This simple skirt pattern is incredibly easy to make in an hour or so. With a simple elastic waist, you can use your measurements to make a custom skirt in your desired length. Use your favorite fabric print or color to make something unique and embellish it with lace, ric-rac, or pompoms. You can use the formula in this tutorial to make a skirt for yourself or your kids. It is that simple!
Simple Skirt Pattern Tutorial
This tutorial will show you how to make a simple skirt pattern using your measurements and how to sew it with an elastic waistband. This is a great beginner project!
For this easy skirt pattern, you will need:
- ELASTIC - You will need ¾ inch (2cm) elastic for the waist.
- BASIC SUPPLIES - Sewing machine, ruler, tape measure, pins, needle, thread.
- SCISSORS or rotary cutter and cutting mat.
Best Fabrics for Skirt Patterns
The best fabric to make skirts in is a soft fabric with some drape. Fabrics with drape, don't add bulk and flatter and hang well.
Suggested fabrics include:
- Cotton or cotton blends (suggestions include quilting cotton, chambray, seersucker, cotton voile or light denim)
- If you choose to use knit fabric, select one with a low amount of stretch.
Best Elastic for Skirts
There are many different types of elastic but the best to use for skirts is either woven or knitted. These elastics don't narrow when stretched. Look for non-twist elastic to make your skirt more comfortable.
Simple Skirt Pattern Instructions
Step 1 - Pre-Wash Fabric
First, pre-wash your fabric to prevent shrinkage or color bleeding later on. This can be time-consuming but is always worth it when you are tackling any sewing project.
Step 2 - Measuring Your Body
Start by measuring your waist, hips and the desired length. If you are new to measuring yourself, read my article on how to take sewing measurements. A soft fabric tape measure is best to get accurate results. Cheap plastic tape measures can stretch out and provide inaccurate results.
- Taking Waist Measurements - Sometimes it is more comfortable to wear a skirt a little lower than the actual waist, so just measure where you intend to wear it. I like to wear skirts around 1 inch (2.5cm) below my belly button.
- Taking Length Measurements - Also measure from your waist to where you would like the skirt to end. The easiest way to do this is to hold the tape measure at your waist and let it drop down to where you would like the skirt hem to stop. You could also grab a skirt from your cupboard and compare the length of that.
See this article for some suggested skirt lengths. I like to wear skirts just on the knee which is around 22 inches for me.
Step 3 - Making the Simple Skirt Pattern
You will be cutting 2 rectangles for your simple skirt sewing pattern.
- Width = (Hip/2 x Volume)
- Length = Desired length + 2.5 inches
The 2.5 inches (6cm) is added to the length to allow for the elastic casing and the hem that we will create.
Here is a table showing you common skirt volume factors. Keep in mind, the width of the fabric you purchase, as that may determine how much volume you can add to the skirt. I usually use a volume of 1.5 to 2 simply because it fits better into most fabric widths. The sample chambray skirt photo has a volume factor of 2.
|Extra Wide Skirt
Example of Simple Skirt Pattern:
If you have a hip of 40 inches and desire a skirt to go to the knee with a total length of 22 inches. For a medium amount of volume, we will use a factor or 2.
Cut 2 rectangles width (40/2 x 2)=40 inches and length 24.5 inches
Step 4 (Optional) - Add Inseam Pockets
It is actually possible to add easy inseam pockets into the sides of this skirt. Here is my tutorial on how to add inseam pockets to any side seam. I quite like a pop of color but you can make yours matching the outside fabric for an invisible finish.
Step 5 - Sewing the Skirt Side Seams
Put the rectangles with right sides together and stitch the side seams with a ½ inch (12mm) seam allowance. Use a seam finish on the sides. The easiest to use if you don't have a serger is a simple zigzag stitch.
Step 6 - Simple Skirt Casing
On the top of the skirt, press the raw edge over by ½ inch (12mm). Press it over again by 1 inch (2.5cm) to create a casing. If you have a fabric clothing label, insert it just under the casing fold at the back of the skirt.
Stitch all the way around the casing, leaving a 1 inch gap (2.5cm) on one of the sides.
Step 7 - Insert Elastic
Cut the elastic the same length as your waist plus 1 inch (2.5cm) for the overlap. Attach a large safety pin to one end and thread it through the casing. Pin the ends of the elastic together and try the skirt on for comfort. Cut a little extra off the elastic if you need to.
Overlap the ends of the elastic by 1 inch (2.5cm) and stitch. By stitching 2 rows you will get a nice flat join for your elastic.
Push the elastic back inside the casing.
Stitch the gap in the casing closed.
Step 8 - Simple Skirt Hem
For the bottom hem, press the raw edge up by ½ inch (12mm). Press it up by ¾ inch again. Stitch around the hem.
Simple Skirt Pattern - In Conclusion
Now you have made one of these skirts you will want a whole wardrobe full! Simple skirt patterns are easy and flattering and best of all take very little time. This should be one of your "go to" patterns for new and exciting fabrics that you find.
More Skirt Patterns & Articles
- Types of Skirts - 21 Types of skirts with examples and descriptions
- Skirt Lengths - Learn the names of all the skirt lengths
- Baby Skirt Pattern - Make a baby skirt in any size
- Slip Skirt Pattern - Make a half-slip for ladies
- How to Make a Tutu Skirt - Tulle tutu skirt pattern for girls
- Girls Skirt Pattern - Rabbit applique skirt for girls
Premium Skirt Patterns
If you don't feel like making your own simple skirt pattern, then I have lots to choose from in the Treasurie pattern shop. These skirt sewing patterns come in multiple sizes and are instantly downloadable. Here are just a few choices.
Simple Skirt Pattern
- Sewing Basics
- Safety Pin
- Cotton Fabric
- Elastic ¾ inch (2cm) wide
- Put the rectangles with right sides together and stitch the side seams with a ½ inch (12mm) seam allowance. Use a seam finish on the sides.
- On the top of the skirt, press the raw edge over by ½ inch (12mm). Press it over again by 1 inch (2.5cm) to create a casing.
- Stitch the gap in the casing closed.
- For the bottom hem, press the raw edge up by ½ inch (12mm). Press it up by ¾ inch again. Stitch around the hem.