This is a tutorial to sew a full length skirt with a lot less fabric than you would usually use – by adding a small piece of fabric on the side. This skirt is quite fitting on the waist but flares gently to a nice fullness at the hem.
It is better to make this skirt with a printed fabric because this additional seam you add would not be visible on a patterned fabric; but you may find it noticeable on a plain fabric.
How to sew the full length skirt
Step 1 Mark the pattern
Measure the hip round; Also the full length of the skirt you want, starting from the waist (or where you would have the waistband of the skirt) to where you want the hem of the skirt.
The method to calculate the length of the fabric you need for making the skirt is to add the length of the skirt you want and the value of (hip round + 4 inches) divided by 4. With this calculation, For a 39-inch long skirt, for a person with a 34-inch hip round, I need 97-inch long fabric.
Fold this by half and keep in front of you. You will be marking the pattern on this fabric.
If the width of the fabric is less, (in my case less than 48.5 inches) I will need to add an extra piece of fabric to the side, to get the full length of the skirt. The width of my fabric is 44 inches so I will need to add that much extra fabric to the folded side of the skirt piece.
Step 2 Cut the skirt piece
Mark the A-B portion = (Hip round + 4 inches ) divided by 4.
Mark this from the corner as in the picture below.
Cut out the A-B portion.
Step 3 Join the extra piece as needed
You have to join a piece of fabric near the fold where you are lacking the length. When you mark the length of the skirt you will know how much you have to add. Keep the fabric you have cut out from the sides for the skirt piece and see how much you need. Mark this (don’t forget to add seam allowance also)
You should cut out and add enough to get the curve of the skirt.
This is how it will look. If you press the seam allowance open the seam will not look conspicuous.
Fold your skirt piece by the middle again and see that the hem matches – if it doesnot, trim the bottom edge as needed.
Step 4 Join the side seams of the skirt
Join the Side edges of your skirt piece.
Step 5 Cut the waistband
Cut out a waistband of the following dimension. Width is 4 inches. Length should be equal to = top edge of your skirt plus 1 inch extra as seam allowance
Step 5 Prepare the waistband
Keep the short edges of the waistband piece, right sides to the inside and join the edges with a 1/2 inch seam allowance. The red line is your stitching line. You will be leaving 1 inch unstitched along the seam line. This is to make an opening for inserting the elastic.
Ensure that you back stitch as you start and finish the stitching.
Press the seam allowances open.
Now fold the waistband right side out by the middle. Your waistband will look like the picture below.
Keep your waistband along the top edges, Rightsides together and stitch. The side with the hole should be facing to the inside.
You have a waistband like this.
Insert elastic through the opening in your waistband. Cut a 3/4 inch or 1/2 inch wide elastic inside – length of your waistband should be your waist round minus 3 inch or what fits your waist snugly.
You can close the opening closed with ladder stitch.
Step 6 Hem the skirt
Hang the skirt for a day to level the skirt, especially if it is a thin fabric before you hem the edges. You can use a hemmer foot to make a rolled hem – this is the best hem for the long curved edge of this full skirt.
Updated on September 2, 2022 by Sarina Tariq