This is a very simple straight skirt, for those
who are not necessarily over-confident in their sewing skills.
stretchy fabric (there are some great stretch velvets *,
which look truly sumptuous), with a slight zig-zag to your
stitching to keep some "give" in your seams.
Cut a rectangle that's 3cms longer than the
length of the skirt you want and about 3cms wider than your hip
Fold the fabric in half
lengthways (right sides together), so that it is still as long
as your legs, but now only half as wide. Pin and tack
about 1½cms from the cut edge and sew down from the top
to about half or two-thirds of the way down, depending on how
high you want the side/back split to go. Use a low zig-zag
setting on your sewing machine, so the zig-zag is only 1 or 2mm
wide. You should now have a tube of fabric.
Elasticate the top (your
"waistband"). This is the trickiest bit of the
Use elastic about 3cm wide, and the same length
as your hip measurement, where the "waistband" of the
skirt will be. Overlap the two ends together by 2 or 3
cms so that the elastic is in a ring shape, and sew the ends
Then put the ring of elastic inside your fabric
tube at the top end (the end without the split), and turn the
top edge of the fabric over the top edge of the elastic.
The ring of elastic is slightly smaller than the amount of
fabric you have got, so you will need to stretch the elastic a
little when you sew the elastic onto the fabric. Pin it
before you try to sew the elastic in, to work out an even
"gather" rate. I usually do this by marking the
elastic in quarters and the fabric in quarters and matching the
marks up. Pin the fabric and the elastic together at
those quarter points, then you can do the same with the midway
points between the pins and pin them at these 1/8 points, and
if you really want to, again, at the 1/16 points. When
pinning the elastic to the fabric, use the pins vertically,
rather than horizontally, with the sharp end of the pin
pointing downwards towards the hem of the skirt.
Sew the elastic to the
fabric using a wide zig-zag (3 or 4mm wide), so that it goes
through the two fabric layers and the elastic. You will
need to stretch the elastic as you feed it through the machine,
to maintain the elasticity.
Hem the bottom edge of
the skirt including the split.
Decorate as you wish!
The Finished Article
Because the skirt has only one seam, it will look
fine whether you wear it with the split at the side (as shown
here) or with the split at the back- the shapelessness can become
If you are more confident in your skills you can
convert this into a Trumpet skirt, by inserting 6 godets of
matching (or contrasting, if you prefer) fabric
If you are working with
velvet, remember the "pile". The velvet texture
should feel like you can stroke it upwards (from your knees up to
your hips), rather than downwards. This is because if the
pile faces down, any hip belt will slip more easily downwards off
your hips. If the pile faces up, then the velvet is helping
to keep your hip belt on.
to the instructions