Sometimes you just feel like a simple skirt with nice, clean lines. And you don’t have a whole lot of fabric. This easy skirt is perfect! You’ll need two times the length that you want for the skirt. (So if you want a skirt that’s 25 inches long, you’ll need 50 inches of fabric, or about 1.5 yards.)
Fold the fabric in half, with the selvages together. Then fold it again so the cut ends are together. You should have four layers of fabric, with a big fold at the top, selvages on the right, two single-layer folds on the left, and four cut ends at the bottom.
To use even less fabric, you can use the fabric’s width as your length, then you’ll only need enough to get around your hips plus however much more you want for fullness at the hem. If you’ve decided to go this route, when you first lay your fabric out to fold it, the selvages will be at the top and bottom, with the cut ends on the right and left.
Once you’ve gotten the fabric folded, sketch out your skirt. Or, if you’re like me, live on the wild side, forgo the pen, and start with the scissors! The important part is the waist – measure your waist and add 2 inches, then divide by 4. This is the hot pink line in the drawing. The other two lines are pretty forgiving – the purple line should be as long as you want the skirt plus a few inches for the hem. The blue line just goes from the end of the purple line back to the fold.
You’ll also want to cut yourself a waistband – I like to make it about three inches wide and as long as my waist measurement plus two inches.
Now sew the two panels of your skirt together, right sides facing of course, using 1/2 inch seam allowances. Leave room on one side to add a zipper. Sew in the zipper, then sew on your waistband. Add a button or snap on the waistband. Hem. And you’re finished.
These skirts usually take me about an hour, all told.
Now, I have a very uncurvy frame. There’s about ten inches of difference between my waist at its narrowest and my hips at their fullest. If you have a curvier figure, the straight side seams of this skirt might not be flattering on you. In that case, consider cutting the side seams with a bit of a curve to match your hips like this:
I particularly like this pattern in a vertical stripe, because the way it hangs makes the stripes look like they angle in on the sides.
24 thoughts on “Super Easy Patternless A-Line Skirt”
I’ve had a question about using this with an elastic waistband rather than a zipper. That would be possible as long as the skirt was adequately widened to be able to slide it up past your hips. In this case, I’d measure my hips and use THAT number instead of my waist measurement for the hot pink line. Fold over the top to create a casing for the elastic, then cut elastic to fit your waist and thread through.
I also had a request to add a tutorial on sewing a waistband, and my intentions have been to add one, but life hasn’t exactly been what I would call easy lately, and we’re just starting to feel that we have our feet under us for the first time since Thanksgiving. Soon, hopefully!
You make this seem so easy.
And it IS easy, Debby!! Really, skirts are not (or need not be) complex.
Do you have any skirt pattern aside from this?
fabulous! i just finished my third skirt made with these instructions! i made an elastic waist band on the first. it’s cute, but i think with the shape of this skirt the zipper makes a cleaner neater look. and yes, it is super easy! i have never sewn a zipper into anything before these two skirts. i can’t believe how fast, easy and fun making these skirts has been. i also have a very uncurvy midsection. this skirt is very flattering, simple and cute. thank you so much! i want to make a dozen more 😉
I wil have a go of this, i guess its pretty much easy. thanks for the instructions.
i like coz, you make this seem so easy 🙂
[…]two panels of your skirt together, right sides facing of course, […]
thanks 4 time 4 share
this skirt is very flattering, simple and cute,thanks 🙂
thanks 4 share
good job 🙂
Hey! Cool idea! I look forward to trying it!
I have a question. Is it o.k. to use a knit fabric with this pattern? I’m pregnant and the baby is due in January, so I’m looking for cute, comfy, long skirts that I can wear during the winter.
So, I planned on following the elastic band option with a rather wide band, using my hips measurements for the hot pink line. Any other alterations that you think might be helpful.
Thanks for your time!
WOW! I just made this skirt today, and it took me about 40 minutes or so. This is a fantastically EASY pattern and I’ll remember it for future projects. Although the skirt is “fuller” than I thought. I almost feel like I need a 50’s style petticoat underneath. 🙂
Thanks for this.
Thanks can’t wait to try it! 🙂
I’ve just tried it twice and both times I couldn’t get the skirt over my knees. I did what you said with the waist size, plus two inches, divide by four and with half an inch seam allowance. Can you figure out where I have gone wrong? My waist is 25 and my hips are 35 inches.
Did you add a zipper? Is the zipper long enough? The zipper needs to be long enough to enable your skirt to open wide enough to get up over your hips. This will be more of an issue if your skirt is long and narrow than it will be if your skirt is fuller.
great instructions! i cranked out 2 skirts for my toddler this morning. thanks!
I can’t wait to get to the fabric store and get started on making my summer wardrobe! Thanks for such a simple pattern!
Over at the old blog, I had a question about how to put in the waistband. Though this tutorial isn’t really intended for novice sewers (it’s more intended for people who are familiar with the basics of sewing but just want to break out of needing patterns all the time), here’s the basics of waistband sewing.
Cut a waistband that’s 2 inches longer than your waist measurement, and two times wider than you want the finished waistband plus 1 inch. (If I want my waistband to be 2 inches wide, I cut it 5 inches wide.)
After you’ve sewn the sides of the skirt together and put in the zipper, you’ll add the waistband.
I found these instructions, which seem a little overly complicated: http://aces.nmsu.edu/pubs/_c/C-234.html but they should work.
Thank you so much for sharing these instructions! I just finished up a skirt and slip with this tutorial as my guide. I completed it during my sons nap time! That’d be not quite 3 hours for both items. Also, this is only my 3rd piece of clothing that I’ve made. This just means this tutorial is down right easy!
Thanks again for sharing!! I’ll be back and linking you on my blog and facebook. 🙂
Neat website! I really like the “Works In Progress” on the side! Sooo cute!