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!

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  • 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.)

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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.)

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Underskirt below, pocket piece above.

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

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

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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!


We’re giving away fabulous prizes this month from SINGER, Ottobre Design and Sew,Mama,Sew!

1–Comment Here

Comment in any post this month to be entered into a weekly drawing for great prizes from SINGER and Sew,Mama,Sew!

2–Enter the Make It, Wear It! Challenge

Submit a photo of clothing you make this June in our Make It, Wear It! Challenge photo pool or in this thread in the Forum. You might win a SINGER sewing machine or a subscription to Ottobre.

See this post for details about all the prizes this month!