Updated on March 23, 2022 by Sarina Tariq
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.
Step 2. Join the skirt pieces together
Join the 2 lining pieces together on one side edge to form one piece.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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)
Sew in place.Sew with a zipper foot on and needle on the left position.
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.
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.
Turn up 1/4 inch as in the picture below.
Do this for the other side as well.
Sew in place.You will be sewing along the zipper teeth, not extend beyond it (You need the zipper teeth outside).
Clip the seam allowance. Turn the waistband rightside out.
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.
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.
Step 9. Hem the skirt
Sew the hem by turning under the bottom edge (if you have not done it already)