purple-label-womens-joan-long-zippered-skirt-greyFeatured: Purple Label Zip Skirt

Everybody’s getting into the rocker-chic zipper skirts.


You will need:

  • 2-way stretch fashion fabric, 45” wide (spandex blend)
  • 1 separating zipper (equal to desired skirt length less 1 inch [25mm])
  • India stay tape, ¼” [6mm] wide (approx. the waist measurement + 6” [15 cm])
  • Matching polyester thread
  • Schmetz Stretch Needle®
  • Kraft paper


Waist – measure around narrowest part of torso, just above the navel.

Hip – measure around fullest part of seat, about 9” [23 cm]  below waistline.

Finished Hem Length – measure vertically from waist to desired skirt length.

The featured skirt from Purple Label is 19 inches long [48.5 cm]


skirt a

Draw 2 lines vertically and across on kraft paper at a 90° angle. Label point A.

A-B = skirt finished length

A-C = 9” [23 cm]

Square lines across all points.

C-D = ½ of hip measurement + ½ ” [6mm]

Square a line up and down from D to locate E and F.

C-G = ¼ of the hip measurement + 1” [25mm]

Square up to locate H.

I and J are 1” [25mm] on either side of H.

Join I and J to G to create a gently shaped dart, as shown.

K = midway G and D; square up and down to locate L and M.

C-N = D-K; square up and down to locate O and P.

B-Q = 1” [25mm]

M-R = 1” [25mm]

To shape waist, determine the difference between the hip and waist measurements.

Divide the difference by 4 and draw a gently shaped dart equal to this amount at L and O, with the dart facing the centerline.

NOTE: If the dart amount is greater than 1” [25mm], distribute the amount equally on either side of L and O.

facing 1To draft the skirt facing, trace off A-O-J-G-N-C and I-L-K-G on additional paper down to the hipline.

Close dart on back piece by folding it out.

Trace out new shape and smooth a gentle curve at the chevrons.

Trace out I-L-K-G for the side front facing.

Add ½” [12mm] seam allowances to all pattern pieces except hemline.

Grainline is parallel to selvedges to allow for the greatest stretch to go around the girth.


layDetermine the direction of greatest stretch of the fabric. It is usually the crosswise grain of the fabric eg. perpendicular to the selvedges.

Cut skirt front 4X self

Cut skirt side 2X self

Cut skirt back 1X on fold

Cut skirt back facing 1X on fold

Cut skirt side facing 2X self


Sewing Tip: Use a stretch sewing machine needle for this project. Whenever sewing horizontal seams, find the “sweet spot” of the elasticity to allow for the stretch of the fabric.

1. Sew up side darts.

2. Insert separating zipper onto CF edges from top edge to ■.

Design Tip: For skirt hems below the knee, try a 2-way slider on the zipper for easy walking.

3. Sew one side panel to each skirt front.

4. Sew skirt back to side panels.

5. With skirt body FACE up, edge-stitch all vertical seams (have seam allowance directed toward the “side seam”)

For skirt facing:

6. Sew side front facings to each side of back facing.

7. Sew remaining 2 skirt fronts to each of the side front facings.

8. With skirt facing FACE up, edge-stitch all vertical seams (have seam allowance directed towards the centers).

Finishing the skirt:

9. With right side facing together, align and match top edge of skirt facing to skirt body.

10. braid2Cut the stay tape equal to the body measurement where you like to wear your skirts. (approximately 2″ [50mm] below waistline)

11. Pin/baste stay tape in place and sew top edge of skirt along the stay tape.

12. Align and match front facing to skirt body along zipper edge. Sew CF seams and hemline. Turn skirt right side out. Pin/baste un-sewn facing edge to  seam allowance of seam nearest to the CF zipper. Sew together. Separate zipper and topstitch CF along zipper.

13. Turn up hem 1” [25mm] and double top-stitch hem in place.

14. Secure the lower edge of the skirt facing to the skirt body by tacking together the seam allowances at the vertical seams only.

satin-floral-skirt1 charlotte russeFeatured: Wrap Skirt by Charlotte Russe

Cut for a gracious A-line sweep, this pretty printed lined skirt reverses to a solid colour for double the dressing options. Great for travel or everyday wear, this easy wrap style design, similar to this one from Charlotte Russe, is a simple drafting project with a very forgiving fit.

You will need:

  • Fashion fabric A *
  • Fashion fabric B *
  • Fusible interfacing
  • Coordinating thread
  • 4 buttons, 7/8” [21.5 mm] dia., line 34
  • Kraft paper

* amount required will depend upon skirt sweep and desired length.

Design Tip: Select a printed fashion fabric and choose the dominant or background colour in the surface pattern as the solid colour match for the contrast fashion fabric.


Waist – measure around narrower part of torso just above the navel.

Hip – measure around fullest part of the seat, about 9” [23cm] below waistline.

Finished Hem Length – measure vertically from waistline to desired length (see chart below)


SKIRT DRAFTDraw a T shape with the vertical base equal to the Finished Hem Length (FHL) and the centered horizontal top equal to ¼ of the Waist measurement (W).

Measure vertically from the top of the T shape 9” [23cm] and square across. Plot ¼ of the Hip measurement (H) and center it on this line.

Draw a tangent line by joining A and B and extend it to the hemline at C on both sides of center, as illustrated.

On the tangent line, measure the Finished Hem Length from A to D. Place the set-square at D and square a line from this point, blending smoothly into the hem. Repeat on opposite side.


For the waistband, trace top portion on skirt panel, matching sides at A and B, 5 times onto additional paper. Smooth the chevrons into a gentle curve. Draw a parallel line 1 ½” [4 cm] above the tracing. At each end, square a line upward from the tracing.

Add ½” [12mm] seam allowance to skirt panel pattern and the waistband pattern. Grainline is the centerline.


lengthsCut 5 panels for each fabric. **

Cut 2 waistbands in contrast fabric.

Cut 2 interfacings for waistband.

** Note: Select fabrics in compatible weights and fiber content to allow for simple maintenance care.


  1. Iron fusible interfacing to wrong side of waistband pieces following manufacturer’s directions.
  2. Turn under the bottom edge seam allowance on one of the waistband pieces and press flat.
  3. With right side facing together, align and match raw edges of the waistband and pin/baste together. Stitch up the two short ends and the top edge of the waistband. Trim corners and grade seam allowance. Turn waistband right side out and press flat. Set aside.
  4. Pin/baste 2 pair of panels matching at A, B, and D with right sides facing together. Sew and press seams open.
  5. Align and match each pair on sides of remaining panel at A, B, and D and sew together. Press seams open. Set aside.
  6. Repeat STEP 4 and 5 for contrasting skirt panels.
  7. With right side facing together, layer the set of skirt panels and align outer edges. Pin/baste and sew the perimeter edges, leaving the top un-sewn. Trim corners and press seams open. Grade seam allowances to reduce bulk.
  8. Turn skirt right side out and press flat. Topstitch perimeter of skirt, if desired.
  9. Baste upper open edge together and match raw edge of waistband to top edge of skirt. Pin/baste and sew together.
  10. wrapskirtTurn all seam allowances to inside of waistband and align folded edge to machine-stitching on skirt waistline. Edge-stitch around perimeter of the waistband.
  11. Stitch a 1” [25 mm] buttonhole on each end of waistband. Position it ¾” [20mm] from the short end.
  12. Wrap the skirt around the waist to locate the placement of the buttons. At each location, sew a button on either side of the waistband (2 buttons anchored to one another) to make the skirt reversible.
  13. Measure the distance between the button locations to determine the location of the second set of buttonholes on the waistband. Stitch a 1″ [25mm] buttonhole.
V283627 victoria's secretFeatured: Victoria Secret Peasant Skirt

You’ll this easy-to-sew skirt…XOX.

You will need:

  • Approx. 1 ½  to 3 yds. of fashion fabric (depends on fabric weight and width)
  • Coordinating thread
  • Heavy-duty topstitching/upholstery thread


Waist – measure around narrowest part of torso (just above navel level)

Hips – measure around the fullest part of the seat, about 8” [20cm] below the waistline.

Finished Skirt Length – measure vertically from waist to desired hemline.


This is a simple block draft. You can plot it directly onto your fabric but you will need to determine the dimensions of the panels you are going to cut.

(This also will help you determine how much fabric to purchase.)

Designer Tip: If you wish to use a printed fabric, look for a print that has been “railroaded”, that is the print runs along the fabric’s length. That way, you needn’t piece the fabric together to create the tiers.

XOX Block Draft

xox 1

Measure the hip. You may round up the measurement to the nearest ½” [12mm].

O = (hip measurement + 2” [5cm] ) divided by 2.

Next, determine the desired length of each tier; divide the finished skirt length by the number of tiers you desire. You may round up to the nearest ½” [12 mm]. The featured model from Victoria’s Secret has 3 tiers and is approximately 21″ [53.5cm] long.

X = (finished skirt length + 2 ½ ” [6.5 cm] ) divided by 3.

For example: for a size 14 hip measurement of approximately 38” [96.5 cm] and the finished skirt of approximately 21″ [53.5 cm] long, the tiers are 7 ¾ ” [19.5 cm] long.

Again, you may round your answer a little if needed; this is not exactly rocket science.

O = 20” [51cm]

X =  8” [24 cm]

Time to plot and cut.

Determine if the fabric print runs up-and-down OR railroaded (sideways) on the surface.

Now to add fullness to each panel width.  Gathering is usually a 2:1 ratio.  (If you choose a thin/lightweight fabric you may need a greater ratio.)

layYou will cut 2 panels to make each tier. (skirt front & back).

Plot a 2” [50 mm] band across the fabric’s width OR length. (see  layout diagram)

Set up XOX block as illustrated.

Top Panel = 1 block

Middle Panel = 2 blocks

Bottom Panel = 3 blocks

Designer Tip: Short on fabric? Try cutting the second tier in a contrasting colour or fabric.

xox 2

Now you have all of your skirt pieces and are ready to start sewing!

*Designer Tip: Embellish your tier panels with flat ribbons or braids if desired.


1. Attach the pair of 2” [50 mm] bands together at one short end to create a drawstring. Fold along its length and press flat. Open the fold and turn in raw edges ¼” [6 mm]. Refold and edgestitch along the length on the open side, then along the fold side. Knot each end.

2. xox 3With right sides facing each other, sew the side seams together on each pair of panels using ½” [12 mm] seam allowance. Edge finish each of these seams with an overlock machine if you have access to one, otherwise trim with pinking shears to keep the raw edges from unraveling. Press seams open. There are now 3 “loops” of fabric, one for each tier.

3. hemAt this point, sew a narrow double-rolled hem around the entire bottom edge of the lower tier. Press up 1/2″ [12 mm], open the fabric back out, and press the raw edge in to meet the first crease. Sew the rolled hem.

4. Edge finish the upper edge of the top tier. Fold 1 ¼” [30 mm] to the inside and press to form a casing for the elastic. Turn raw edge under ¼” [6 mm] then stitch about 1″ [25 mm] from the fold all the way around.

5. On the top edges of the middle and bottom tiers (and with right sides facing up), sew a wide zigzag machine-stitch over the heavy-duty thread all the way around the seam allowance.xox 4

6. Starting with the bottom tier, grasp the heavy-duty thread ends and start pulling gently to form gathers in the fabric. When the circumference of this edge matches that of the lower edge of the middle tier, stop and tie your thread ends together to keep everything in place. Then slide the gathers around until you are happy that they are distributed fairly evenly.

7. Flip the middle tier inside out so that the right sides (the face of the fabric) are facing each other and pin it to the bottom tier — the bottom edge of the middle tier (the edge without the gathering) should match up to the top gathered edge of the lower tier and the right sides should be together. Pin/baste this seam just below the zigzag stitching. (basting is your friend on this project!) Now, flip it right side out and check your gathers and re-adjust if necessary. Machine stitch this seam along the basting; then remove the heavy-duty thread and basting.

8. Repeat the procedures from Steps 6 and 7 to attach the middle tier to the top tier.

xox 6

9. Serge or pink the gathered seam allowances you’ve just sewn to finish the raw edges.

10. On the outside edge of the ‘waistband’ casing, open 1” [2.5 cm] on one seam carefully with a seam ripper. Thread the drawstring through the top casing. (Alternatively, you may use elastic in the casing, if desired)

The Wrap skirt pattern tutorial has been removed by the request of the designer. To view this design, check



Featured: Layered 3-tier skirt by ASOS

A three tiered/layered skirt that is flirty and so sexy.

You will need:

  • 2 yds of Fashion fabric, 45″ wide
  • 1/4 yds. of Fusible interfacing, 45″ wide
  • 1 closed skirt zipper, 5″ long
  • 2 sets of hook & eyes, size 0
  • Coordinating thread
  • Kraft paper
  • String
  • Push pin
  • Tracing wheel
  • Tape measure



Measure your waist and use R from chart to draw an arc from intersecting right angle. (90°)

For each tier, add 5 inch intervals to R. eg. R + 5″; R + 10″; R + 15″

To create the arc, use string and pencil as a compass and measure the string length equal to the tier lengths above. Attach string to push pin anchored at intersection (●). Holding string taut, draw arc from horizontal line to vertical line. Repeat with new lengths for each tier.

Trace off each layer separately on paper and add ½” hem and seam allowances.

For waistband, measure a line equal to your waist plus 1 ½”. Draw a parallel line 3″ next to it and join the ends of both lines. Add ½” seam allowance to perimeter.

Grainlines are parallel to horizontal lines of draft on all pieces.


Cut each tier 2x self in fashion fabric. *

Cut waistband 1X self in fashion fabric.

Cut waist interfacing 1X fusible in Pellon®


  1. Iron fusible interfacing to wrong side of waistband piece, following manufacturer’s directions.
  2. Turn under ½” along one long edge and press.
  3. Stay-stitch waistline on each tier piece from side seam to center. Neaten raw edges of side seams with a seam finish.
  4. Layer tiers in pairs with right sides together. Pin/baste side seams, leaving 5 ½” open at waist on left-hand side. Sew seams and press open.
  5. On each tier, hem bottom with a ¼” double rolled hem. Press.
  6. Layer tiers one on top of one another (right sides out) and match up waistline and side seams. Baste together.
  7. Apply zipper on left-hand side, from waistline to bottom of top tier, using center slot application.
  8. With right side of waistband to wrong side of skirt, pin waistband piece to skirt’s waistline, extending waistband 1 ½” beyond zipper on back portion. Also allow for ½” seam allowance on each end of waistband piece. Baste waistband in place following stay-stitching. Sew waist seam.
  9. Press under seam allowances on each end of waistband and fold waistband in half, aligning pressed edge with machine stitching. Pin/baste. Edge-stitch around perimeter of waistband.
  10. Handstitch hook and eye sets to extension of waistband.

* If you wish a crinoline for this skirt (like that one featured on the model), use the third layer pattern piece and cut it 1-inch longer. Cut 2X in netting. Join side seams using a French seam technique and leave 5″ slit opening on left-hand side at waist. Overcast or bind waistline of crinoline. Sew a narrow “india” tape to the waist and leave 12-15 inches “loose” ties on either side of the slit opening.


Featured: Dirndl Skirt by Valentino

The Dirndl skirt (a full skirt with a gathered waistband) has come a long way since its origins in traditional German costume.  Lots of prominent designers have included dirndl skirts in their collections recently.  The Dirndl featured above is from the Valentino collection.

You can incorporate this adorable look into your wardrobe.  The Dirndl skirt looks great on everyone!  In contrast with the full skirt, the tight waistband highlights curves and minimizes your waistline.  The full skirt also makes legs appear thinner.

Overall, the look is very figure flattering and feminine.

You will need:

  • 2 – 3 yds. of fashion fabric, 60″ wide
  • 1 – 1 ½ yds. of fusible interfacing, 22″ wide
  • 1 skirt zipper, 7″ long
  • 2 hook & eye set, size 0
  • Coordinating thread
  • Heavy-duty thread
  • Kraft paper


On kraft paper, draw a line equal to your waist measurement. Add a 1 inch extension.

Draw a parallel line 4 inches from first line. Connect the 2 lines by joining the ends together. Draw the grainline through the center of the pattern. Add ½” seam allowance to the perimeter. This is the waistband.

Draw a right angle on kraft paper. (1)

From the right angle, pivot an arc using a compass equal to your waist measurement. (choose radius from the chart). (2)

chart6From the right angle, swing an arc equal to the chosen radius measurement plus 22 inches or desired finished length. (3)

Draw grainlines parallel to the vertical and horizontal axis in the center of the pattern piece. Add ½” seam allowance to the waistline and ¾” seam allowances to the side seams. (4)


Cut waistband 1X self

Cut skirt 2X self

Cut waistband interfacing 1X fusible


  1. Mark the center on each skirt piece.
  2. Staystitch the waist seam on each skirt piece. Do this from the side seam to the center.
  3. Do a seam finish on the side seams to neaten raw edges. (I used pinking shears).
  4. Layer the skirt pieces with right sides together and pin/baste the left side seam. Stitch the seam beginning 7 ½” from the top, using a ¾” seam allowance. Press seam open.
  5. Insert skirt zipper using a lapped zipper application.
  6. With right sides together, pin/baste the right side seam. Stitch seam using ¾” seam allowance. Press seam open.
  7. Open zipper and place heavy-duty thread slightly above the waist staystitching. Zig-zag stitch over the thread. Do this along the whole waistline. (Use a wide, long zig-zag and loosen your machine tension slightly).
  8. Turn under the seam allowance on one long edge of the waistband and press.
  9. At one short end, clip seam allowance 1 ½” from end for the extension.
  10. Fold the waistband in half with right sides together, and stitch the short ends. Grade seam and trim corners. Turn right side out.
  11. Divide the waistband in quarters excluding the extension. Beginning from the back of the skirt, pin the unpressed edge of the waistband to the skirt matching quarters to the CF, CB and side seams.
  12. Gather up excess fabric by drawing up on heavy-duty thread and shirr the skirt waist evenly and in proportion. Sew seam slightly beneath the staystitching at the waist.
  13. Turn the raw seam up into the waistband and encase it. Align the pressed edge of the waistband to the machine stitching. Slip-stitch the waistband to the skirt and the opening on the extension tab.
  14. Stitch a pair of hook and eyes on the inside of the waistband and the extension tab.
  15. Hem the bottom of the skirt with a ¼” double-rolled hem.


A handkerchief pointed-hem skirt is flattering to all, but especially for short-legged people because the points break up that horizontal hemline. No pattern is needed to make this skirt style. It is a simple block layout.

One easy way to get that effect is to hem two squares of fashion fabric, each having four points (called a “handkerchief” hem) and layer them for an eight-pointed look.  Experiment with swatches of opaque and transparent fabrics as you design and discover what happens when you overlap two layers of the same colour or harmonizing colours. The top layer could be trimmed shorter than the under layer for a tiered look  and the hemline could be decorated with flat braid trim or fringe, if desired. Be creative!

You will need:

  • 2 ½ yds. of fashion fabric, 45″ wide
  • 1 yd. of waist band elastic, 1″ wide
  • Coordinating thread
  • 10 yds. of flat ribbon braid (optional)


The size of the circular opening should be just big enough to pull over your hips, and can then be tightened with elastic. The circumference of a circle is about 3 times its diameter, so for a person with 44″ hips, a 7″ radius is needed to create the opening. Use the chart provided to make the circle you need. Fold a square piece of paper in half, then half again. From folded point, measure out a radius to create a circle equal to your hip measurement and draw an arc. Cut on this line and open paper flat. Measure the circumference of your template.*


Cut 2 squares of fabric doubled the finished length.
Hem each square with a narrow double-rolled hem.
Apply trim (optional) parallel to hem, several inches from the edge. Miter at corners.
Layer both squares, with bottom layer FACE DOWN and top layer FACE UP, as illustrated for an eight-pointed look.
Place template in center of square and trace out.
Stitch on chalk mark. Cut out center of circle allowing for a ¼” seam allowance.
Turn bottom layer out through the opening so that bottom layer lies flat on top. Press seam flat.
Topstitch around the edge of the circle.
Cut elastic equal to your waist measurement less 3 inches.
Butt the ends of the elastic together and zigzag stitch together.
Sandwich elastic between the 2 layers without twisting the elastic.
Stitch through all layers around the opening to encase the elastic. Make casing slightly wider than the width of elastic.



* TIP: Increase or decrease the circle by 1/8″ to change the overall total circumference measurement by 1/2″.