Chloe started taking a hula class after school this year. Having a skirt is not a requirement, but most of the kids want one. I could just buy one, but a bunch of other parents made one and it seemed like it would be very easy. She’s already in her third session of the class, and after patiently waiting, I finally was able to make Chloe her pa’u skirt!

This really was a simple project. I had the most trouble with the elastic band though. I actually spent just as much time feeding the elastic band in the waist as I did actually sewing! But if you know what you’re doing, I’d say this would be an afternoon project from start to finish. Looking online, there are tons of different ways to do it but this is the way I chose to go.

I bought 3 yards of fabric from for only $6 bucks a yard. I found some matching thread, a few yards of 1/4″ elastic and I was ready to roll.

The finished height of the skirt I was making was 18 inches. Including the bottom hem and the top fold I needed 25 inches total. My daughter is 7 years old and to get a nice fluffy skirt I used the full 3 yards for the width. It gathered quite nicely giving her extra hula confidence.

Step 1) Fold fabric in half with right sides together. Stitch together along the short edge with a 5/8″ seam. You will have a 1.5 yds by 25 inche cylinder .

Step 2) Fold the bottom up 3 inches for your hem. Fold the top edge in so you don’t have an exposed raw edge. I liked a larger hem that I can just take out and lower in case she gets taller quickly.

Step 3) Fold the top down 4 inches for the elastic casing section. Measure down 1 inch and sew a complete row.

Step 4) Measure down 3/8″ and sew another row. Do this four more times. Leave some space open at the skirt seam so you have enough space to feed the elastic through.

Step 5) Feed the elastic through three rows. Once the elastic is roughed in, fit the size for your child and adjust the elastic length for a good fit.

Step 6) Secure the elastic and sew up the remaining open seams and you’re done!

4 thoughts on “HOW-TO: PA’U HULA SKIRT

  1. Just saw this as I was searching for good instructions for another student. Outstanding job, Matt! We sure miss Chloe. Hope she can join hula this summer. – Melanee, Hoaloha Dance Instructor

    1. Thank you! Yeah, Hula class seems so long ago because of COVID. Maybe you’ll see her again in the future. 🙂

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