Woman in garden wearing DIY skirt

DIY Drawstring Skirt

You know what they say about clothes; if you find something you love that fits you well, buy it in multiples! Maybe you would if you could, but sometimes it’s just not available in other colors or patterns. If you like to sew tho or if you’re willing to learn, you can reproduce that favorite item and make dupes in your choice of fabric. My copycat item today is a DIY version of a drawstring skirt, similar to one I own. Sports skirts are popular at stores such as Athleta and Lululemon. They are equal parts, comfort, and style, and flattering for all body types. Follow along and make one for yourself!

Related Tutorials on Bloom

2 skirts to sew with tutorials

Click Here  or  Click Here

Here are 2 other skirt tutorials on my site you may want to check out!

Okay, now back to the tutorial …

Take Your Measurements

To figure out how much fabric to buy, first, you need to take your measurements. With a tape measure, close to your body, take the measurements for your lower waist (one inch below your natural waist) and your hips. Write them down.

How Much Fabric Do I Need?

Next, grab a note pad. It may help you to draw your skirt and add in your measurements, to calculate how much fabric the skirt requires. Use the drawing below as a guide, but customize to your size and preferences. You can adjust the skirt’s length or you can add fullness in the width if this skirt is too straight for you. For the best fit and style for your taste, pull out your favorite skirts. Measure their length or width to compare and guide you.

Drawstring Skirt Pattern Pieces

Fabric Selection

When you have completed your drawing, it’s time to find your fabric. Bring the estimate with you to the store or as you shop online. If you are unsure of how much fabric to buy, ask the employees at your local fabric store. They are always ready to help with yardage questions.

Materials and Sewing Supplies

It’s time to purchase or gather all of your sewing supplies. See below for a list of basic materials and ideas on where to purchase them.

Knit Fabric for Skirt (see store ideas below)
Matching Thread
Drawstring – Drawstring Set
1/4 inch elastic (long enough to fit around your waist)
Sewing Straight Pins
Note Pad
Paper Scissors
Sewing Scissors or Rotary Cutter
Sewing Machine
Serger, Optional
Pattern Paper, Optional
Cutting Board, Optional

Links to Fabric Sources


Preparing to Sew

1 Prewash Fabric
First, prewash your fabric to help prevent any shrinkage in future washings that would compromise the fit. After it is dry, press with an iron.

2 Make Your Pattern
It’s easiest to make your own pattern pieces, then you can reuse the pattern again and adjust for a better fit as you learn. I really like the pattern paper I found on Amazon (affiliate link). It’s similar to the weight of a commercial sewing pattern. You can write on it and see through it if you want to trace anything. but it’s very reasonably priced.

Measure and cut out your pattern pieces. Refer to your original drawing and measurements, however, you can certainly skip making a pattern. An alternative method would be using a removable fabric pen and draw directly on the fabric with a straight edge.

3 Layout Pattern and Cut Fabric
Next, layout your fabric and the pattern pieces on a cutting board or a surface that is safe to cut on. Draw out the pieces on the fabric if you are not using a pattern paper. Pay close attention to the grain of the fabric and make sure the pattern pieces are positioned correctly. If you are using a patterned fabric, be extra careful. Make the markings where you want them on the different pieces before cutting out.

Sewing Instructions

Step-by-step pictures to make a drawstring skirt

1 Skirt and Waistband
With right sides together, stitch the skirt front to the skirt back at the side seams. Iron the side seams open. Next, with right sides together, sew the 2 waistband pieces together at both ends. Press seams open. Then, sew the waistband to the skirt. Again, iron the seams open. This opens up the seams and gives the skirt a nice finished look.

2 Finishing the Skirt and Waistband
Now, take the waistband seam, that you just pressed open, and press it downwards towards the skirt body.

Fold the waistband in half lengthwise, to the inside/unfinished side of the skirt and press to create a crease line to help guide you later.

Unfold and finish the edges at the top of the waistband and the bottom of the skirt, with a serger, or a zig-zag stitch. Knits do not fray like woven fabrics, so this finishing step is optional.

Next, fold up and press the hem. You can also wait until the skirt is finished, so you can try it on and be sure to get the length correct! 😉

3 Opening Slots for the Drawstring
Locate the center front of your waistband. Within the lower half of the waistband, closest to the skirt body, make two buttonholes, two inches apart, using your machine, or hand stitch to finish edges.

4 Preparing the Elastic
Cut a piece of 1/4 inch elastic the length of your lower waist, so it fits comfortably, but not tight. Add 1 additional inch for the overlapping seam. Overlap the ends of the elastic and sew together to make a complete circle. Stitch and backstitch once or twice to reinforce.

Open the waistband up, position the elastic circle within the waistband casing. Using a vertical stitch, tack the elastic to one of the side seams of the waistband, below the fold crease line. Stitch and backstitch once or twice to reinforce. The rest of the elastic will float loosely in the waistband casing.

5 Closing up the Waistband
Finally, fold the waistband in half, using the crease line you made earlier. Enclose the elastic inside the waistband. Pin all the way around the waistband. Stitch the waistband closed. Ease in the elastic, most importantly to keep it free of your stitches. Sew from the outside, so you can make sure the stitch line is in the perfect spot. 😉

6 Hem
Try on your skirt and mark your hem. Press. Topstitch with 2 lines of stitching 1/4 inch apart.

Package of fashionable drawstrings available on Amazon.com

7 Threading the Drawstring
I bought the above Drawstring Set on Amazon and I love it! The variety is great and the quality is top notch. It included 2 threading tools that work well too.

Thread your drawstring through the waistband buttonhole openings. You are finished!

Woman in garden wearing DIY skirt

Eureka Springs, Arkansas

All location shots in this post were taken in beautiful Eureka Springs, Arkansas. Last week, I had the pleasure of joining six of my Wisconsin high school buds for a girls’ weekend of fun, laughter and catching up. Good for the soul. This charming historic town is close to Beaver Lake, where our consummate host, Judy, and her husband have built their dream home. OMG. It’s gorgeous here! In short, definitely worth a visit if you haven’t seen this lovely part of the United States. It is a hidden gem in the Ozarks.

Many thanks to Judy, and each one of my patient friends for scouting locations, taking pics, and putting up with my rookie modeling sessions.

Please let me know if you make your own version of this DIY drawstring skirt in the comments below. I would love to see what you are creating! Tag me @bebraveandbloom or use #bloomandsew or #bebraveandbloom on your pics.

Thanks, friends!


For More Information

SHOP for store info and links to purchase products
INSPIRATION for more project ideas
RECIPES for healthy recipes

DIY drawstring casual skirt worn in a natural spring garden in Eureka Springs, Arkansas
DIY drawstring casual skirt worn in a natural spring garden in Eureka Springs, Arkansas
Of a sewing machine doing a top stitch on a doing a top stitch on a skirt
DIY drawstring casual skirt worn in a natural spring garden in Eureka Springs, Arkansas
DIY drawstring casual skirt worn in a natural spring garden in Eureka Springs, Arkansas






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