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Sewing a simple elastic waist skirt

Updated: Jul 2, 2023

This is a quick easy project, and a great stash buster! Perfect for remnants!

Lets start with drafting a pattern.

This is a pretty simple process for such a basic garment.

*Start by measuring the waist, in this case I am making a size 5, the waist measurement is 56cm. Add 25% to the waist measurement to get your waist circumference. You may like to add more than 25% if you want it fuller at the waist

Divide this measurement by 2 to get a front and back waist measurement.

I am using a 35cm front/back waist

* Measure your desired length, I am using 28cm. Then add 3cm for a hem and 5cm at the waist to encase a 2cm wide elastic. You will need to add more if using a wider elastic.

* Draw a line down the centre front

* Draw a line across at the hem line.

* Draw straight down, 5cm at the waist side seam, and up 3cm at the hem side seam.

* Use a ruler to connect a line between these points, adding approximately 30% more volume to the hem than the waist. My hem measurement is 46cm front/back

You should end up with something like this

I also added a pocket piece

Simply draw your desired size pocket, I went with 8x10cm

Add 1.5cm seam allowance to sides and bottom

add 3cm seam allowance to the top

Time to cut out. Cut one pocket, and one pair of your skirt piece

I have chosen to do some machine embroidery on the pocket. I used a built in paisley design on my PFAFF creative 3.0

I enlarged the design by 10% and used two of the paisley designs, rotated to sit nicely together in the space I had.

I only had a small piece of the corduroy I wanted to use so I used the magnetic hoop, which is very easy to use when you have limited fabric around your design.

I also used a layer of lightweight stabiliser

Simply lay the stabiliser, then your fabric onto the hoop, then attach your magnets. These hoops are a GAME CHANGER!

Once my embroidery was done I could lay my pattern piece on top for cutting, positioning the embroidery in my desired location.

With the cutting out sorted, we are ready to construct the skirt, starting with the pocket.

* Press under 1.5cm seam allowance on sides and bottom of pocket. Press down 3cm seam allowance at top.

*Stitch down top of pocket. Pin pocket in place on skirt ( I went with front, bottom left, but you could choose any position you like)

*stitch around the sides and bottom of pocket. I used a triple straight stitch for this to get a topstitched effect whist using standard thread.

* With right sides together, sew your side seams using a 1.5cm seam allowance (overlock if you have one)

*press hem up 1.5cm, then turn up another 1.5cm, press. Stitch hem

* press waist down 1cm, then turn down another 2.5cm. Stitch, leaving a 3cm opening to thread the elastic through.

* Cut your elastic to desired length, then thread through using a safety pin.

*Stitch through elastic to join

* stitch closed the gap you threaded the elastic through.

* I chose to sew two extra rows of stitching through the elastic as I used a soft braided elastic, this helps it not to roll or twist.

And your skirt is done!

I've made a size 5 here, but you could use the same method for an adult too.

Fabric requirements will depend on the size you're making and the width of the fabric. I used 50cm of 140cm wide fabric.

I've kept it pretty simple with this make, adding just a touch of embroidery to elevate it. You could go wild with contrasting pockets, adding trims or a gathered frill. The possibilities are endless with this as a basic base.

Until next time, happy sewing

Julia x

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