DIY Skirt Making 101 w/ free pdf skirt measurement chart

Skirts are probably one of the easiest garments to make and fit as it requires minimal measurements. 

So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God through faith, 27 for all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.”  Galatians 3:26-27

Hello Everyone!

I pray all is well with you!  I am so behind on posting. Life has been full of soooo many amazing blessings and while I am thankful, those blessings have been keeping me busy.  Like getting my new house ready so my children and I can move in (yaaay!).  Add to that list my daughter fracturing her ankle in a roller skating accident.  Yet in between it all, I have managed to make my first skirt project which I’ll be featuring next week.  Can’t wait to share it with you!!!

For this week however, I wanted to introduce skirt month by spending sometime writing a post that would set the foundation for this series.  Each week in addition to sharing my DIY skirt makes with you I will also share in a seperate post a more in depth explanation of some aspect of skirt making.  For this week I created a free pdf download of a skirt measurment chart.  So here it goes…

DIY Skirt Making 101


Skirts are probably one of the easiest garments to make and fit as it requires minimal measurements.  A beginner sewer young or old can make a simple gathered skirt with an elastic waistband in just a few hours.  They are a fun,versatile garment with many styling options making it a great wardrobe staple. Keep reading for for a brief description of skirt construction.


Skirt measurements are few.  For a basic straight or pencil skirt, all you need is your natural waist , full hip and length from natural waist to desired length of skirt. If your making a full skirt like a circle or pleated skirt all you need is your waist measurement and desired length. Below is a brief description of how to take your skirt measurments and you can click on this link  Skirt Measurement Chart. to download and print your copy of the skirt measurement chart to use as a tool to record your body measurments.

Natural waist= take a piece of string or yarn and tie it firmly (not tight) around your waist. Bend your torso from left side to right side a few times until the string settles to your natural waistline.  This is the measurement that you want to take.

Natural waist to full hip= This the measurement starts at the natural waist and measures down to the full hip.  For most misses sized women it is about 9inches.  If you are a pear shaped or plus sized this number will most likely be greater.  I am a pear shaped sized 14/16 and my full hip falls about 11inches down from my natural waist.

Full Hip=  The full hip is where the widest part of your hip is on your body.

Length=  This is going to be based on your personal preference and skirt style.  The key here is to measure from your natural waist to your desired finished skirt length. Below is an image that I found on Pinterest of the various skirt lengths and their names.

skirt lengths

Basic components of a skirt

Like I mentioned earlier, skirt designs vary but all skirts have a waistband or facing, the body of the skirt, a hemline and elastic or a closure like a zipper, snaps, buttons etc.

Supplies needed

  1. Measuring Tape
  2. Fabric of Choice
  3. Interfacing or elastic (if making an elastic waistband)
  4. Sewing thread
  5. Closure of choice (zippers, buttons, snaps are the most commonly used)
  6. Sewing machine
  7. hemming tape or wash away tape (not necessary but can be useful with hemming).

Skirt Styles

Once you understand how a basic skirt is constructed the possibilities are endless.  Below is a chart that I found on pinterest that illustrates some common skirt styles.  This skirt series will focus heavily on skirt construction and not design.  However, I hope to feature a few projects toward the end of the month that demonstrate some basic skirt design options.


Fabric options:

There are a variety of fabrics that make a great skirt.  It really depends on the skirt style and look that you are going for. The easiest way to begin to familiarize beginner sewers with fabric is to purchase commercial patterns. All patterns list the recommended fabric on the back of the pattern envelope. I think this is a great place for beginner sewers to start.  Below I have listed a few of my favorite skirt fabrics.

  • Mid-weight cotton
  • denim
  • stretch sateen
  • light to mid weight twill
  • wool 
  • rayon
  • ponte knit


A basic skirt with a waistband uses a zipper.  Some skirt styles like a jean pencil skirt for example may have a button placket going up the front of the skirt.  This is an example of using a closure for both aesthetic and construction purposes.  The exception is usually a skirt that has an elastic waistband or a skirt made from a knit fabric as the elasticity of the waistband and the fabric allow the fabric to easily come on and off the body.

Well there you have it.   A basic introduction to skirt construction.  Pretty straight forward right? Make sure to stay plugged in for the rest of the series.  Each week i’ll be posting all of my DIY skirt makes and will go more in depth about each aspect of skirt making!

Have a great week everyone! Until next time!

♥ xoxo