Having a long skirt that flares out from your body can create a fashionable flow in your outfit, hide legs you may not want to show or add to a costume that would benefit from rich layers of fabric. While you’ll want to take the time to take measurements of your body so you can custom-make long, flared skirts for your size, once you have all of your fabric prepared, constructing the skirt is straightforward.
Measure around your waist 1 inch below your belly button as well as around your hips at the widest part. Measure also the distance from your waist to your hips.
Measure and cut a piece of fabric equal to your hip measurement plus 1 inch for the length and your distance from waist to hips plus 3 inches for the width. Align the width edges together with the right side of the fabric facing in. Pin the edges together and sew, using a ½-inch seam, to form a loop.
Fold over the top edge of the loop twice, one inch at a time, and pin in place. Sew all the way around to form the waist of the skirt, but leave a 2-inch-wide space open along the back.
Cut a length of elastic equal to your waist measurement plus 1 inch. Slip the elastic into the 2-inch opening and snake it all the way around the waistband until it comes back out the opening. Overlap the ends by 1 inch and sew them together to form a loop. Tuck the elastic into the opening and sew the opening shut to complete the yoke portion of the skirt.
Cut a long strip of fabric 10 inches wide, with the length equal to two times your hip measurement.This will be your first skirt layer. Cut a second layer 10 inches wide, with the length equal to three times your hip measurement. Cut a third layer 10 inches wide with the length equal to four times your hip measurement.
Sew a single straight stitch down one of the long edges of your second layer of fabric ¼ inch in from the edge. Pull the threads to gather the fabric into a slight ruffling until this edge of fabric is equal in length to the first layer.
Pair the gathered edge of the second layer to one of the long edges of the first layer, with the right sides of the fabric facing one another. Pin the edges together. Sew a ½-inch straight seam along the edge to secure the fabrics together.
Repeat the gathering you did in Step 6 with one long edge of the third layer until it is equal to the original length of the second layer. Pair together, pin and sew the third layer to the straight edge of the second layer. The resulting piece of fabric will be three layers sewn together to form a loose rectangle.
Fold the rectangle in half with the right sides together and pair the short sides together. Align the sides so the seams from sewing the lengths together pair up to form the tube of your skirt. Pin the edges and sew.
Pair the bottom edge of your yoke with the upper edge of the first skirt layer with the right sides together. Pin the edges all the way around and sew to finish the body of the long, flared skirt. Fold over the bottom edge of the third layer twice, ½ inch at a time, to form a hem. Sew the hem in place to finish the skirt.
For a nice drape to your skirt, consider working with a linen or linen-look fabric, which has body as well as looseness for hanging down with ease.
- "Sew What! Skirts"; Francesca Denhartog, Carole Ann Camp; 2006
- "Complete Guide to Sewing"; Editors of Reader's Digest; 1995