This is the easiest thing ever. You don’t even need to make a pattern first. I taught my daughters to sew using this design. They were 10 and 8 at the time.
something to mark fabric (regular pencil or chalk pencil)
a scrap of paper to write stuff down on
ruler (but if you don’t have one it’s okay)
1″ wide elastic as long as your waist (or something comfortable)
1. Measure from the side of your waist, down your body to the finished length you want your skirt. You may need a friend to help, or you can stand in front of a mirror. Do not bend to read the tape, it will distort the measurement. Write it down.
2. Decide how full you want your skirt to be. Slim fitting or full and swirly? For a slim skirt, measure the fullest part around your body and add 4 inches. Write it down. For a full skirt, lay the measuring tape on the floor in a circle. Stand in the middle. Adjust the circle until it is the fullness you want. Look at the measuring tape and write that down. Just to check, make sure it is bigger than your hips (or the widest part of your body). Or, you can just use the width of the fabric to make it even easier.
3. Fold your fabric, right sides together and with selvedges all on one side. It’s folded like this on the bolt at the fabric store,and you probably have a crease down the middle. That’s the fold. Lay it out on a table or the floor.
4. Measure on the fabric the length you want the skirt from step 1. Add a couple of inches to the bottom, and 2.5″ to the top. mark a line across on the top and bottom. If your fabric is a woven, you can snip the edge and tear across. It looks and sounds scary, but leaves a nice straight edge.
5. (skip this if you are using the width of the fabric) Now, take the measurement you got in step 2 and divide it in half. Add 1/2″ for seams. Measure on your fabric from the fold towards the edge this amount. I do it across the top edge, and again across the bottom. Then I join these two marks with an up-and-dowm line.
6. Cut through the two layers on the lines you drew.
7. Sew the back seam using a 1/4″ seam. (that’s 1/4″ away from the edge) Press the seam open or to one side, whichever you like.
8. Press under the top edge 1/2″. Fold it over another inch and press. Pin in place. Sew this really close to the first folded edge, leaving two inches open.
9. Pin a big safety pin to one end of your elastic. Work this thru the waistband casing you just made, leaving a bit of the end of the elastic hangin out of the hole. When you get all the way out, pin the ends together. Try on the skirt. Pull the ends of the elastic back out the hole and sew them. Sew the opening closed.
10. Press up the bottom edge 1″, then fold it up another inch and press. Sew the hem. You can do this by hand, or topstitch it with your machine. Your choice.
Give your skirt a final press. Wear and enjoy the complements!