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How to Make a Hobble Skirt

Updated February 21, 2017

The hobble skirt earns its name because it is tight from the knees on down, making walking slightly difficult, as the movement of the calves is restricted. Traditionally, hobble skirts were ankle-length, though more modern versions fall just below the knees. You can make your own hobble skirt using simple sewing techniques. For more ease of movement, make a skirt that hits just below the knees, though you can make a longer version if you prefer.

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  1. Measure around your waist, where you'd like the skirt to sit, as well as around the widest part of your hips and around your knees. When measuring around your knees, stand as you would when walking so that you can move in the hobble skirt. Measure the length from the waist to where you'd like the skirt to fall, either just below the knees or just above the ankles. Measure the distance from your waist to your hips.

  2. Draw a horizontal line that measures half your waist measurement, plus 1 inch, on the wrong side of the fabric. Measure the distance between hips and waist down, then draw another line that measures half your hip measurement, plus 1 inch. Measure from the waist to the knees and draw a third horizontal line, that measures half the knee measurement plus 1 inch. Connect the horizontal lines to make the front piece of the skirt. Cut out the piece.

  3. Fold the remaining fabric in half, right sides facing in. Draw the back piece on the fabric by drawing a horizontal line that measures 1/4 the waist measurement, plus 1 inch, then drawing another horizontal line below it that measures 1/4 your hip measurement, plus an inch. Measure the distance between the waist and knees and draw a third line, that measures 1/4 the knee measurement plus 1 inch. Cut out two pieces for the back of the skirt.

  4. Place the front piece face up on your work surface. Put the two back pieces on it, right sides facing down, lining up the side edges. Pin the edges together, then sew together with a 1/2-inch seam.

  5. Fold the raw edges of the unsewn sides of the back pieces over 1/4 inch and press. Place the zipper along the top of the sides, pinning one side of the zipper to each side. Position the zipper so that it is 1 inch away from the top edges of the skirt. Unzip the zipper, then attach the zipper foot to your sewing machine and sew.

  6. Pin the remaining portion of the back sides together, then stitch together with a 1/4-inch seam.

  7. Fold the top edge of the skirt down 1/4 inch, then down another 3/4 inch and pin. Don't cover the top of the zipper with the skirt, you should still be able to open and close the zipper. Sew around the inside edge of the folded edge to hem.

  8. Hem the skirt by folding the bottom over 1/2 inch, then up another 1/2 inch, pin and then stitch. Try the skirt on.

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Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Fabric
  • Marker
  • Scissors
  • Straight pins
  • Matching thread
  • Sewing machine
  • 8 inch zipper
  • Zipper foot

About the Author

Based in Pennsylvania, Emily Weller has been writing professionally since 2007, when she began writing theater reviews Off-Off Broadway productions. Since then, she has written for TheNest, ModernMom and Rhode Island Home and Design magazine, among others. Weller attended CUNY/Brooklyn college and Temple University.

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