Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Lesson Plan: World's Easiest Skirt

My sewing skills are pretty much limited to making my machine go forwards and backwards with a straight stitch. If you can do that (and also handle a pair of scissors), you can make this skirt.

This lesson plan comes largely thanks to Susan of freshly picked, whose incredible and much more lucid elastic-waist skirt pattern you can find here. The first several steps are hers, and are much easier to understand on her blog. Thanks also to Kendi, who told me that I could add text using Picasa and contributed to any clarity this lesson plan has.

P.S. You can click on any of the pictures to make them larger if you can't see the text.

Step 1

In between these steps, measure your waist and the length you'd like the skirt. The width of your two skirt pieces should be a few inches less than your waist; the length should be 3-4 inches longer than your desired length. For instance, my waist is 28 in and I want an 18-inch skirt, so I cut pieces that are 24 x 21.

And remember to wash, dry, and iron your fabric before you begin, since fabric often shrinks!

Step2

I like to fold my cloth and lay the pattern on top of it so I cut two pieces at once.

Step3

You can only find the pocket pattern on freshly picked--you can find it here (thank you, Susan!)

Step4

Step5

Step6

Step7

This is where this pattern deviates from Susan's. You could also sew both sides together, but you'd still want to leave the waistband open so that you can put the elastic in later.

Step8

Step9

Step10

Step11

Step12

Step13

Step14

Step16

Step17

Step18

Step19

Step20

Step21

Step22

Step23

Step24

Whew, this was long! If you do successfully make a skirt, I'd love to see a photo when you're done, so email me if you'd like.

And feel free to ask questions in the comment section--I'll try my best to answer them with my extremely limited knowledge. Happy sewing!

91 comments:

lumikha said...

yay! thanks for putting this together! :)

Loose teeth. said...

Lovely, thank you!

(I just hope my bum doesn't look any more gigantic in this style.) Next time, teach us how to do an A-line. ;)

Andie said...

This is perfect! Thank you! I'm going to give it a try- I got some neat fabric today!

Paige said...

I think it's amazing that you can make some of your own clothes. I have tried many times and failed every time. I'm so jealous! :)

Ana - Toil and Trouble said...

Thank you for sharing this, I can't wait to try it! I hope life slows down enough soon that I actually can.

Diana said...

This is such a fantastic, detailed tutorial. I need to start sewing from scratch more often.

Kayla said...

It is extremely adorable. I wish I was better with a sewing machine and I'd make it today!

http://ramblingofasmalltowngirl.blogspot.com/

Rebecca said...

I wore a similar skirt that I made yesterday, and got the idea for the enclosed elastic waist by reading your posts.

Jessica said...

I love this tutorial! It's so perfect for my skill level. Thanks so much for sharing!

LyddieGal said...

Adorable!!!
It's so fun to make your own stuff -- and so satisfying.

Chic on the Cheap

neighbourhood.gal said...

Nicely done. All of the steps are well explained. Isn't it amazing how many steps are involved in something so simple?

One thing you might ought to mention: Fabric should be washed and dried first if it is likely to shrink (cottons in particular).

The Woollen Typist said...

Thank you so much for sharing this. I'm definitely running out and buying some elastic today to get making that skirt!

xx:)

Ali said...

looks great!
I love a comfy elastic-waisted skirt, especially with pockets!

Alex said...

Oh what a wonderful tutorial. D'you know what? You may just have inspired me to take the plunge and buy myself a sewing machine. Eek!

What Would a Nerd Wear said...

thank you, neighborhood gal! totally forgot to mention it, but have revised now...
and alex, yay! can't wait to see what you make after you take the plunge!

Kelly @ blackdog finds said...

THANK YOU for this tutorial! I can't imagine the time and effort it took to create it to share with us! I'm pumped; I am going to buy elastic today to try this on the fabric that's been collecting dust in my closet.

Shepherd Family ACAL said...

Oh I am with everyone else! I need to get some elastic and get carving out some time for making my own skirt! They are so cute, yours Susan's and Elaines! It is a fashion revolution! haha

Becky said...

So cool! I'm definitely going to have to try this out :)

Laura said...

Awesome, I was hoping you'd post this! I bought some fun new fabric in anticipation :)

upatreecupatea said...

Great tutorial!
Props for the words on the pictures (lord knows how long it would have taken me to figure that out!)

Ashley Nicole said...

That skirt is so cute! I have a weakness for polka-dots. =)

You have been given a blog award on my blog:
http://bramblewoodfashion.blogspot.com/2010/05/tags-awards.html

chaoskontrolowany said...

Awesome skirt! <3

The Woollen Typist said...

Woo. I just made my own one. Once again thank you so so much for the tutorial and links. I'll have to stick up pictures soon. xx:)

*Runs off to wear new skirt*

princesspolitico said...

this is such an extensive DIY tutorial! i'm going to bookmark this page - hopefully i can learn how to sew!

thanks so much and that skirt is DARLING!

xo.
princesspolitico.blogspot.com

Out of Order said...

what a great tutorial!!

Miki's scrapbook said...

Lovely skist arn blog! :)

Cheers from Buenos Aires!

Hug, Miki.

Miki's scrapbook said...

Oh, shoot! I meant "skirt", "and" ... I'm not drunk or anything, just so you know, haha.

Celine said...

THIS IS AWESOME. I got a sewing machine a few months ago and can only sew basic things so this is perfect. Trying it tomorrow. :)

flnw.blogspot.com

theowlsarenotwhattheyseem said...

your skirt looks amazing! thanks for posting. i'm on a sewing binge right now and am vowing to make 13 dresses this summer. even if half of them are paper sacks with 2 seams up the sides. love your sewing posts and your skirt!! - noel

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Jacquie said...

Fantastic! I'm trying my hand at this today :) Thanks!!

teenfashionista said...

I am SO doing this sometime this summer.

Rebecca said...

Wow this is great! The finished skirt is adorable.

The New Witty's said...

thank you for posting this! I was trying to make a combination of V & Co's flirty skirt and Freshly Picked mama's skirt and I needed an elastic tutorial! Can't wait to try this!
thanks so much!

Academichic said...

Great tutorial! I can't wait to try this this summer, I will let you know how it goes once I do. Thanks for putting this together for us! S.

Stephanie said...

This is a perfect summer project, thanks!

Adriene said...

That fabric is amazing! Can you share where you bought it? I'm having a hard time finding good fabric that is not too light (and maybe see-through) and doesn't look like it should be made into curtains....and great tutorial!

electricfingerprints said...

If I can just figure out how to work my sewing machine, I would love to try this!

- maya
electricfingerprints.com

Ella Valeris Morrol said...

I'm definitively gonna try it! And the funny part is: I have the same cloth but in white with black dots! xD

Thnx so much!

Micchan-san said...

this is so detailed and very easy to understand! thanks! :)

xoxotara said...

Awesome! Thanks for posting.

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Malicious Mallory said...

Two of my friends and I each made a skirt based off this guide, and they all turned out fabulously! We didn't put pockets in, because we're very much beginners, but we're planning to do some more later.
Thank you so much for the guide!

Madeline P said...

Just finished my chambray covered elastic skirt and I am ecstatic. This will be my summer uniform. Thanks for the tutorial!

Bex said...

I just made one of these yesterday! Thanks for the clear and easy instructions! I did make a couple of little modifications, mostly drawing the pattern as a trapezoid. Thanks!

Rebekah O'Dell Photography said...

what is the length of elastic that you use?

Kate said...

This is incredibly and easy! I'll have to make this skirt someday!

sisters4saymoreismore said...

LOVE that you put pockets in this!!!! so adorable... i can't resist a polka dot!

~selina

Justine said...

This is so great! Thank you for sharing!

Justine said...

I was just flipping through your 30 for 30 and I noticed how I always look at your skirts then realize that you made them all! I just finished making my skirt! I am going to link it to my blog :)

Justine

http://justbettertogether.blogspot.com/2010/07/perfect-most-simpliest-skirt-tutorial.html

superh2ogirl said...

Great tutorial! I can't wait to try it! I stink at sewing clothes!

-nicole
www.craftmysoul.blogspot.com

Laura said...

Thanks for the tutorial! I just made it and I love it. I also got some deep purple fabric and am going to make another one that's more for fall. Here's a picture of my first one:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/27759472@N06/4984429616/in/set-72157624817723835/

AL MacD said...

This skirt is wonderful! So excited to finally have one made!

My grandmother suggests that you also fold in a small edge at the top before sewing the elasti-gap, just to prevent fraying over time!

Meredith said...

i finally got around to making this this morning!! here's the link, i love it! thanks for the tutorial!
http://meredithtuttle.blogspot.com/2010/10/tutorial-tuesday-sheet-chic.html

Maggie said...

just made this a few days ago and I love it! Thanks for the great tutorial!

See pictures here: http://magshodgepodge.blogspot.com/2010/12/christmas-break-stuff.html

Abby said...

Great tutorial! I made a skirt tonight... it was a little tricky b/c I added a liner, but it turned out great!

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piller said...

I was just flipping through your 30 for 30 and I noticed how I always look at your skirts then realize that you made them all! I just finished making my skirt! I am going to link it to my blog :)

mandela said...

Lmao.You nicely puts all these together.Thinking of trying one skirt like that for myself later..
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Linley said...

thank you for sharing this! i will have to do it! your skirt is adorable - love the color and pattern!!!

AL MacD said...

my grandmother helped me make one, and she suggested sewing the two sides together BEFORE hemming, cutting down on an extra tab-let of fabric sticking you in the side of your leg!

shardaunei said...

Awesome. Thanks so much for this. I've been wanting to make a skirt with pockets, so I'm going to try your tutorial.

Jenn said...

Thank you so much for this tutorial! I just made a skirt from it and posted it on my blog!

kelsey williams said...

That skirt is adorable!

Kraft Keely said...

This is adorable, and I've been dying to make a skirt for such a long time now. I'm just wondering, why do you make the fabric 4 inches less than your waist? It worries me...

What Would a Nerd Wear said...

kraft keely--i make the fabric less than double my waist because it's not quite so full that way. when i make it exactly double my waist it's very very full! but if your hips and waist are a similar size, perhaps you could double it and the fullness would be just right.

Krafty Keely said...

Thanks so much for getting back to me! I just bought fabric today and I'm going to make this soon!!! So excited!

ShannonSews said...

I LOVE polka dots!! Thanks for the easy tutorial!

Mayve said...

I found this pattern a few days ago and so, not being one for wearing skirts (seems fat and skirts don't mix on me, lol) I just finished making this skirt for my daughter. She's only 7 so I had to do a bit of tweaking, but I can't wait for her to wake up in the morning so I can have her try it on! Thank you so much for writing up this tutorial, before now I had never tried in-seam pockets because they just scared me. But now that I've done it once I think I'll most likely do it again and again. Thank you!! :)

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vedette said...

Oh this is absolutely adorible and it seems soo easy to make. I cant wait to try this one out. thanks for the tips!

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Casey said...

Cannot wait to try this. Got some adorable fabric today; red with little white polka dots. Thanks for the how-to! <3 your blog. :)

Tom Chambers said...

Great tutorial! I'm planning on making this skirt tomorrow but was wondering how long you made your elastic? I'm not sure if it should be the length of my waist un-stretched or shorter. Thanks in advance! ~Heather

Keira said...

Hi, Tania... Wow, your tutorial is great! Your explanation on each step is very complete and clear to me. Anyway, I am being falling in love with your skirt. I will try it so thank you.

Anonymous said...

I'll echo Rebecca and ask: what is the length of the elastic you use? Just less than that of your waist? It's a wonderful tutorial and I'm eager to try it!

What Would a Nerd Wear said...

hi rebecca and anonymous!
the length of elastic is slightly less than my waist, so that it doesn't sag, but holds up firmly at the waist (i usually stretch the elastic just a bit and hold it at my waist). however, you also need to leave an inch or so extra to sew the ends together, so take that into account when you're figuring out how long the elastic will be.
mine typically ends up being 2-3 inches less than my waist size. hope this helps!

vedette said...

This is so inspiring.

Three Gener-ations said...

Love that you added pockets...super cute skirt! Thanks for sharing:)

Rachael said...

I'm about to make this right now..My first piece of DIY clothing! :D here we go...

Claudia said...

I got a sewing machine a long while ago, but it doesn't work as smoothly as it should. So my mom was too impatient to learn me.
Maybe we should give it another try. And maybe it helps to buy some new sewing thread/cotton (I don't now what it's called) in stead of the ones my mom has from over 20 years ago, haha.

Geraldyne said...

Oh this is absolutely adorable and it seems soo easy to make. Skirt with pockets super cute! Thanks for the tips!

Jola said...

Hey there!
I just found this tutorial and I love it. My mom has a dress (made about 30 to 35 years ago by my granny) that's almost the same fabric. Now, I'm trying to figure out a way to make it fitting and here's the problem...

waist: 28 in
fabric: 20 in (or a little less)

Do you think, it'll still work with this tutorial?

Thank you!
J.

Anonymous said...

i swear i bought this exact same fabric today at joann's, weird.

Sarah said...

Thank you! Easiest and clearest tutorial I found, sewed up really quickly, looks fab.

Anonymous said...

I love your tomato pin cushion! My friend has the same one!!

Taryn Morvillo said...

Wow - thank you! This is the clearest tutorial I've seen, and the finished project is AWESOMENESS. A couple of months ago, I decided I would finally teach myself to sew; like the (D.C. native) bookworm I am, I have been doing so "by the book"; mastering each skill in the "proper order", so that each project you complete adds on to the skill(s) learned via the previous one. Diligently, I've made stitching samplers, then continuous bias tape, on to napkins, placemats, etc. - but I still had 4 more projects before I "can" make a skirt (or dress) - the REASON I'm learning to sew at 34 - duh. But thanks to you, I decided to throw caution to the wind and make me a freaking skirt already - and I LOVE IT! I might just apply my "skill set" and make another one edged w/bias tape... maybe even before I've mastered pillowcases and curtains! You've made a great blog - I'm a fan for life.

Anonymous said...

This is great! I'm going to make one for certain but how long does it take roughly to make?

Anonymous said...

I havent done this yet but you make the waist smaller than you actually are??? Like where I want the elastic to be I am 38.5" around so I would cut 35? and your hips are wider than your waist....
Nichole

jessiekays said...

Thanks so much! This was a brilliantly simple tutorial and a great skirt came out of it - I made one as a gift and she said it was the only skirt that has ever suited her! You can see mine here http://imake2.blogspot.com/2012/07/elasticated-skirt.html
Thanks!!

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