DIY Drawstring Skirt
“If you find something you love that fits you well, buy it in multiples!” Maybe you’ve heard this said before, and you would if you could, but sometimes it’s just not available in other colors or patterns. Fortunately, if you like to sew or 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 drawstring skirt, similar to one I own. Follow along and make one for yourself!
Sports skirts are very popular at stores such as Athleta and Lululemon. They are equal parts, comfort, and style, and flattering for all body types. They cover up just enough and allow for lots of summer fun and movement.
Related Tutorials on Bloom
Here are 2 other skirt tutorials on my site you may want to check out!
Okay, now back to the tutorial …
Take Your Measurements
First off, to figure out how much fabric to buy, 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 for a skirt?
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.
Handdrawn Drawstring Skirt Pattern Pieces
Purchasing a paper sewing pattern for a skirt
If you’d prefer you can also buy a paper pattern. I found a couple of drawstring skirts, shorts, and pant options below on Amazon. These printed sewing patterns are typically easy to follow and contain multiple sizes within one pattern. Be sure to read the details before purchasing.
Fabric Selection for my DIY skirt
When you have completed your pattern drawing or purchased your pattern, 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. Affiliate links in blue.
Fabric for Skirt, see store ideas below
Drawstring, Drawstring Set Idea
Elastic, 1/4 inch and long enough to fit around your waist
Sewing Straight Pins
Sewing Scissors, HERE or
Rotary Cutter, HERE
Sewing Board, HERE or
Safe Cutting Surface, HERE
Pattern Paper, optional
Links to Fabric Sources
Preparing to Sew your Skirt
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 or Buy your Pattern
If you are not buying a commercial 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 this 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 Lay out the Pattern and Cut Fabric
Next, lay out 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 for your DIY 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.
Try on your skirt and mark your hem. Press. Topstitch with 2 lines of stitching 1/4 inch apart.
Thread your drawstring through the waistband buttonhole openings. You are finished!
Eureka Springs, Arkansas
All location photoshoots 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.
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