Thursday, September 12, 2013

Tutorial: Tartan Skirt
I love tartan and plaid, especially black and red designs, but most tartan skirts I find are tiny pleated miniskirts that are just too short for me. I happened to find the skirt on the left, and loved the design. I bought some tartan fabric and tried my hand at making a similar skirt.

1. Fold your fabric in half, then in half again, create a square of material. I folded mine first long edge to long edge, then short edge to short edge.

2.  You need to create a circle for the waist. This means calculating the radius of your circle.
To do this, you need the equation
C = 2 x Pi x radius

C is your waist (or hip measurement); for example, 85
85 = 2 x 3.142 x Radius
Radius = 85 / (2 x 3.142)
Radius = 85 / 6/28
Radius = 13.5 cm

Draw your quarter circle at the top corner where there are folded edges.

Now, you need to decide how LONG you want the skirt to be. Unlike a circle skirt, the longest part of the circle skirt starts at the top corner, where you waist radius has been drawn, and stops in the bottom corner diagonal to the waist. 

If you find this confusing, I recommend this website

3. Make sure that you have left seam allowances (I think 2.5 - 5 cm is good), and cut out your skirt. 

4. Lay your skirt out flat, and cut up one side. This is how you will get into the skirt.

If you don't want to cut your skirt, you can make the waist hole bigger, and make an elastic waistband.

I recommend making the hem LONGER than you think it needs to be. You can always cut off the excess, but you can't add on more.

5. Try the skirt on. This will help you decide how long or short you want it to be.

6. I forgot to take photos of the next bit. That was silly. :(
However . . . .

You need to hem the skirt. I did double turned hems. This is where you turn the hem up once, then twice. This traps the raw edges and hides them. I hate raw or frayed edges, so I normally double turn my hems.

I actually made a mistake with my skirt. I cut it too short, and had to create pseudo bias tape, which made the skirt about 2.5cm longer.

7. Time to add a zip. I think this video gives a very clear explanation of sewing zips:

8. Waistband time! The waistband is a long rectangle. It is your waist measurement, plus 10 cm. For example, if your waist/hip is 85 cm, add 10 cm. You add 10 cm for seam allowance, and to create a flap to fasten the skirt.

9. Iron interfacing on to your waistband. This will give it structure. 

10. Take your waistband and iron it so that it looks live a piece of bias tape. This means that you fold 2 cm on side over, towards the centre of the waistband (on the wrong side). Below is a very rough illustration of what I mean.

11. Put the skirt and waistband right sides together. Baste them together.

12. Fold the waistband over. Iron it, and sew the waistband down. This diagram might help (ignore any spelling mistakes please).

13. Tuck any raw edges into the waistband, and hand sew them shut.

14. Button time. Turn your skirt inside out, and decide where you want your button.

15. Take a flat button (not too thick) and sew it on to the waistband.

16. Take the flap of the waistband, and sew a buttonhole. Your waistband will fasten on the inside, so that the button is hidden.

Here is my finished skirt. I also made a matching pouch for the skirt.
If you have any question, post a comment below.


  1. Oh! I love skirts like this one! Thank you so much!
    I added an elastic to the waistband, because I got the wrong waist wadius eheh... ^^' But I will remake the waist.
    Great skirt! :D

    1. You''re welcome. I'm glad that you found my guide useful. Yeah, elastic usually saves the day for me too when I mess up my measurements