How to Sew an Extra Long Bed Skirt

  • 01 of 04

    Taking Measurements

    what measurements you need to make a custom bed skirt
    Measurements Needed to Create a Custom Bed Skirt. Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to

    Having under the bed storage is a necessity as kids get older and in college dorms. Keeping that under the bed mess under control or hidden is another part of the equation.

    Many parents buy a bed-in-a-bag combination thinking they have a bed-skirt that will hide the mess... not the case if the bed is elevated beyond standard height. If you use bed raisers or a dorm bed is raised to the top height, the standard bed skirt will not hide the under the bed storage. Sewing your own bed skirt will solve...MORE the problem. Sew A Standard Pleated Dust Ruffle

    The first thing you will need are the bed measurements. You don't need the mattress measurements as much as you need the measurements for the frame or box spring that the bed skirt will be placed on and the measurements from the floor to the top of the frame or box spring.

    Once a college choice is made, your visits to the dorm should include a tape measure and pad to note measurements. Set the bed at the highest possible location to measure for a bed skirt that will lend itself to the maximum under bed storage. If you will be using bed raisers, bring them with you to obtain the correct measurements.

    Measurements to take to make your own bed skirt:

    • From the floor to the top of the frame or box spring.
    • The length of the top of the frame or box spring - this measurement will be for the platform and needs to be from end to end where the cross bars or the end of the box spring are, not the entire length of the entire bed, unless the end bar goes across the ends of the bed at the end board and head board.
    • The width of the top of the frame or box spring. This measurement will go from outer edge to outer edge on a frame or a box spring.
    Continue to 2 of 4 below.
  • 02 of 04

    Determining Your Fabric Needs

    Deciding how much fabric you will need
    Calculating Your Fabric Needs for a Custom Bed Skirt. Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to

    For a custom bed skirt, you will need a platform, two long side sections, and two end sections

    I always find it easiest to draw a rough sketch to make sure I am considering all of my needs. The easiest way to determine your fabric needs is to draw the sections.
    Note: All examples shown here will be using a 1/2" seam allowance. This example will have the skirt open at all four corners to fit under the bed legs.
    The measurement examples are for gathering a medium weight fabric. You may want to...MORE allow more if your fabric is very lightweight or if you want more fullness.

    • The Platform: The platform is hidden under the mattress and can be any fabric you have on hand or an old sheet cut to the size you need. You can also use left overwidth of fabric from the skirt fabric, pieced together to create the platform.
      To calculate the size of the platform: Use the length of the frame or box spring by the width of the frame or box spring and add 1" to each measurement (1" equals 1/2" to each side if you are going to use a 1/2" seam allowance).
    • The Long Sides: The height is the measurement from the floor to the top of the box spring or frame PLUS 1/2" for a seam allowance to attach the skirt to the platform and a hem allowance. The hem allowance is your choice. The type of fabric will guide you to deciding if a baby hem will be sufficient or if the hem needs more fabric to hang nicely.
      The width is the length of the frame or box spring times 1.5 to allow enough fabric to gather, plus 1" for hemming the sides of the section.
    • The End Sections The height is the same as the long side sections.
      The width is the width of the frame or box spring times 1.5 to allow for gathering plus 1" to hem the sides of the section.

    Note:The measurements for seams and hems can be changed to meet your fabric needs. For example the bed skirt I was originally going to make, would have required the length of the sides to be 34" wide. By changing the hem to a rolled baby hem, I was able to cut 32" sides, which allowed me to get two sides from a twin sheet. If I used the original 36" measurement, I would have had to buy a sheet for each side and had a large amount of wasted sheet fabric. I could have used the "waste" to make pillow shams but choose to make the baby hem.

    Using the height measurements, determine the width of the fabric you will need. For example, if the height measurement is 34" it would be a huge waste of fabric to buy 54" wide fabric, unless you want to use the cross wise grain and seam the fabric to create long enough sections of fabric. I prefer to use the length wise grain parallel to the floor.Everything You Need to Understand Fabric Grain and Grainlines

    Add all of the width measurements to calculate the yardage you will need (inches divided by 36 to determine yards)

    Tip: Consider flat sheets as a source of fabric. The wide measurements of sheets makes them an economical choice to create a custom bed-skirt... and you can usually find a color that will match your comforter. Tips to Use Sheets as Fabric

    Always Pre-Shrink Your fabric (or sheets) before cutting out any parts.

    Continue to 3 of 4 below.
  • 03 of 04

    Sew Your Bed Skirt

    Construction details to sew the corner of a custom bed skirt
    Corner Construction Details. Debbie Colgrove, Licensed to

    Use the measurements you allowed in the previous calculations for a seam allowance, as you follow the assembly instructions.
    These instructions will create a bed skirt with opening at each corner for the legs of the bed.

    • Hem the ends of the sides and end sections by turning under 1/2" (if you used a 1" calculation) and then turning under again to enclose the raw edges.
    • Hem the bottom edges of the side and end sections using the hem you allowed in your calculations. Be sure to either finish...MORE the fabric edge with a seam finish or turn under the raw edge to enclose the raw edge.
    • On the top edges of each section, mark the center and quarter by folding the lengths in half and in half again and marking the folds.
    • Sew basting stitches along the top edge to use to gather the fabric.How Ruffles and Gathered are Formed
    • Mark the center and quarter marks of each side of the platform piece.
    • Placing right sides together, match a center mark of a side with a center mark of a longer platform side. Repeat to match the quarter marks.
    • Place the ends half of a seam allowance in from the ends.
    • Draw up the gathering to make the side fit the platform edge, evenly distributing the gathers.
    • Sew the side to the platform using the seam allowance you allowed in your measurements.
    • Apply a seam finish.
    • Repeat to attach the second long side, being sure to move the previously attached section out of the way so it doesn't get sewn in to the side you are working on. .
    • Repeat the process to prepare and attach both ends to the platform.
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    Continue to 4 of 4 below.
  • 04 of 04

    Twin Extra Long Bed Skirt That is 33" Long for Dorm Under Bed Storage

    Please check the measurements of the bed you are making a bed skirt for before taking these directions as exactly what you need!

    This is how I created a bed skirt for my daughter and her dorm room mate. This skirt covers all four sides of the bed to contain the "stored" items under the bed. This allows them to rearrange the room without having to rearrange the bed skirts. To meet her needs the bed raised to the highest setting gave us a bed skirt length of 32" long on a platform that...MORE was 79" by 36".

    • Purchase three twin size bed sheets. (I used Walmart twin sheets at $4.88 each.)Due to the shrinkage that I experienced, I used 1/4" seam allowances. (Tips for Using Bed Sheets as Fabric)
    • Remove the wide top hem and the side hems only where it intersects the top wide hem.
    • Preshrink the sheets.
    • Press the sheets.
    • On two of the sheets, fold the sheets in half lengthwise, matching the long edges and ends perfectly.
    • Press the fold well.
    • Cut along the fold line to divide two of the sheets in half lengthwise.
    • On two sections, cut two end sections, the width of the half of the sheet by 54"
    • Attach the remaining section of sheet to the intact long half sections of sheets using a 1/2" seam. (Remove any turned under original hem if necessary.)
    • Re-hem the ends and sides where needed for the ends and hem of the side and end panels.
    • Mark the half and quarter mark of the un-hemmed edges by folding the sections in half and in half again and marking the folds.
    • Sew basting stitches along the long un-hemmed edges of each panel.
    • Cut the remaining sheet to 70" by 37" to use as a platform for the bed skirt.
    • Fold the platform in half and quarters on each side and mark the folds.
    • Match the half and quarter marks on the shorter sections with the platform markings.
    • Place the ends of the skirt sections 1/4" from the end edge of the ends of the platform. Gather the section to fit the ends of the platform, evenly distributing the gathers.
    • Repeat for the opposite end.
    • Repeat for the side sections.
    • Apply a seam finish to the seams of the skirt and platform.
    • Press well.