Asymmetrical skirts are skirts cut with uneven hemlines. This style, though popular as a contemporary option, actually dates back to at least the Victorian period in America, according to Kristina Harris in “Victorian Fashion Trends in America.” Often, asymmetrical styles emphasize the wearer’s legs due to the way the fabric folds to different lengths. According to an article in InStyle Magazine, this skirt type is considered to be particularly figure-flattering. You can cut an asymmetrical skirt without a pattern by either cutting an existing skirt or cutting draped fabric using fabric scissors.

Things You'll Need

Cut an existing skirt

Dress the the wearer in an existing skirt that is relatively long and loose. The skirt’s length should be as long or longer than the desired longest part of the asymmetrical skirt hemline.

Mark the skirt using straight pins, marking in 2-inch increments where the desired asymmetrical hemline will be. Either make the front of the skirt higher than the back for a more princess-style look, or design the asymmetry to be from the side, with one side of the skirt higher than the other.

Remove the skirt carefully so not to disturb the pins.

Turn the skirt inside out and lay it on a flat surface. Use fabric chalk to draw a line indicating where the new asymmetrical hemline will be, based on where the pin marks. Draw the line approximately 1 inch lower than the desired length to have room to fold up for the hem.

Cut slowly along the chalk line using fabric scissors.

Re-pin the skirt so that the fabric folds up into a hem. Use a sewing machine to sew the hemline.

Cutting a new skirt

Purchase or retool at least 2 yards of fabric, preferably a fabric such as a cotton and polyester blend that folds and moves easily. Asymmetrical skirts can positively impact the impression of the wearer’s leg length and shape though the way that the fabric falls into loose folds around them.

Wrap the fabric around the waist of the wearer. Pin the skirt on with safety pins. Use straight pins to mark where the fabric hem should be. Drape the remaining fabric around and up the torso of the wearer to achieve the ideal asymmetrical shape and hemline. Pin up the fabric if necessary.

Draw a line 1 inch below the lowest pin, emphasizing where the hemline of the skirt should be using fabric chalk. The additional inch is to give room for hemming.

Unpin the safety pins so that the wearer can slip out of the skirt. Use a needle and thread to loosely sew into place the folds and modifications.

Drape the fabric on an ironing board so that half of the fabric is lying on the board, while the remainder is falling below and out of the way.

Cut along the chalk line on the part of the fabric that is on the board using the fabric scissors. Rotate the skirt every 5 or 6 inches, then cut again until the entire hemline is cut.

Stitch in hooks and eyes or an elastic band to complete the draped asymmetrical skirt. Use a sewing machine to reinforce the loose stitches and hem the skirt.


  • Cut slowly and use small snips to avoid inadvertently scrunching the fabric and making a jagged line.

  • Use a body form instead of the wearer to do the draping or manipulating prior to cutting.