Saturday, January 26, 2013

Simple Brown Skirt Tutorial

So about 7 years ago I had a brown skirt that I would wear all the time. It used to be my mother's. One day I was cutting out some fabric while wearing the skirt. Yes, I was dumb and careless and cut a nice big 5 inch cut into my skirt because part of it was underneath the fabric somehow. I was so mad at myself for doing something so dumb! I've wanted to make another brown skirt for a while. I've had the fabric sitting and waiting for at least 3 or more years. Other projects always took priority until last week. I finally made it! It was very easy and simple. I love easy stuff.
I used a 54 inch wide lightweight polyester/spandex knit (stretchy) material for this skirt- exactly the type I use for my nursing shawls that I sell on etsy!
First, I measured about the length I wanted it on me. Next, my waist and 'halfed' it, adding seam allowances and an extra couple inches. The fabric is folded in half with selvages on either side. I used the measuring tape to make a curve on the corner, made marks with chalk. Next, I used the measuring tape as a compass, holding the end at the corner, and holding the chalk and the tape at the point of the waist measurements. I made more exact curve/waist markings pulling the tape side to side (see photo above.) Add the length of the corner to the waist to the length of the skirt you want and do the same 'compass' technique to mark the hem of the skirt. Cut.
Next, I measured out about 5 inches wide and a generous length for the waistband (about 4 inches longer than I thought I would need.) I will use 1 inch wide elastic. Sew right sides together at 1/4 inch seam allowance(my favorite size- I really like to conserve fabric, and I was going to trim it off to that size anyway...). Trim of extra length of waistband.
Pin right sides of back seam together, matching waistband seams. Stitch using a straight stretch stitch. Say that ten times really fast.
Pull the fabric with both hands as you stitch this back seam to prevent 'bunching' of the seam. (I know you might have heard that you should never pull fabric through when you sew, but you are not pulling it through the foot faster, you are only stretching the fabric!) See photo below.
(See Below picture) Fold the waistband over to the inside and pin, matching seams. Leave a 1 to 2 inch gap for elastic. Have the outside/right side showing when you stitch. Use a decorative stretch stitch. (This hides any imperfections if you don't sew straight!) Make sure the waistband has been sewn down. I had to go back and redo about 3-4 inches that didn't get connected (I hardly ever pin anything unless I have to match up seams.)
Put the elastic around your waist to your comfort and mark with chalk or pin or marker. Use a large safety pin to pull the elastic through. Pin it at the point you think will fit and try it on. If it is good, cut, making sure you've left the space to connect it. Sew the waistband space closed.
Try on the skirt to make sure that the hem is even. Trim to adjust as necessary. To finish the hem, fold over and sew down at edge. I never pin because it would make the stitch look crooked. It is about 3/8 inch double fold. Pull the fabric a little as you do this to make sure there isn't a 'buckling' or 'crumpled' look at the bottom. You are finally done! Good luck!


  1. how much fabric did you use? i'm thinking I will need 3 yards, and I am more of a plus size

  2. It depends on how long the skirt will be. In the picture of the 'compass' measuring tape, the length between the selvages are on the left and right is 54 inches. I used about 2 2/3 yards for mine. My length from the waist cutting to hem cutting is 37 inches. 3 Yards will probably be right.