Thursday, 23 July 2009

Hidden elasticated waist skirt tutorial

Now, although I’ve called this a tutorial, maybe it should be a how-to because there really isn’t all that much to it!
I made this skirt partly because I wanted something uber-comfortable to wear, and partly because I needed a skirt in a hurry (and zips take so much time!) BUT I like to tuck in shirts and the like, and an elasticated waist can look a bit mumsy if you’re over the age of ten so I added a fixed sash belt to cover the gathering.
First, measure  the widest part of your hips and add half again. Decide how long you want it to be and add 2 1/2 inches. Cut your fabric accordingly. I cut two pieces (a front and a back) because I thought it might look odd with just the one side seam. You should have two (or one) large rectangles.
Cut a long strip for the sash. I cut a piece the same length as the skirt piece (hip measurement plus half, but you might want to make it longer if you have tiny hips – I don’t!) but 8 inches wide. Fold in half along the long edge and sew. I added rounded points to the ends at the same time. Leave a gap in one end and invert the whole piece. Press. At this point I top stitched as close to the edge as possible to keep it flat.
Wrap your belt around your waist (or where you want the skirt to sit). You will see that it doesn’t fit quite right and gapes at the top. Fold in the excess fabric and sew down. The belt should now be a v-shape like this:
If you cut two rectangles for the skirt, sew up one side seam.
Now you need to place your belt. On the open edge, pin your belt 1 1/2 inches from the top (this leaves space for the elastic casing), making sure you attach the belt by the centre ‘v’ seam you just sewed (see above).
Sew up the open side seam, taking care the belt doesn’t move.
Now fold down the top hem and sew, leaving an inch open.
Insert your elastic through the hole. Some people like to use a safety pin for this, I like to tie the elastic to a crochet hook and feed it thorough. Make sure you attach one end of the elastic to the opening so you don’t pull it all the way through (If I had a penny…)
Overlap the elastic at the opening and sew down. Sew up the hole.
Hem the bottom, and you’re done!
IMG_6227 IMG_6226
This skirt should take about half an hour to make, and if you can be bothered to iron it (unlike me) it’s ready to wear straight away!


  1.! You're brilliant!

  2. I saw your post at wardrobe refashion. Love the idea and the skirt is beautiful. I will definitely add to my favs. Thanks.

  3. Thanks guys, I feel all warm and fuzzy :)

  4. This is such a great idea!! I'm realizing this will also help give me a more defined waist, rather than the fabric just all poofing out from the small elastic casing.

    I posted a link to your tutorial on Craft Gossip Sewing:

  5. What a clever idea! I love the ease of a wrap around skirt but this makes it so much more chic.

  6. LOVE IT! Thanks for sharing!!

  7. This is great! I was just trying to figure out how I could come up with something like this! Thank you!

  8. You are a genious! I was just wandering how I could make a simple but comfortable skirt with no patterns and no zip, and this idea saved me a lot of time and meters of wasted materials! Thank you!!!

    Anita from Hungary

  9. Stumbled upon this looking for something to make myself... i'm a beginner and whipped this up for myself last night. can't believe how easy it was and it looks great :D


  10. Love this skirt! I am sharing this with one of my students as part of how to put in elastic! It is genius! Thanks!!!