Join us for a Skirt Sew-Along!

on June 8 | in Sew-Alongs, Summer Skirt Sew-Along | by | with 122 Comments

Kathie from Ramonster and our Sew,Mama,Sew! Editorial Board created this fantastic Skirt Sew-Along for us! In a three-part series, today through Thursday, Kathie will show you step-by-step how to draft a pattern that fits you and how to sew it all together. The design can be made to perfectly fit and flatter all sizes, from children to a women’s size 8 to a plus-size. It features a shirred back waistband, an underskirt and it can be adjusted to hit below, at or above the knees. You can also adjust the “poofiness”-factor to make the skirt more or less full. Today’s sew-along focus is preparing your pattern and cutting the fabric. Figuring out your pattern measurements may seem daunting, but it’s really very easy. Once you have it down you can make your perfect skirt, over and over. Sew along with us!

SummerSkirt1.jpg title=


  • 1.5 yards of a medium or light-weight fabric for the top layer (I used Little Folks Voile.) If you are small and like short skirts, you might only need yard. If you are plus-size or want your skirt a little longer, then you’ll need a little more than 1.5 yards.
  • 1 yard of muslin or solid cotton for the underskirt. (I used Kona Cotton.)
  • .33 yard of lightweight woven fusible interfacing. (Such as Pellon SF101 Stacey Shape-Flex.)
  • Medium-weight elastic thread for shirring the back of the waistband.
  • 12–18 inches of 1/2″ elastic

Important! Because you’ll have a skirt and underskirt of two different fabrics, you really should wash, dry and press all your fabric before cutting. You don’t want them to shrink at different rates!

1. Take your waist measurement (where you’d like the waistband of your skirt to fit), divide it in half, and add 1” (Waist/2 +1).
2. Draw a rectangle using the number from Step 1 as the width, and 4” as the height. (Front of waistband.)

SummerSkirtFrontWaistband.jpg title=

Front waistband piece, upside down.

3. Take the number from Step 1 and add 4”. [(Waist/2 +1) + 4] Draw another rectangle with this longer width and 4” for the height. (Back of waistband.)

SummerSkirtWaistbandCurve.jpg title=

Adding a slight curve to the waistband piece.

4. Cut your pattern pieces, adding a slight curve to the front waistband as in the photo. This will shave a half inch or so off on your front waistband, but when you shirr the back waistband you lose a little width as well. Plus it will be easy to join the front and back waistband and account for any small mismatch when you serge the waistband on the skirt.

SummerSkirtWaistbands.jpg title=

Waistbands, front & back.

5. Use these drafted pattern pieces to cut your fabric. Cut 2 of each piece (2 front waistbands and 2 back waistbands.)
6. Cut 2 pieces of fusible woven interfacing (I recommend lightweight) from your front waistband pattern piece.

SummerSkirtInterfaced.jpg title=

Interfaced waistbands.

7. Fuse interfacing to both front waistband pieces.

Skirt Panels:
8. Determine the length of your skirt. Measure from the top of your hip to where you’d like the skirt to hit on your thigh. Add 1”. (Be bold! Go short! The measurement I came up with was 14”, which at first seemed semi-obscene, but I do think this style is really cute short. So go forth and go mini, m’ladies.) This is the height of your skirt panel.
9. Multiply the width of your front waistband (the number from Step 1) by 2 for a less poofy skirt, 2.5 for medium poof or 3 for lots of poof. (You might need a 54″ wide fabric for a really poofy panel.) This is the width of your skirt panel.
10. Draw a rectangle and cut your skirt panel pieces using the number from Step 8 as the height (going down your leg) and Step 9 as the width (going across your body.) (You don’t have to draft pattern pieces for the skirt panels, as they are just large rectangles. I would just measure on your fabric and cut or tear those long straight lines.)
11. Cut 2 skirt panels.

Underskirt & Pockets:
12. To make your underskirt, cut a rectangle that is 1” shorter in height (Step 8 – 1”) than the skirt panel you just created, with a width that is the same measurement as the width of the rectangle you created for your BACK waistband piece (Step 3). (You can choose to A-line the underskirt a bit by flaring out the bottom of your rectangle by 1” – 1.5”.) Cut TWO underskirt panels.

SummerSkirtUnderskirt.jpg title=

Underskirt below, pocket piece above.

13. To make your pocket pattern, draw a pattern that looks like the photo below:

SummerSkirtPocket.jpg title=


14. Cut four pocket pieces from the same fabric as the underskirt.

SummerSkirt2.jpg title=

Skirt showing the underskirt.

You should have:

  • Two front waistband pieces with the interfacing fused to both of them.
  • Two back waistband pieces.
  • Two top skirt panels.
  • Two underskirt panels.
  • Four pocket pieces.

Tomorrow: Shirring and sewing the waistband!


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122 Responses to Join us for a Skirt Sew-Along!

  1. teri pastorino says:

    that is very cute, but i think i need the longer version for ladies with mature thighs. LOL

  2. Becky says:

    Oooh, I really like this!! Must find some fabric…..

  3. sewiknittoo says:

    This sew along look like too much fun I can’t wait to make it now that I have my sewing machine back from the repair shop…summer skirt here I come!

  4. Larri says:

    I think this will be really cute for my daughter. There’s no way I can pull off that short length! :o) I have some bright summer orange w/large white polka dots that is going to perfect for this pattern! Thanks!

  5. Kelli says:

    I’ve been wondering about how to get a nicely fitting curved waistband!

  6. Joke says:

    Oh thank you, this looks exciting!

  7. Beth Dodd says:

    I can’t believe I found this tutorial!! I have been searching for a good skirt tutorial for weeks and hadn’t found anything I loved…until today!!!! I am so excited that I may just have to post pics when I am done making one, or two, or three ;o)! Thanks so much!

  8. sang says:

    Super cute! I love skirts, so this is definitley on my to do list!

  9. orata says:

    so cute! i love the fabric!

  10. Becky says:

    I’m checking my stash for the perfect skirt fabric!

  11. Heather says:

    Cute! Fun! I’m in!

    I’m a little nervous about the shirring, but excited too.

    A note about those of us who are a little more curvy. Yes, short and poofy is probably a bad call. But I’m making this to a longer (below knee) length and the least-poofy width. I’m thinking that both of those adjustments will work just fine on my figure, and suggest that other girls with hips don’t get scared off by the mini that is pictured.

    The other thing is a caveat. The calculations as given only work if your waist to hip ratio is, well, 4 inches or less. Remember, you have to pull this thing over your hips/butt! I cut my waistband pieces to equal my hip measurement and am hoping that the shirring will bring it in enough to fit properly at the waist!

    This is my first sew-a-long, and I can’t wait to see everyone’s results!

  12. Trish B. says:

    That looks so fun! I will have to see what fabric I have on hand to use for this skirt…

  13. Dawn says:

    so great! I’m going to follow along!

  14. Kristine says:

    YAY I’m so excited! I know the perfect fabric for this, too!

  15. Monica says:

    Just wondering about the purpose of the underskirt. Is it a lining or is it something more? If it’s a lining, can it be made in a lining fabric (not cotton)?

  16. Charity says:

    Finally!! A project that would look good on a girl with curves. I’ve thought all the other projects have been really nice but would look horrible on me since I am naturally larger on top. They look best for plank-type bodies. But this skirt…this skirt will work! Yeah!

  17. Kelli says:

    I am really excited about this sew along! I have been wanting to make myself a skirt forever! I can’t wait to get home and pick out my fabric for this!

  18. grace says:

    oh, yes! i’m totally going to try this. i’ve never sewed anything for myself before.

  19. ~Helena~ says:

    Cute skirt, Thanks for showing me/us some how to.

  20. Michelle says:

    So cute. Going to have to try this!

  21. Sara says:

    Made a skirt last month sometime and it turned out great, but maybe, just maybe I will use this idea next time!

  22. Tabitha Garcia says:

    I’m loving wearing skirts now that summer weather has hit & was very excited to see this! Definitely sewing along!

  23. Wendy D. P. says:

    I love this skirt! So cute!

  24. The skirt is very cute, I think I will have to make matching Mother, Daughter (20 years) and Daughter (10 years).

  25. Vanessa says:

    That’s a wonderful sew along! And it also seems quite easy, so I will have to give it a try.

  26. Jessica says:

    Thanks for offering simple calculations for this poufy skirt! Although the silhouette is not particularly flattering on my hourglass figure, I look forward to constructing a few skirts for my daughter. The tailored waistband looks comfy!

  27. Marcia W. says:

    Want to read more … before try this one out

  28. Rachel says:

    I want to make this. It looks cute. But I want to see a picture of the back first.

  29. Becky Sander says:

    I have been wanting to have some new skirts for summer! And maybe a matching one for my daughter…

  30. QSOgirl says:

    I hope I can participate in this sew-along!

  31. Liz says:

    oooh! this could be the perfect tutorial! i wonder how much fabric i have?

  32. Laurel says:

    How fun!

  33. susan alexander/wilson says:

    this is going to be my first garment. I’m nervous and excited!

  34. Ashley says:

    very cute! thanks for the tutorial, i can’t wait to try it.

  35. Kristy says:

    I quit buying patterns because they never seem to fit my body. Short and stubby :0) Thank you for this tutorial. Can’t wait for tomorrow’s post!

  36. Katie says:

    I wish I had the time to whip this baby up!

  37. Rachel says:

    Gotta try this one out!

  38. Beth Kickert says:

    I am starting my “sewing boot camp” tomorrow and can’t wait to learn to sew fun projects like this one!

  39. Junglewife says:

    that is too cute! Unfortunately with my shape, I just can’t pull off all the gathers. Oh well!

  40. kathyh says:

    Cute skirt. Looks good.

  41. Ginger says:

    cute skirt!

  42. Heather says:

    Would the skirt pictured fall under the less poofy, medium poof, or extra poofy skirt? I feel this is important if I’m going to judge how much more or less poofy I want mine than the one in the photo.

    I can’t wait to make the skirt, thanks!

  43. Diana says:

    This will be my first sew-along! I really hope it goes well! I love how easy it can be altered to fit any size and length!

  44. sy says:

    the skirt looks flattering. thanks for the tutorial!

  45. KTseams says:

    I’m wanting to make the under skirt longer than the outer skirt… could be interesting.

  46. Valerie says:

    I never thought of shirring the back of the waistband! Great idea!

  47. KTseams says:

    Thanks for the apparel sewing tutorials. I love making clothes. Lovin’ the anna maria horner print, too!

  48. Deb V says:

    This is a really cute skirt. I am going to make one.

  49. Tami says:

    That is really cute. I like that you can make it as short or long as you like. The thing I like about shorter skirts is that I can wear calf-length leggings under them and it looks really cute but is much more forgiving and modest!

  50. Erin says:

    I’ve been wanting to make a skirt like this! Perfect!

  51. Amy says:

    I am very new to sewing and luckily found this site. I would love to try this out to see if I could do it.

  52. jana says:

    This what I wan to sew

  53. Melissa says:

    Very excited to try this! I’ve made an a-line skirt recently but would love to try this style.

  54. Sandra says:

    Love this I’m going to bookmark and then sew along later when I come back from my holiday. Wish I had time to make it before I go but I have a quilt to finish as thank you present which needs to go with me so probably not.

  55. Erin says:

    This is a fun idea! But I don’t think this style would be too flattering on me either….even after I lose the extra baby poundage.

    But it’ll be fun to see everyone else’s skirts!

  56. Jenny says:

    That is so cute! Especially with the little underskirt.

  57. susan hwang says:

    cant wait for the rest of the tut! thanks so much ๐Ÿ™‚

  58. Paige says:

    Love the AMH fabric for the skirt, but pleats just don’t work on my body type. Oh, well!

  59. Julie says:

    I may make this sans pleats, falling at the knee. Fun fun!!

  60. Tina says:

    Can’t wait to use up some of my stash on this….after vacation. Or maybe I could take my machine along and sew one with my bestie that I haven’t seen since last year!

  61. Charity says:

    I’m going to have to get some fabric and join in!

  62. Ramona says:

    very cute but I know that type of skirt won’t flatter me.

  63. Great little skirt. I have some fabric that would look great in a fun summer skirt. And I like that we can do this ourselves with no patterns.

  64. Rebecca says:

    So cute! I bought some fabric for another skirt and never got around to making it. Will have to bring it out and sew-along!

  65. Tonya says:

    I want to make mine knee-length. This skirt reminds me of the skirt style worn by “Maria” in West Side Story! It’s easy elegance or cheery and fun, depending on the fabric chosen.

  66. Jeni says:

    cute. i need this skirt this summer!

  67. Jennifer S. says:


  68. Angelina says:

    Whoa, that skirt is seriously cute. I may have to make this with my little folks voile!

  69. knittytrissy says:

    Can anyone help me out? I have a dress that I want to make into a high waisted skirt kinda like that one. Is there a simple way to do this? My sewing skills are not all that great…I am pretty new at this! Also, anyone know anything about White sewing machines?

  70. knittytrissy says:

    That is so cute!

  71. It’s really cute – not for me though….

  72. Krystina says:

    Really cute and I love the Anna Maria Horner fabric!

  73. Jenny says:

    Ooh, I want to try this! Can’t do it today, but maybe next week? Hmmm… I love that you are teaching us to make it work for our own bodies. Much cooler than a printable pattern would be, in my book anyway ๐Ÿ™‚

  74. sewlindaann says:

    Okay, this seems simple enough for even me to try. I so wanted to do some of the “sewing together” expeditions, but chickened out when I had trouble scotch taping the printed patterns together. I’ll try to hang in there with hopes that it really does look good on a almost plus size chic!

  75. Suzanne says:

    Cute skirt but with my narrow waist and wide hips it won’t look that great on me ๐Ÿ™‚

  76. Latrilla says:

    This skirt would not be flattering on me (big butt, small waist) but I am thinking I could make some alterations. I know I will make some for my daughter.

  77. DebbieKL says:

    Very cute! I’m not a short skirt girl though.

  78. Michele says:

    Cute skirt! Another thing to add to my to-do list.

  79. says:

    so cute! I like that there’s an underskirt.

  80. Doris says:

    Great idea!

  81. Kadybug says:

    That skirt is cute! I love the print you picked for it!

  82. Tara says:

    Oh! This doesn’t look so scary that I can’t attempt it, and it’s such a cute shape. ๐Ÿ™‚

  83. Kelli says:

    I’m in…I love skirts when it’s warm!

  84. Deborah S. says:

    I love this tutorial. It is just what I have been looking forward to so I can get back into sewing for myself and my family again after so many years of craft and quilt sewing. Thank you for keeping us inspired with tutorials with such clear instructions and pictures.

  85. Melissa says:

    I am excited for tomorrows installment! Cute skirt!

  86. DebbieB says:

    Looks like a really cute skirt, but I have a bit of a tummy so I know it would not look good on me.

  87. Ooooh, this is really cute! I have a yard of Anna Maria Horner’s fabric that will be perfect for this!!! May not be able to sew along since I have family in from out of town, but will definitely be saving the instructions to make later. My girls will probably want one too : )

  88. craftytammie says:

    i want to make this, but i’m 7 months preggers! i’m afraid it wouldn’t be very flattering on me right now ๐Ÿ˜‰

  89. Emily says:

    oh! I’m so excited! I have just the solid fabric and now I’ll need to find another coordinating for the top layer. I’ve wanted a nice cool summer cottony skirt and this looks just right.

  90. Bailey says:

    I really want to make this but shirring makes my machine groan like crazy!

  91. Deidra says:

    Love this skirt…. So cute and simple.

  92. kathie says:

    here’s a better picture of the pocket pattern:

    and liz, yes. you do shave off a half inch or so on your front waistband, but when you shir (sp?) the back waistband you lose a little width as well, plus it’s really easy to join the front and back waistband and account for however much is mismatched when you serge the waistband on the skirt.

  93. Serena says:

    Wow, so cute! I think I need to join in!

  94. Faith says:

    Fun fun! I love skirts.

  95. Rachael says:

    love this skirt! i’ll have to find some pretty fabric and try to follow along. i have never made clothing before so i am a little nervous.

  96. Rochelle says:

    This is going to be so great! I love the way you explain your dimensions for cutting. You and I must think along the same lines…it was super easy to understand!

  97. Desiree says:

    an adorable skirt I will have to make when I am not preggers.

  98. JaiCi says:

    I can’t wait to make and wear this skirt

  99. Lina says:

    I might give this a try once I start seeing some other people’s results. Not sure the style will work on me but I do like the top in the picture. I’d love to see a pattern for that too!

  100. Lauree Myler says:

    this looks fun. i am in. i am obsessed with that fabric.

  101. Caroline says:


  102. Beth says:

    I can’t believe it!!! This is exactly the skirt I’ve been wanting to make…thanks for the “poof” formula, too.

  103. Katie says:

    That skirt is so great! I’ve been trying to find a new project to keep myself busy this summer and that seems to to be just the ticket.

  104. heather says:

    A skirt sew along?? Sounds great!

  105. Julie says:

    Very cute. I’ll have to bookmark this for after I have this baby in July ๐Ÿ™‚

  106. Tina says:

    I have one yard of Little Folks Voile that I was wondering what to do with! I think I should do this! Thanks!

  107. Jenna says:

    Oh wow! I love this skirt! Can’t wait to buy some fabric and give it a go.

  108. Celeste says:

    Totally looking forward to this sew-along–fun!!

  109. Michelle says:

    Oh I will definitely have to find some cute fabric and catch up on this project! LOVE the fabric you have used ๐Ÿ™‚

  110. Wow, this looks like such a fun project!

  111. pedilu says:

    Great summer skirt รขโ‚ฌยฆ love it!

  112. Susan says:

    If I wasn’t pregnant, I would love to put this together! For now I’ve filled it on Evernote to use in a few months ๐Ÿ™‚

  113. I’m with Sade. This would not be flattering on many!
    Also, if you add curve to your front waist band in that way it’s no longer 4 inches tall. Won’t you have problems aligning seams with the back?

  114. Julia says:

    So cute! I am going to have to try this I love skirts!

  115. Bonnie says:

    I think I will make this skirt. I have a lot of similar skirts but since having my daughter in October, my hips haven’t been the same! I think they are permanently wider!

  116. Corvus says:

    Very cute! I’ve got this old Spiderman sheet sitting around that may just be perfect for this.

  117. Mary Lou says:

    I just finished making a skirt from my own pattern but I like your waistband better than mine. I can’t wait till tomorrow to see how you put it all together.

  118. Mama Lusco says:

    So fun! I’m big through the hip, too, but may give it a try with some old stash fabric before using something I really love. I wish I had the legs to go mini ๐Ÿ™‚

  119. Sade says:

    I love the skirt, however I find that puffy skirts are not really flattening on my wide hipped figure.

  120. Sonya M says:

    Off I go to choose some fabric….. ๐Ÿ™‚ I need some more breezy summer skirts.

  121. Tong says:

    The skirt looks so cute! I will have to find a suitable fabric and try to follow along!

  122. rachel says:

    Love that skirt!

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