Making a Skirt Pattern

Categories:How to, Ladies
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Original credit: ladyjanewriter

Hello! In this tutorial, you will learn how to take a favorite skirt, trace it onto newspaper, add a seam allowance, a hem allowance, and some extra space at the waistband.

Basically, this is an almost FREE pattern! And as we all know, FREE IS GOOD!

If the pics are too small, feel free to check out the larger size on my flickr here:

Here we go!

You Will Need:

  • Newspaper
  • Scotch Tape/Cello Tape
  • Double Sided Tape or Pins
  • A Pencil or Pen. (I used a purple sharpie for demo purposes!)
  • A Ruler
  • Scissors (Not your fabric scissors! Cutting paper with your “good” scissors dulls them! OK?)
  • 1 Skirt That Fits You. (The skirt should have no ruching, huge amount of darts, or flounces. A straight skirt works well. I used an elastic-waist rayon skirt with no darts.)

What to Do:

1) Lay pieces of newspaper flat on the floor or work surface. Tape together sheets of newspaper if needed.


2) Turn skirt inside-out. (This will help it lay flatter.) Fold the skirt in half lengthwise. I used double-sided tape to hold the skirt halves together. You can also use pins.


3) Place the folded skirt on the newspaper. Be sure to smooth out the fabric and avoid any ripples.


4) Take your pencil or pen and trace the skirt. Be sure you’re not using a pen that will mark up or stain the fabric.

5) After you’ve traced your skirt, remove the skirt from the newspaper. Clean up any lines you’ve traced that aren’t quite clear enough.


6) Using your ruler, you can measure dots 1/2″ to 1″ from the hemline, the side of the skirt, and the top waistband of the skirt. (I added 2″ on the side because I put on weight -ooopsie.) The straight line where you folded the skirt in half? Don’t measure dots here, leave that line as is. I’ve already started to play “Connect-The-Dots” in this photo…Oh, CRAP it’s really hard to see in this photo! Larger photo is HERE:


7) Time to play Connect-The-Dots! I think we all remember this from grade school. Just carefully connect the dots you’ve just drawn. It sometimes helps to use the ruler as a straight-edge at this point, but don’t forget the hemline might be a curve.


8) OK, once you are ready, it’s time to cut out your pattern. Make sure you’re cutting on the “connect-the-dots” line! Not the original tracing of the skirt!!! You need the seam allowances, for side seams, for when you fold a hem, and when you fold a waistband. This is why I added the extra inches to my pattern.


9) Done! Or, if you goofed up and need to go a bit longer or wider, simply take your new pattern, re-trace it on newspaper, and play connect the dots one more time.

TIP: HOW TO DOUBLE-CHECK YOUR PATTERN — Keep going until you have it right. I double-check by putting the straight part of the pattern at my navel, then hold the pattern up to my hip. Does the edge of the pattern reach where my side-seam of my skirts/pants usually are, plus about 1″ extra? Then the pattern should work.

“Lookit Me! I’m running with nail scissors!!!”

I am the webmaster of this website. I am not the original creator of the website. Wings of steam was originally created by a group of cosplayers at an anime convention. Their domain/website expired in 2013. In 2014, a year later, I personally renewed the domain and restored and redesigned the original website. I definitely do not take credit for the previous owners blog posts. They did an amazing job for a few years on this website, and should be given credit. They put a lot of time into Wings of Steam.

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