Sunday 15 January 2017

Self Drafting a Jersey Skirt

 I had some Ponte Roma stretch fabric left over from a tunic dress, it had to go. There was not enough to make a top but I felt sure there was enough to make a stretchy jersey skirt.

The fabric is 20% stretch. To check, I measured 10cm and then stretched the fabric to its limit. The blue pin reached 12cm so it has 20% stretch.

Next I measured my front hip measurement using the side seam of my jeans as a guide. It was 19". I did the same across the back and it was 23". I measured the finished length required then added 1.5" for elastic turnover and 1" for the hem.

Next I cut two pieces using these measurements halved for the width, because I was cutting on the fold. I did not add seam allowances as this will give the negative ease required for a stretch skirt. I kept the waist the same width as the hips because the elastic will draw it in. I did taper the sides in a little towards the hem to give a figure hugging skirt. It looked like this:

As you can see, the bespoke nature of this skirt means if you need more at the front for a bigger tum you could do that or in my case I need more fabric round the back! Either way the side seams will be at my sides.This is a super speedy over locker make but you could do it on a regular machine too. Sew the sides, try it on to make any adjustments then serge or zig zag the top and bottom. 

Next measure a piece of 1" wide elastic around your waist comfortably and add 1/2" for a join. Ensure that when stretched it goes over your hips. (so you can get your skirt on and off)
Join the elastic into a hoop using the 1/2 inch you allowed yourself. 

Mark the elastic in quarters with pins. Line up opposing pins with the side seams and pin in place on the wrong side of the fabric. Now line up the remaining opposing pins with the centre points of the skirt front and back. See picture below:

Now zig zag or overlock your elastic in place by stretching the elastic to fit the fabric. Do not stretch the fabric.

To finish fold over the elastic and use a straight stretch stitch to run a line of stitching through the skirt and elastic fold over. You will need to stretch it a little to allow the waistband to stretch over your hips when you put it on and to avoid puckers. 

This is thick ponte roma jersey so I turned the overlocked edge once and top stitched it in place to avoid a bulky seam.

Hooray! New skirt. This is a great way to practise with Jersey knit fabrics without wasting too much fabric.If it all goes wrong, put it in the bin and try again - you will get better in no time at all. Mine however was worn to work on Monday to invigilate exams - super comfy for sitting down for 2 hours.

Jo xxx

PS. I will put a link to this tutorial on my sidebar which I have updated a little with some previous useful blog posts which were lost in the midst of time.


  1. Well done Jo and thank you so much for the tutorial. You make it all sound so easy. Love how it looks on you my friend.

  2. Perfect. Looks good and uses up smaller amounts K xXx

  3. What a great make! I have a small amount of mid-weight jersey that I may just be able to squeeze a skirt like this out of! Great tutorial. I spotted your lovely self featured with your fab 1960's coat on Maria's A Stitching Odyssey!

  4. Skirt looks great, love how you measured front and back hip width from jeans
    Seams , genius!

  5. You really do make it looks so easy, I have said it many times but you are one talented lady.

  6. My first thought was - that looks like a really comfy skirt. I like it a lot, I could do with one for work. I'm really bored of my winter uniform of dress, tights, boots.

    1. You wanted a sewing challenge - have a go with an old T-shirt first to get the sizing right then you can choose something thicker for your real one.

  7. I admire your clever make and this tutorial, Jo. Thanks! xx

  8. What a great make! A good reminder about stretching the fabric/elastic! Enjoy wearing it.

  9. This is a much better way of doing it than my attempt a while back, I made the front and back the same and although it's comfy the seams aren't in the right place. Will do it your way next time!

  10. Great tip with the seams, I would have probably made the front and back the same. I think I have a bit of heavy weight jersey in my stash somewhere, and I probably need a new skirt.....