It’s a perfect time to make a long skirt. Keep reading for sewing inspiration and patterns for long skirts to make yourself!
I am happy to report that the weather in Minnesota has finally transformed into Spring! And I’m here to celebrate with a sewing project for warmer weather. Let’s get started!
Elastic Waist Skirt
A skirt brings less cling and more coolness, which is great for hot weather and better than even the loosest of pants. An elastic waist means freedom and comfort!
It gives us that pajama feel and let’s be honest, they are also forgiving when we need it.
You can dress casual skirts up or down. Try them with heels, flats, sandals, or even tennis shoes. Pair yours with a light sweater or jean jacket in the evening and it’s the perfect spring to summer piece.
Sewing for Beginners
Sewing a skirt in my opinion is the best way to begin sewing clothes. The fit is much more forgiving. They have minimal detail and lots of straight stitching.
If you are a beginner, pick a pattern labeled “Easy to Sew” “1-hour” or “Learn to Sew”, etc. Also, consider a style without pockets or zippers. Friends, this straight skirt was SO easy, I know you can do this!
Choosing a Skirt Pattern
First, you’ll need to pick a pattern design. My DIY straight skirt is Simplicity 8745. I am most comfortable in straight styles, but I have friends who feel the opposite and prefer a fuller silhouette such as an A-line.
Pick one that works well for your shape and size. Accentuate your best features and minimize your least favorite. Consider a straight style with a split, a bias cut flared style, an A-line, or even a tiered design.
A Line Skirt Pattern
For inspiration, check out the Simplicity and New Look skirt styles below.
I’ve included my pencil skirt, other straight styles, and a few A-line varieties. There are buying sources in the text below each photo too. (affiliate links)
Pattern for Pencil Skirt
These styles are slightly straighter.
How to Find the Right Size Pattern
If you are new to sewing clothes with a pattern, take time to select the correct size. First, pick an appropriate size range on the pattern sleeve. Next, you will need to narrow it down further for the best fit when you cut your fabric.
Get out the tape measure, and take your measurements keeping in mind the garment you are making.
For a skirt, you will be focusing on the waist and hip sizes. Look for the finished garment measurements on the package as well to see how much ease is built in. Ease is the extra fabric allowed for movement.
Lastly, double-check the pattern measurements. If possible, hold up the pattern pieces to your torso and see if it looks reasonably correct with an allowance for a seam.
Once you’ve committed to a particular size, there are 2 methods I would suggest if you’d still like some margin for error.
Firstly, start with a machine baste for the main seams. Secondly, sew the side seams with half your intended seam allowance. This way you can still easily take the garment in without difficulty.
For my maxi skirt, I chose a medium-weight knit with a teal blue geometric pattern. I love the feel and stretch of a knit, but there are so many other fabric options out there for long skirts.
If you prefer a woven fabric, look for lightweight fabrics with drape; such as challis, chambray, soft cotton, cotton lawn, crepe back satin, double georgette, gauze, cotton types, linen types, lightweight denim, gauze, and silky types.
Where to Buy Fabric
These days you can get almost everything you need online; you can find the fabric, sewing patterns, and supplies. Plus you can have it delivered to your door!
Here are a few popular online fabric stores to help you locate your perfect fabric:
Minnesota peeps! If you are in the Twin Cities of Minneapolis or St. Paul, or just passing through, be sure to check out our local Minneapolis fabric stores and also our St Paul fabric stores!
CLICK below for more information:
Next, you will need to gather or purchase your sewing materials. See below for the basic materials you will need and ideas on where to purchase them. If you order online, many fabric and craft stores have a curbside pick-up service. This could be a great option also.
Here’s what you need to get started. (affiliate links in blue)
Pattern, mine is Simplicity 8745
Fabric for Skirt
Elastic for Waist
Sewing Straight Pins
Sewing Scissors, HERE or
Rotary Cutter, HERE
Sewing Board, HERE or
Safe Cutting Surface, HERE
Paper Scissors (not pictured)
Sewing Machine (not pictured)
Notions (per pattern)
Sewing with Pattern Fabric
If you choose a fabric with a print or pattern, it can be tricky to match the connecting panels together. It requires a bit of time and patience, but it’s worth it when your skirt is ready to wear.
It’s impossible to match everything perfect on the entire garment, so just choose the most dominant and noticeable areas.
For me, it was the sides of my long skirt. Depending on the style you choose, it may be the center front or the back for your pattern. Here are some matching techniques to consider if you choose a stripe or pattern fabric.
How to Sew Elastic into a Waistband
I must say I really enjoyed making the elastic waist! It was super easy and I know I will enjoy the comfort of wearing it too.
If you choose a skirt style with elastic, simply follow the pattern directions. Basically, it involves folding the fabric over itself to create a casing. Then sew that in place so that you can slide the band of waistband elastic inside.
Next, bring the ends together and connect with a vertical stitch. See specific directions for your skirt, but I think you will find it simple to do.
Sewing Stretchy Fabric
This was the first time in a long while that I had sewn with knits. I had forgotten it helps to know a few tips and tricks before you start.
If you decide to use a knit fabric for your skirt, you may want to review these important methods and considerations before you begin. Sewing with Knits.
Here’s to warm weather and a new project! Let me know if you make your own DIY long skirt.
Find a pattern you love. The beauty of that is, that you’ll get to know your way around the pattern, then you’ll be able to easily recreate it in other colors and patterns in the future.
Thanks for stopping by.
Have a wonderful holiday weekend!
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