Monday, 20 February 2012

Make Yourself a Floral Pencil Skirt

CAUTION: Take this tutorial with a grain of salt. I made it when I was jusssst learning how to sew and was basically just making stuff up as I went along. It'll probably still work, but there's also probably *much* better ways to do this. You have been warned!

I came across this gorgeous thing the other day:
and immediately thought - Buy. Buy now. I must buy this, now.
Unfortunately, the link on Fashiolista led me nowhere, and in this brief kerfuffle another thought was allowed to sneak its way into my mind, which was - no. Don't buy. You can't keep spending money on clothes, you already have too many clothes, and you don't have any money. DON'T BUY IT!!

So I decided to sew myself a very similar skirt, instead.

(Sorry I don't have any more photos than this today. I have been waiting all day for the sun to come out, but it's been raining and raining, and I haven't had any good light. I'll post some more pictures of me wearing it as soon as it's not raining!)

I'm sharing this DIY with you all because it actually ended up being super super easy and quick to do! Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures of the process, so you'll have to put up with my very professional paint diagrams instead.

What you'll need:
- Some pretty floral STRETCHY fabric. Use anything with a floral, kitschy, "my grandma's old couch" pattern, as long as it provides enough fabric to wrap around your waist and hips (plus a bit extra) and not be too short, either.
- Thread and needle, or a sewing machine
- Scissors
- Sewing pins (optional)
- An iron (optional)
- A tape measure
- A pen and ruler
- A short zipper

Firstly, you need to make three measurements. They will take the names x, y, and z in the diagrams.

x is your waist measurement
y is your hip measurement (measure around the fullest part of your bottom. if you don't measure around the fullest part, your skirt won't fit!)
z is the measurement from where you took your waist measurement, down to the fullest part of your hips.


Next, cut your fabric into two identical rectangles, each measuring (your hip length plus 2 inches) x (desired skirt length plus 2 inches), ie:

Then hem up one inch on both ends of both pieces of fabric, and press with an iron.
Next, sandwich these two pieces of fabric together, the right-side up facing inwards (so you can only see the wrong side of the fabric). Pin the pieces together with sewing pins, so they are exactly aligned.

Choose which side you'll draw on (it doesn't matter which side). Then, draw your measurements out onto the fabric. Along the top edge, draw your waist measurement (x) exactly in the middle (you can get it exactly in the middle by halving the fabric and marking this with a small line, unfolding it, then halving your waist measurement and drawing each half-measurement out from that centre mark).

From x, draw a line down on both sides the length of z.
Then at the bottom of z, draw a line horizontally across at y, your hip measurement. 

It should look something like this
Sew from on both sides, from the edges of x to edges of y (see diagram below). Make sure you leave at least 1 inch on each side after you sew down from y.
From the diagram, you need to sew on the dotted line (you can draw this out with pen onto the fabric as well, if you'd like).

Turn the skirt inside-out (it should now be the RIGHT way around). Don't try it on yet! It won't fit just yet, you need to put the zip in! (I say this only because I tried to put it on here. And then felt really silly. Oh dear.)

Make a slit the length of your zipper in the middle of the back of the skirt.

Sew in your zipper! If you don't know how to do this, this site and this site explain how to sew in a zipper much better than I could (with only my paint diagrams, anyway).

VoilĂ ! That wasn't too hard, was it? I think I may have made it look more complicated than it really is. It's really super easy though, I promise! Give it your best go ;)

Have a fabulous day!

Annika xxx


  1. Great skirt! Thanks for sharing, I'll definitley have to try this out as well as all of your fabulous D.I.Y's!
    dimples x

  2. Wow, great DIY =)
    I really like the skirt!
    Thanks for sharing =D

  3. This is very helpful! Thanks for sharing with us!!
    It turned out great, I think I like yours better than the original.

  4. hello from california! love ur diy! check me out when you get the chance! :) gonna follow u!

  5. This is such a good D.I.Y and you did a GREAT job, unfortunately, I seriously can't sew to save my life!! I can't even shorten my own dresses, it's sad. You have a nice blog btw, always good to see cool blogs by fellow Australians :)

  6. Great post!! And a brilliant money saver! :D
    I'm hosting a giveaway in celebration of my beautiful followers here:
    <3 Laura x

  7. Is there a way you could add pictures of you cutting the fabric and making the skirt for this? I still don't understand how I would go about cutting my fabric...

    1. Ummm well I made this skirt 2 years ago and I wouldn't do it the same way again, anyway. You could definitely find better tutorials than this! But if you're looking to make a skirt for the first time, I recommend trying a circle skirt (I have a much better tutorial for this too, x


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