Sew a Super Simple Skirt
Using the dimensions you calculated in the last section, it’s time to cut!
Fold your fabric in half, with the two selvage* edges together.
Use your ruler to measure your final width number (remember from the last section that mine is 12.25″) from the folded edge.
Mark with your pencil, and draw a line (lightly) along the ruler all the way to the fold.
*The selvage is the edge of the fabric that is tightly woven and unable to fray.
From that line, measure your final length number along the fold (mine is 23.5″).
Mark this spot with your pencil, and then repeat the previous step from that spot using your final width number.
Using your ruler as a straight edge, cut out the remaining three sides of your rectangle, leaving the fold as the fourth edge.
Open it up, and you have half your skirt!
Now, repeat! You should end up with two identical rectangles.
Next, determine if your fabric has a right side and a wrong side.
The “right” side of a fabric is simply the one that you want to be on the outside of your skirt.
Some fabrics are identical on both sides, but some have different coloring or textures.
For example, let’s take a look at the photo below. One side of my fabric is smooth, while the other side has tiny ridges.
I want the ridges to be on the outside of my finished skirt, so that is my “right” side.
Using your straight pins, pin your two rectangles together along the length sides, with the right sides of your fabric together.
In other words, the right sides of your fabric will be on the inside (touching) once you have pinned.
Time to sew!
Line up the edge of your fabric along the 5/8″ line on the plate under your sewing machine foot.
This will ensure an even seam as you sew. Check out the photo above for an example.
Sew the entire length of the skirt on both sides.
Tip: Be sure to remove your pins as you go along – running over pins weakens your stitches and could cause you to break your sewing machine needle!
Once you have sewn both sides, finish your seam edges.
You have two easy options for finishing your seam edges:
- Use pinking shears to cut the extra fabric on the outside edge of the seam, as you can see in the photo above.
- If you don’t have pinking shears, use your zigzag stitch to sew the edges of the seam together.
Now iron your seams down.
If you pinked your seams (cut them with pinking shears), press them open and flat, like the photo above.
If you used a zigzag stitch, press the seams to one side. Either side is fine.
Now, let’s press the top and bottom hems!
Along the open ends of your skirt (the top and bottom), measure and press up the edge 1/2″ to the inside of the garment (the side where you can see the seams).
Do this all the way around the edge on both sides.
Then, measure and press up an additional 1 1/4″ in the same way – all the way around the edge, on both sides.
Pin the hems with straight pins on the outside of the fabric, as pictured above.
Below is what your skirt will look like after this step, from both the inside and the outside:
Now use a straight stitch to sew a seam approximately 1 1/8″ from the pressed edge of the bottom of the skirt.
Use your fingers to feel under the fabric for the pressed edge, and use your pins as a guide to make sure you catch the fabric underneath.
Now repeat the previous step for the top of the skirt. BUT for the top, don’t sew all the way around and meet up with your first stitches.
Stop sewing about 2 inches before you reach your starting point and remove your skirt from your sewing machine.
On the inside of your skirt, this will leave an opening where you will insert your elastic.
You can see my fingers in the opening in the photo above.
Cut a piece of your elastic equal to your waist measurement.
Attach one end of the elastic to the skirt with a safety pin at one end of the opening. You can see this in the right side of the photo above.
Attach another safety pin to the opposite end of the elastic, but don’t pin it to the fabric.
Use your fingers to push the safety pin through the opening to pull the elastic through the waistband. The further in you get, the more you’ll have to feel for the safety pin and wiggle it forward.
Your waistband will begin to bunch up like in the photo above. That’s exactly what you want!
Keep pulling until the elastic comes out the other side of the opening.
Pull it out a bit more to give yourself some extra to work with.
Detach the safety pins from both ends of the elastic.
Pin the two ends of the elastic together with a straight pin, overlapping them about 1″.
Sew the ends of the elastic together along the 1″ overlap using a zigzag stitch.
I like to sew it along both the top and bottom edges to make sure it’s secure.
Pull the elastic tight into the waistband, and pin the opening back together with the rest of your skirt.
On the outside of the skirt, stitch the waistband opening closed. Be careful not to stitch through the elastic when you’re sewing the seam closed!
Trim off any stray threads from around the skirt using your scissors.
Yay – you’re finished!!!
Try that adorable thing on and go strut your stuff!
P.S. How adorable would it be to make a mommy and me skirt set?! If you make this, I want to see! Leave a comment to let me know, or tag me on Instagram: @shrimpsaladcircus and #shrimpsaladcircus