Learn how to sew a super simple skirt with this free and easy elastic waist skirt pattern building tutorial!
Valerie Bryant is back with another incredibly helpful Sewing 101 post. Now that we’ve learned the basics, she’s showing us how to make a super easy beginner skirt. There are tons of pictures with each step after the jump, so you won’t get lost! If you love Sewing 101, be sure to check out Valerie’s blog and her shop.
This beginner skirt sewing tutorial for an elastic waist skirt pattern is a simple project with tons of variations.
Make it as a mini skirt with a floral fabric, as a knee-length solid for a great basic, or use a lightweight, flowy fabric in a midi-length for a super classy get-up!
You could make it a million different ways, and no two would look the same.
You’re going to make your own elastic waist skirt pattern as you go simply by measuring yourself and following these steps. Here are the supplies you’ll need.
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- 1 – 1.5 yards of fabric* (amount depending on your size and the length you want your skirt)
- Measuring tape
- Straight pins
- Thread (in a matching color to your fabric)
- Safety pins
- Marking tool (I just used a pencil.)
- Cutting utensil (shears or rotary cutter)
- 1 yard of 1″ elastic (again, depending on your measurements)
- Sewing machine
- Iron/ironing board
- Optional: pinking shears
* Make sure you get a fabric that does not stretch. Mine is a cotton twill, and any type of cotton or linen would work well.
How to Measure Yourself for a Skirt/Making Your Own Elastic Waist Skirt Pattern
How to Measure Your Body
Figuring out your body measurements is one of the most important parts of this entire project. The right measurements will give you a great fit for a skirt you’ll actually be comfortable and confident wearing.
Here are some tips for how to measure your body:
- Hip – With your measuring tape, measure around the largest part of your rear. This is your hip measurement.
- Waist – For this skirt, measure around your waist at the point where you would like the skirt to sit.
- Length – Now measure the total length you would like the skirt to be. I do this by looking in a mirror, and letting the end of the tape drop down to my desired length. The measurement on the part of the tape that is at my waist is the length.
Write down each measurement before moving on to the next step so you don’t forget!
Converting Your Body Measurement to Fabric Measurements
Now that you’ve figured out your body measurements, you need to do a little bit of math. The steps below will tell you how large to cut your fabric.
For the width of the fabric, add 10 inches to your hip measurement, and divide by four.
For example, my hip measurement was 39 inches. So my fabric width is (39 + 10)/4 = 49/4 = 12.5 inches.
Do you want to make a fuller skirt?
You can adjust the number you add to your hip measurement depending on your desired fullness of the skirt.
Adding more than 10 to your hip measurement will give you a fuller skirt. Adding less than 10 will be more fitted, but make sure you leave enough room to move!
For the length of your skirt fabric, start by adding 3.5 inches to your length measurement.
For example, I want my skirt to be 20 inches long, so my length for the fabric is 20 + 3.5 = 23.5 inches.