How to Make a High Waisted Skirt

Written by ehow fashion, style & personal care editor
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How to Make a High Waisted Skirt
Make a High Waisted Skirt

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:

Things you need

  • Cutting board for sewing
  • Rotary cutting instrument
  • Sewing machine
  • Fabric
  • Matching thread
  • Elastic waistband or bodice block pattern

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  1. 1

    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.

  2. 2

    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.

  3. 3

    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.

  4. 4

    Cut the fabric, extending the line formed by the two points you measured: the uppermost point and the waist point.

  5. 5

    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.

  6. 6

    Follow your pattern's specific direction to add any stylistic touches to the skirt.

  7. 7

    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.

  8. 8

    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.

  9. 9

    Attach the bodice, if you're adding one. Add the drawstrings or buttons as a final touch.

Tips and warnings

  • At, 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.

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