How to Make a Skirt out of a Pile of Scraps: No Pattern Needed!

comments (7) April 18th, 2009     

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JenniferStern Jennifer Stern, contributor
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I inserted some tiny trim under the seam allowances, then I topstitched them down using silver metallic thread and a zigzag stitch.
Here is my ribbon skirt—four gores cut on the bias created lots of scraps to work with. (I started with 2 yards of 60-inch-wide organic cotton fabric.)
Heres my heap of scraps—too good to go to waste!
I inserted some tiny trim under the seam allowances, then I topstitched them down using silver metallic thread and a zigzag stitch.

I inserted some tiny trim under the seam allowances, then I topstitched them down using silver metallic thread and a zigzag stitch.

Photo: Jen Stern
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Whenever you cut something out on the bias, you end up with a lot of large scraps. Use them up to make this easy-fit skirt! I was working with some pricey organic cotton to make a four-gore bias skirt. After I cut out all the pieces, I put them aside so I could make my "little strippy skirt" later.

The "pattern" for this strippy skirt is a rectangle of fusible interfacing that's 7 inches wide and as long as your widest hip measurement. All you have to do is sew darts along the rectangle to make the top edge equal your waist measurement (while keeping the bottom edge the same). If you don't think you have enough fabric to make enough strips to fit across your shaped interfacing, you can cut some strips out of a coordinating fabric—that looks great, too!

Here's what you'll need:

  • A rectangle of fusible interfacing that's 7 inches wide and as long as your widest hip measurement (plus an inch for seam allowances)
  • Scraps from which to cut out enough strips to cover the shaped interfacing (If you're not sure that you'll have enough, pick out a coordinating fabric from which you can cut more strips. This skirt looks great made from different fabrics, too.)
  • A piece of fabric large enough to cut out a facing to finish the waistline (use the shaped facing as a pattern piece for the facing)
  • Decorative thread to sew and topstitch with
  • Optional trim to insert into the seam allowances and Fray Check
  • 7-inch invisible zipper
  • Thread to match fabric
  • Wash-away marker to mark hem

After you cut out the rectangle of interfacing, determine the difference between your hip and waist measurement. I have a thick waist, plus I like my skirts to hang a little low, so the difference between my hip and waist measurements was 3 inches. To make the top edge of the interfacing 3 inches smaller than the bottom edge, I made five 3/8-inch darts along the rectangle (two in the front, two in the back, and one where the side seam would be). If you have a larger difference, simply sew more darts, evenly spaced, across the rectangle. Don't make any one dart larger than 1/2 inch; that way you'll end up with a nice, smooth, curved shape to your interfacing.

Darted interfacing
Use a pencil to draw each dart, then fold the interfacing down the center of the dart. Start sewing at the waist, gradually sewing closer to the fold as you stitch toward the hip side of the interfacing.

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Comments (7)

mmuschka writes: Delightful and absolutely Brilliant!! Thank you for taking the time for such a thorough how-to!!! Having tutored under perhaps the most scrap-saving, frugal,stylish & beloved grandmother - I can, with great assurance, say she would have been impressed! Needless to say, she passed her frugal ways down to me, & I can almost see her smiling at the ideas you've given me. Thank you, again, for sharing your inspiration & the great memories it evoked!!!
Posted: 5:57 am on June 21st
babsalonia writes: What a great idea, I hope to try it soon!!!
Posted: 9:22 am on June 18th
PinkParisian writes: This darling skirt is sooooo cute. I have got to trY this. How very clever.
Your project is very inspiring. Now I have to think about how my scraps will co- ordinate as a skirt! How fun is that? Very cool! Thank you so much for this article and cute idea.
Posted: 8:34 am on June 18th
JenniferStern writes: Thanks ladies! I'd love to see what you come up with. Happy sewing.
Posted: 1:48 pm on April 23rd
MeredithP writes: This looks like great fun! I'll definitely be doing something like this. Thanks for the great tutorial.
Posted: 8:12 am on April 19th
Tifana writes: You are sooooo talented. I can't wait to try this. It perfect!
Posted: 9:58 am on April 18th
craftydame writes: this is an amazing tutorial! super detailed, and super clear!

there are lots of fun tutorials out there for simpler items (simpler to write tutorials for to!), so it's a treat to see something so detailed explained so beautifully!
Posted: 5:14 am on April 18th
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