How To: Sew a Skirt

One of my favorite articles of clothing is a casual skirt. Whether it’s a chilly outside or sunny, a skirt can be worn in layers (with leggings) or with a fun pair of sandals. As a culture, we’re so quick to grab an item off the sale rack for a night out, or blow our paycheck on an expensive new outfit. We often overlook how a little time and planning can go a long way in terms of our wardrobe – and save money too!

Kelly, a guest contributor and seamstress/mother of 3, shared an awesome basic pattern for a little girls’ tiered skirt on FaveCrafts. In the spirit of adapting these practical patterns for multiple purposes, I’ve taken her tutorial and made it my own. Below, I’ve listed her instructions with modifications for an adult tiered skirt.


  • Fabric: Yardage varies: 2-3 yards, depending on how long.
  • Scissors
  • Elastic
  • Serger
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread
  • Cutting mat
  • Ruler
  • Rotary cutter


  1. Choose 2-4 different kinds of coordinating fabric.
  2. Cut them in strips from selvage to selvage of various widths, anywhere from 9-12 strips about 4” wide.
  3. Take 2 or 3 of the strips (depending on how large the skirt needs to be) and lay them good side to good side and pin them down the middle. Surge them together and repeat this process with the other strips until they are all sewn to each other.
  4. Between steps, iron fabric strips as you sew them together.
  5. Take the selvage ends good to good and sew them together. By now it is starting to resemble a skirt.
  6. Trim both ends with a rotary cutter to be sure they are even.
  7. After deciding which fabric you want to be the top of the skirt, fold over and iron about 1” twice so no raw edges are showing and do the same with the bottom.
  8. Sew (with a traditional machine, do not surge) around the top leaving an opening for the elastic, and do the same to the bottom with no opening.
  9. Choose the width of your elastic, I like to use ½”, the length will be determined by the size of skirt you want to make, for instance for size 3-4 I use 18” and then increase a ½” for each size above that, now put it through the top and sew the ends of the elastic together and close the opening in the waist band.
  10. Turn right side out and your skirt is done!

A basic skirt is a necessity for any woman’s closet. And what an easy way to bring in your own creative expression through unique and interesting fabric choices.

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