of it and then just cut them apart.
For the belt I decided that two inches wide was a good size, so I made the length my waist size with some extra room added for good measure since I’d be wearing the skirt over normal clothes. I did use a different pattern of fabric on the belt because it looked nice, and to be honest, I used up all the green fabric for the skirt. That’s why we have a fabric pile of scraps left from old projects!
Assembling the Skirt
So this part took way longer than I expected. Pinning the leaves systematically and then holding it up and making sure that the skirt is laying correctly, yeah, it kinda took forever. Once all of the leaves were pinned where I wanted them I just sewed them all to the belt. I did sew my snaps on before I got the leaves sewed on so that it was easier to work with and not as hard.
You can’t have a hula skirt without a lei! I cut the flowers off of the floral stems and put them all on a really long strand of embroidery thread. I put the leaves between the flowers to add greenery, and used buttons as spacers to keep the flower in place.
For something that started as an inspired-but-harebrained idea, I was really impressed with how the skirt turned out. Its exactly how I pictured it in my head, so I couldn’t be happier. So now, I have a reusable hula skirt for future ‘luau’ themed days.
Well, that’s it for hula skirts, but you know how creative we are here at The Tipsyverse, so you never know what we’ll create next. What projects are you working on? Let us know!