Sew a Tennis Skirt :Free Pattern & Sewing tutorial

sew tennis skirt 2

Step 1. Cut the fabric pieces for the tennis skirt

For the tennis skirt, you need 2 outer pieces, 2 lining pieces, and 1 waistband piece

Cut waistband piece  – Measure around your waist and then add 1 inch seam allowance. Cut on the crosswise grain of the fabric. (Learn about the grainline of fabric here); Width of the waistband piece should be 3 1/4 inches.

Cut outer pieces – Cut one piece of fabric with this dimension: Length should be equal to the length you want for the skirt plus hem allowance (1 inch) minus the waistband width (1 1/4 inch). Width equalling 2 times the waist round plus seam allowance. If you have to cut 2 pieces of fabric to get the width, add one more seam allowance (1/2 inch each) for the joint.

If you have a curvier shape you will want to increase the width of the piece to 3 times and make the pleats deeper. Remember that the pleats should be made enough to fit over your hip round. 

Cut the 2 lining pieces. The bottom edge of the lining piece should be as wide as the bottom edge of the outer pieces. The top edge of the lining pieces should be the same as the waistband edge. 

sew tennis skirt

Step 2. Join the skirt pieces together

Join the 2 lining pieces together on one side edge to form one piece. 

sew a tennis skirt -simple sewing pattern

Join the outer pieces together on one edge to form one piece.

Hem the lining skirt bottom edge – I used a wide zig zag stitch on a curled bottom edge for easy hemming.

You can hem the outerskirt as well now or finish it last. I chose to hem last

You may also want to finish the side edges of both the lining and outerskirt with serger or zig zag stitches – it looks neat that way.

Step 3. Sew pleats on the Outer skirt fabric

Start making pleats on the skirt outerpiece. 

I made 2 inch wide knife pleats this way. If you have a curvy shape you will need extra fabric and wider pleats so adjust accordingly. Learn more about knife pleats here.

tennis skirt sewing tutorial

Sewing tutorial for tennis skirt

Edge stitch along the fold some 1 1/2 to 2 inches on the top edge – this will keep the folds in place as well as give a nice effect. Ensure that when you have stitched the pleats in place the skirt circumference is enough to go over your hips.

 tennis skirt tutorial to sew

 tennis skirt sewing tutorial 2

Step 4: Join the waistband

Keep the lining piece right side up infront of you

Keep the waistband on the top edge as in the picture below.

make a tennis pleated skirt

Keep the outerfabric (pleater skirt fabric) right side down on top of this. It will look like the picture below (when seen from the other side).

 tennis skirt

Sew the top edge through all the layers together with a 1/4 inch seam allowance. This will attach the waistband on the skirt. Turn the waistband up. 

Step 5. Attach Zipper

Keep the zipper face down on the skirt side edge as in the picture below. It should extend up to the half of the waistband (1 1/4 inch)

tennnis skirt

Sew in place.Sew with a zipper foot on and needle on the left position.

 tennis skirt sewing with pleats

how to make a tennis skirt

Take the other edge of the zipper to the other side of the skirt and pin it there as in the picture below.

Sew that in place as well with the zipper foot on and needle in the right position.

tennis skirt

 tennis skirt sewing tutorial

It may look twisted now but when you straighten it, it will turn out alright.

Step 6. Join the waistband

Turn the waistband top part over the zipper as in the picture below.

sewing tutorial for pleated tennis skirt

Turn up 1/4 inch as in the picture below.

make a tennis skirt with pleats

Do this for the other side as well.

tennis skirts

Sew in place.You will be sewing along the zipper teeth, not extend beyond it (You need the zipper teeth outside).

sewing pattern for tennis skirts

Clip the seam allowance. Turn the waistband rightside out.

sewing pattern for pleated tennis skirt

You can attach a fastener on the top if you want to – a small hook and eye would do.

Top stitch along the zipper to keep it in place.

Step 7. Hand sew the waistband

On the back of the skirt hand sew the waistband in place to the lining. You can also stitch in the ditch from the top catching the fold on the back , but it always a miss for me. I prefer hand sewing. 

make tennis skirt

Step 8. Sew side seam

Sew the side seam, starting the stitching just inside the stitching done for the zipper. If your lining is not as wide as the outerskirt it is better to continue the side seams of the 2 skirts (lining and outer) seprarately.

make an easy tennis skirt

Step 9. Hem the skirt

Sew the hem by turning under the bottom edge (if you have not done it already)

Related posts : Different types of pleats; Different types of striped fabric.; How to sew box pleats ; How to sew inverted pleats

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Author: Sarina Tariq

Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.

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