How-To: Sew a Skirt

Etsy clothing designer KT Jean demonstrates how to make your own adorable (and adjustable!) skirt.


  • 2 yards of fabric – non-stretchy fabric is best, probably look for a cotton print if you are a beginner, or something silky if you have more sewing experience
  • 2 yards of lining – something lightweight and silky is best
  • thread that matches fabric
  • zipper that matches fabric


  1. Take your measurements: waist (where you would like to wear the skirt), hips (around the widest part of your seat), and skirt length (from waist to desired hem – could be mini to maxi!)
  2. Measure and cut the following:
    5 rectangles of fabric:
    piece #1 –  6″ wide x (your waist measurement + 2 inches) – make sure fabric design goes lengthwise
    pieces #2 and #3  –  your length measurement x (your waist measurement + 2 inches) – make sure design goes lengthwise.
    2 rectangles of lining:
    your length measurement x (your waist measurement + 2 inches)
  3. Iron the waistband (piece #1) in half lengthwise like a hotdog bun – try to keep it as straight as possible.
  4. Sew the two lining pieces together up one side. Run a basting stitch along the top of these once sewn together.
  5. Sew the two fabric pieces with the right sides together up one side (be sure you sew them so the design is facing the same direction). Run a basting stitch along the top of these once sewn together.
  6.  Measure on your waistband (piece #1) and pin at the center and quarter marks of the length.
  7.  Pin the 2 ends of the top of the basted pieces of fabric to the ends of the waistband with the right sides of the fabric together.  Pull one of the threads from one end while gathering the fabrics until pieces #2 & #3 are the same length as the waistband (piece #1).  Adjust the gathers evenly and pin it to the waistband at the center and quarter marks.
  8. Use an iron to lightly press the gathers to help make sewing a little easier, then carefully sew the gathered piece to the waistband. Keep the waistband flat underneath and the gathers as even as possible. This is usually done rather slowly.
  9.  Repeat steps 6-7 with the lining on the other side of the waistband.
  10.  Put in the zipper. Re-measure the waistband and pin about a quarter of an inch bigger than your waist measurement.  This is where the zipper will be placed, and it will go up to the crease you ironed in step one, then the waistband will fold over and the other half will be on the inside of the zipper.
  11.  Finish the seam under the zipper down the side of the fabric and the lining.
  12.  Hem the skirt. Measure the length with the skirt laying flat and mark it with a pin every few inches at the right length.  Iron the hem up at the pin markings, keeping it straight, then sew!

Photography by Karen Scheffe.

Alejandra likes ice cream, dancing and pretty things. You can usually find her exploring downtown Phoenix, where she lives, or singing to herself while writing in a coffee shop.

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