Image by Natasha Lawrence

A hula hoop is the perfect thing to use in a slip for a wide wedding dress or a costume with a skirt that stands out all around. This technique can be used for children or adult skirts, since hula hoops come in different sizes. Lightweight and perfectly round, they will adapt easily to a long or short skirt.

Measure the diameter of the hula hoop to be used in this project. That will determine the length of fabric and bias tape needed. For example, if the hula hoop is 48 inches in diameter, a minimum of 4 feet of fabric is required lengthwise plus 2 inches. The skirt size will be determined later after the hula hoop has been sewn into the bottom of the skirt (Step 7).

On the sewing machine with coordinated thread, make a 1-inch seam along the skirt bottom by folding the edge up and then in again. Straight stitch 1/4 inch from the edge along the length of the fabric. Press the seam with a hot iron.

Lay the bias tape next to and above the seam sewn in Step 2 on the inside of the skirt. Straight stitch the bias tape next to the edge all along the length of the skirt, keeping the edge of the bias tape aligned with the seam.

Straight stitch the other side of the bias tape close to the edge and along the entire length of the skirt.

Hold the ends of fabric together, right side in from end to end. If desired, use straight pins to hold the fabric together for sewing. Straight stitch a 1/2-inch seam just from the bottom up for 1 inch at the seam. Do not sew the bias tape end openings. Straight stitch again from the top of the bias tape for a 1/2-inch seam to the other end of the fabric.

Cut the hula hoop with a mat knife so that one end can be slipped through the bias tape opening and all around the skirt. When the other end of the bias tape is reached, push the hula hoop through so that the hula hoop opening is secured within the bias tape, not where the bias tape is open.

Step into the hula hoop skirt and hold the top of the skirt to the waist, measuring where it should be for a long or short skirt for the person who will wear it. Mark the waist with a straight pin, taking into consideration that there will be a 1/2-inch wide elastic band sewn.

Measure the extra width of the fabric from where the waist is marked to the edge. Deduct 1 1/2 inches up from the waist in the measurement. Measure and cut off excess fabric all around.

Fold the fabric 1/4 inch in at the waist, then fold again 1 inch all around, using straight pins to secure the fabric for sewing. Straight stitch close to the edge all around. Press the seam with a hot iron.

Secure the medium safety pin to one end of the 1/2-inch elastic tape. Slip the safety pin through the opening in the seam made at the waist and pull it through, gathering the fabric as you go. Secure the other end of the elastic to the skirt with another safety pin at the waist. With needle and thread, sew the two ends of the elastic and close the waist opening. Step into the skirt and pull it up to the waist.


Hula hoops are available at children's toy and department stores.

About the Author

Natasha Lawrence

For over 25 years, Natasha Lawrence has written for publications from "Alaska Business Monthly" to "Savannah Magazine" and provided destination content as Florida city editor for Wcities. Her expertise in arts and crafts includes calligraphy, painting, mosaics, jewelry making, paper crafts and home decor, often offering workshops in museums and art centers.