How to make a pa'u skirt

Written by carol gold | 13/05/2017
How to make a pa'u skirt
A hula dancer uses graceful movements to tell a story. (Thinkstock/Comstock/Getty Images)

Pa'u skirts embody the spirit of "Kahiko," the ancient style of hula. If you can sew, you can make a Pa'u skirt. The skirt can be tied at the waist and be calf length. You can make your skirt open on the left side or stitch it up to be closed all the way around. You may choose any cotton-polyester fabric in solid colour or bordered to create your own personalised hula skirt.

Choose your fabric. Traditional fabric is cotton-polyester blend. Measure fabric to be certain your skirt length will come to mid-calf. Add 1 inch for the hem and 1 inch for waist. One to five rows of casings is traditional at the waist. Casing is essentially a tunnel for which to string a cording. If you sew more than one casing at the waist, you need at least two layers of fabric.

Stitch your fabric skirt layers together at ends, right sides together. Turn right side out. This will make a double thickness skirt and allow for multiple casings.

Sew casing at waist. Start by folding 1/4 inch along length of fabric. Press with iron. Fold again, this time 3/4 inch of fabric. Press. Sew one long, straight row of stitching to hold the casing in place. If you choose to sew multiple casings, space them about 3/4 inch apart. Sew long, straight seams across the width of the skirt, making each casing 3/4 inch wide.

Insert cording into each casing. Cording can be made from your fabric or use any other cording of your choice.

Sew hem. At hem edge, turn fabric 1/4 inch and press with iron. Fold another 3/4 inch and press. Stitch hem all the way across.

Put your skirt on. Tie at your waist. This Pa'u skirt will be open on the side. It should be worn open on the left. If you prefer, you may stitch the side seam closed.

Things you need

  • 3 to 5 yards cotton-polyester fabric
  • Thread
  • Iron
  • 1 to 5 yards cording

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