Many women adore the versatile look of a high waisted skirt. Flirty, fun, stylish or classic, you can make a high waisted skirt that makes any statement you like. All you'll need are some basic sewing skills, a good pattern and lots of imagination.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Cutting board for sewing
- Rotary cutting instrument
- Sewing machine
- Matching thread
- Elastic waistband or bodice block pattern
Choose between a high waisted skirt held by an elastic band or a high waisted skirt featuring a bodice. If you opt for the latter, you'll need a bodice block pattern and you'll have to sew the bodice separately for later attachment to the completed skirt.
Determine the amount of fabric you'll need. For a high waisted skirt, you're going to allow several inches more fabric than you would for a regular skirt of the same length. Use these rough guidelines: 3.5 yards for a person under 5 feet tall, 3.75 yards for a person up to 5 feet 4 inches tall, 4 yards for a person up to 5 feet 9 inches tall and 4.25 yards for a person taller than 5 feet 9 inches.
Take waist measurements of the person who will be wearing the skirt, or wrap the fabric around that person's waist and mark the skirt's width with a pin. Measure from the uppermost point at which the skirt will rest, or where the bodice will be attached if you choose to include one. Then, take a second measurement, at the person's waist.
Cut the fabric, extending the line formed by the two points you measured: the uppermost point and the waist point.
Create a hem by wrapping the fabric around so it's flush with the line you just cut. Sew it into place, and cut away any selvage material.
Follow your pattern's specific direction to add any stylistic touches to the skirt.
Finish the bottom edge of the skirt by creating a hemline. Turn the skirt inside-out, fold up about half an inch of fabric, and stitch it into place using your sewing machine, taking care to make a uniformly straight line all the way around.
Prepare the top of the skirt for its waistband or bodice attachment. If you're going to add a waistband, form a tube for it by folding in the top edge of the skirt and sewing it into place, allowing about a quarter of an inch of extra room beyond the width of the elastic band. For a bodice, simply create a clean top edge of the skirt by adding a narrow hem.
Attach the bodice, if you're adding one. Add the drawstrings or buttons as a final touch.
Tips and warnings
- At AlleycatScratch.com, you can search dozens of available skirt patterns for a high waisted skirt you like (see Resources below).
- If you are attempting to make a high waisted skirt with a bodice block and you're having trouble drafting the bodice, you can also use a basic garment fitted pattern and adapt the skirt to the bodice block as desired.
- As a quick, easy alternative, you can cut a dress block pattern about 2 inches or so above the waist, using princess seam lines.