An elasticated skirt is such a basic piece to have in your wardrobe that every woman should be able to make them. I’m sure many of you already know how, but for those who don’t, or who want a refresher, here’s a detailed tutorial for you!
You will need:
General sewing supplies
1. Cut out a rectangle for your waistband. This needs to be a piece of fabric, which is:
the length of the widest part of you (bums / hips usually) plus 3cm
by DOUBLE the depth of your elastic plus 4cm (3cm for seam allowances and an extra cm for wiggle room).
2. Cut out a rectangle of interfacing the length of your waistband by the depth of your finished waistband.
3. With wrong sides together, fold your waistband in half along the long edge and press a crease that will eventually mark the top of your waistband.
4. Line the interfacing up with this line and iron in place. (Make sure your iron isn’t too hot – I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve melted the interfacing to my iron and then been told off by Martin for ruining the iron!)
5. On the interfaced side of your waistband fold up 1cm and press in place. Check that the elastic still fits in.
6. Fold waistband so that right sides are together and the short edges are pinned together. Sew a 1.5cm seam along the un-interfaced side of the skirt. Press seam open, continuing pressed seam up into the interfaced, open side.
7. Now cut your skirt pieces. I used the whole width of my fabric x by the length I wanted the finished skirt to be plus allowance for 1.5cm seam allowance and whatever you want for the hem. I wanted a thin, rolled hem so in total I only added 2cm to my total length. Just make sure that the width of your skirt pieces are quite a lot wider than your waistband – this way it will gather up more and you’ll have a nice full skirt.
8. Sew the side seams of your skirt together. To French seam them like I have, start with wrong sides together and sew a 5mm seam. Then turn so that right sides are together and the seam is encased within. Pin a new seam and sew in place with a 1.5cm seam to ensure that all the original seam is tucked inside.
9. On your longest stitch setting sew 2 parallel rows of straight stitches starting and stopping at the side seams of the skirt pieces.
10. Find and mark the centre front (CF), centre back (CB) and side seams on both the waist band and skirt pieces.
11. Match up the marks on the waistband and skirt and pin together with right sides together at these points.
12. Starting from the side seams, pull up the gathering stitches until the skirt fabric fits into the waistband.
13. Spread out the gathers evenly and pin in place.
14. Make sure your stitch length is set back to normal and sew the skirt and waistband together with a 1.5cm seam.
15. Trim the seam allowance and press up into the waistband.
16. Fold down the waistband so that your pressed edge from earlier, covers the seam you have just sewn.
17. Pin in place and sew down.
18. You will now have a fully formed waistband with an opening where you didn’t join the seam on that half.
19. Through this gap thread the elastic. 2 safety pins come in handy here; one to pin the end to the skirt so it doesn’t get swallowed up into the fabric, the other needs to be pinned to the other end of the elastic and used to help gather the fabric along the elastic.
20. Pull the elastic through the whole waistband, gathering the fabric along and pulling it through the open gap.
21. Sew together the 2 ends of elastic.
22. Slipstitch the open fabric together.
23. Hem skirt. I used a rolled foot, but you could turn up the hem twice and stitch in place.
24. Wear your pretty skirt!