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No Pattern Skirt Project

Make a skirt without a pattern

This no pattern skirt project is written Lynne Sharpe from The Make It Room.  Lynne teaches craft classes in Chelmsford, Essex including feltmaking, beginners sewing, dressmaking, knitting, crochet and embroidery.

2 metres of 150cm wide fabric ( I used Budquette Dayspring from the Emmy Grace collection by Art Gallery Fabrics. Kindly provided by Hantex, the UK distributors for Art Gallery Fabrics).

Co-ordinating cotton 

17.5cm/7 inch zip

Lightweight fusible interfacing

Hook and eye

Sewing machine

Needles and pins

This quick and easy no pattern skirt design  is simple to make and uses one and a half or two metres of pretty fabric, we have used ‘Emmy Grace’ by Art Gallery Fabrics.  You only need your waist measurement to make this skirt. The measurement will be for the waistband which draws the fabric of the skirt in to fit perfectly around the waist.

Skirt project for beginners

Start by laying the fabric out with the selvedge edges together, make sure the selvedges are lined up accurately and that there are no folds in the fabric, press if necessary.

Sew a skirt waistband

Before starting, trim the edge of the fabric to ensure the edges are even then cut a strip 10cm wide from the end of the fabric, make sure the strip is the same width all the way along.  Put this to one side as this will be used to make the waistband later in the project.

Sew a skirt with no pattern

Cut along the fold of main piece of fabric so that there are two rectangles exactly the same size, the long side of the rectangle will be very long, make sure that the pattern on both pieces of fabric is correct way up.

Sew a gathered skirt

With right sides of the fabric together pin the right-hand edges together (this is the short edge), machine together with a 1.5cm or (5/8 inch) seam.  Overlock edges together from top to bottom, if an overlocker is not available use a zigzag/overcasting stitch along the edge.  Press the seam to one side.Before sewing the other side seam overlock/zigzag both short edges separately.

Inserting a zip

Place the right sides of the fabric together and measure the opening  for the zip.  Line the top edge of the zip with the edge of the fabric and make a mark at the bottom of the zip. 

Sewing in a skirt zip

Pin and stitch the whole seam, the top section above the mark in the largest stitch the machine will sew, then sew the rest of the seam in a smaller stitch to the bottom.

Insert a zip into a sewing project

Use the iron to press this seam open so that it is a crisp seam. Then cut the thread between the larger and smaller stitch and remove the top section of stitching, this will leave perfect straight edges for placement of the zip.

Turn the fabric so that the right side is outside and place over the ironing board.  Place the zip underneath the edges and carefully pin in place, pin down one side of the zip and then down the other.

Tacking a zip when sewing

Tack in place to hold while machining.  Use the zipper foot on the machine to sew down one side, open the zip and machine to the puller, make sure the needle is in the fabric, raise the foot and pull the zip up to the top, change the foot to the other side and repeat – on reaching the end sew across the bottom of the zip to secure this and prevent the seam opening up.

How to make a skirt waistband

Take your waist measurement for the skirt waistband and add 6 cm for the overlap then cut the 10cm strip to this length.

Sew a skirt waistband

Apply a strip (7 cm wide) of lightweight fusible interfacing to the wrong side of the waistband, this should be ironed to the wrong side of the waistband fabric and then press waistband in half. Fold lengthwise in half with right sides together and machine across each short end as seen in image.  Turn the waistband out to the right side and press.  Sew two lines of stitching along the top of the skirt between the side seams using the longest stitch on the machine (sew both sides separately).

Gathering skirt fabric

Fold the waistband in half to find the centre and then pin one side seam to the raw edge of the band, right sides together to pin on the outside of the skirt, pin the opening where the zip is to the end of the waistband leaving a 1.5 cm space at the end. Start to gather up the top edge of the skirt to fit the waistband, pull the underneath thread as this is easier to gather.

Makiung gathers

Once the fabric is gathered enough to fit this half of the waistband, tie the ends of the cotton together and ease the gathers along so that they are equally spread along this part of the waistband, use plenty of pins to hold in place.  Repeat for the other half of the waistband, making sure to leave at least 2 cm at the end to overlap the sides of the skirt together.

Knee length skirt project

With the gathered side upwards machine around the top of the skirt keeping the gathers even as sewn and keeping a 1.5cm/5/8 inch seam.

Free skirt projects

Turn the waistband to the outside.

Free skirt tutorial

Press with the iron and measure the width of the waistband to ensure it stays the same width all around.

Sew a gathered skirt

Turn the skirt inside out and fold the raw edge of the waistband under so that the folded edge meets the stitching line and press. 

Pin in place and sew by hand using a hemming stitch to achieve a neat result. Remove tacking stitches and tie ends.

Once this has been completed, add a skirt hook and bar to secure the waistband in place and keep the zip from coming undone.  Overlock/zigzag stitch around the bottom of the skirt and use the iron to press a 1 cm seam, pin in place and machine around the edge, tie off ends and the skirt is finished.

Make a skirt without a pattern

To find out more about Lynne and her craft workshops in Essex visit http://www.themakeitroom.co.uk/

Why not make our no pattern t-shirt and dress next? 

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