Simple Skirt Sewing Pattern

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Before I wrote "Girls' Night In," I asked all my girlfriends what one item they would like me to teach them to make. The resounding answer was clothing. So I came up with this gorgeous, versatile skirt which can be made to your own custom length and can be kept simple or embellished with a selection of embroidered motifs.
- 2.5cm-wide elastic, the length of your waist plus 1.5cm for seam allowances
- Fabric scissors
- Your chosen fabric (see below for amount)
- Matching thread
- Embroidery thread and needle (optional)

Step 1

Width: If you are using a thin fabric, you will need a piece of fabric with a width that is two times your waist measurement. If you are using a thicker, heavier fabric you will only need a width that is one and a half times your waist measurement. Add an extra 5cm of seam allowance to the width of the skirt.
Length: The great thing about this design is that you can make it as short or as long as you like. Use the guide below to work out your preferred skirt length and then add an extra 16.5cm for the hemline, waistband and seam allowances.
See below for instructions on how to calculate your exact measurements.
Mini Length
Measure from your waist to the middle part of your thigh.
Knee Length (featured above)
Measure from your waist to just above your knee.
Maxi Length
You may need to get one of the girls to measure this for you as you need to measure from your waist to the floor.
Your personal measurements
This does require a little math...
The instructions given are for a knee-length skirt in a thin fabric. I have used my measurements; replace the figures with yours.
My waist is 71cm.
The width of my fabric should therefore be 2 x 71cm, plus 5cm for the seam allowances.
So the total width is: 147cm.
My waist to knee is 53.5cm.
The length of my fabric should therefore be 53.5cm, plus 5cm for the hemline, 6.5cm for the waistband and 5cm for the seam allowance.
So the total length is: 70cm.
You will therefore need to cut your fabric to a rectangle measuring 147cm wide by 70cm long.

Step 2

Measure your elastic waistband by placing the elastic around your waist and gently pulling – you do not want it to be tight, you just want a bit of tension. Add 1.5cm for seam allowance and cut.

Step 3

Press your fabric and cut to size following the calculations shown on the left. Fold your fabric in half lengthways with right sides facing and sew the side seam in a straight line, leaving a 2.5cm seam allowance.

Step 4

With the skirt still wrong side out, turn up the bottom edge by 2.5cm and iron to crease. Fold over a further 2.5cm and carefully stitch the hem in place.

Step 5

To create the waistband, fold down the top edge of the fabric by 2.5cm and press. Fold over another 4cm and press. Start to stitch about 5mm from the bottom of the folded edge to create a channel between the top edge and the stitching. Start to thread the elastic through the channel and then continue stitching. Repeat this method, stitching a little then threading through more of the elastic. Make sure you do not stitch any of the elastic to the skirt. Once you have stitched almost the whole way around, stitch the two ends of the elastic together with a 1.5cm overlap and stitch the rest of the channel closed.

Step 6

Using a very hot iron, steam press the length of the skirt. Steam the ruched waistband flat. Leave plain or embroider the skirt using a motif. Use backstitch and simple long straight stitches for the embroidery.

Step 7

Excerpted with permission from "Girls' Night In" by Hannah Read-Baldrey, published by Quadrille Publishing.

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(1 comment)
  • by sujays
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    I have been looking for a simple skirt pattern and this is easy enough for a beginner like me to start making my own clothing. Thanks for tutorial.

    • by craftfoxes
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      craftfoxes Rate this comment 0 0 | Report

      We'd love to see what you make. Don't forget about the project upload we have, happy crafting!