The design is given for a 2-panel skirt with a 33" 84cm waist, a 24" 61cm length and a 96" 244cm hem.

If you would like a different waist size, length or flare, please use the skirt panel  
  to change the measurements. .


With the layout shown below you will require material at least 55" 139cm wide and 52" 132cm long. Please make sure your material is big enough; if it isn't, you will have to either:

1) Buy wider material

2) Buy more of the same material and cut some of the panels from the new piece

3) Work out a different layout that fits the material you have

4) the design





Whilst every attempt has been made to ensure that the information on this site is accurate, no responsibility can be accepted for errors. You follow these instructions at your own risk.

Return to introduction page

Page 1

Marking out skirt panels
Cutting out skirt panels
Marking & cutting the waistband
Marking & cutting the petersham

Page 2   Scalloped pockets

Marking and cutting the pockets
Fitting the pockets

Page 2   Patch pockets  

Marking and cutting the pockets
Fitting the pockets

Page 3   Front zip

Halving the front panel
Inserting the zip (flap side)
Inserting the zip (non-flap side)
Joining the skirt panels

Page 3   Side zip

Laying out the panels
Inserting the zip (non-flap back panel)
Inserting the zip (flap front panel)
Joining the skirt panels

Page 4   Waistband for front zip

Attaching the waistband

Page 4   Waistband for side zip

Attaching the waistband

Page 5   Hem

Trimming the hem
Turning the hem
Adding a buttonhole


A piece of suitable cotton material at least 55" 139cm wide and at least 52" 132cm long. Denim is the easiest to work with and also gives the skirt a pleasant casual appearance.

Stretch material is not recommended as it is difficult to work with and may not last as long as plain cotton fabric.

Sewing thread of a colour which matched the material or compliments it. (A contrasting colour is easier to unpick when you make a serious mistake, but shows up badly if you only make a minor mistake and hope to get away with it.)

A zip fastener. A straight type about 7" 180cm long, in a colour which matches the material or is slightly lighter, so that it will match after the material has faded a bit.

Petersham, about 1.25" 32mm wide and at least 35" 88.9cm long for waistband stiffening.

A Button to suit the style and colour of the skirt



Sharp scissors with at least 5" 12cm long blades

Ruler or straight-edge about 40" 100cm long

Dressmaker's tape measure which must have an eyelet or hole at the end nearest the '0' mark.

Tailor's chalk for marking out

A ball-point pen

A large darning needle

A medium sewing needle

A stitch 'ripper' or unpicking tool, or a sharp knife

Dressmaking pins or a stapler.

A flat surface to work on - a firm, flat bed will suffice, provided a wooden board is placed under the material when cutting out, so as to avoid cutting the bed sheets by mistake. The wooden board should have accurately square corners to assist with marking out, and smooth edges to avoid snagging the material.

An electric sewing machine which can do zig-zag stitching

On old CD, if you are making patch pockets.

Right and Wrong Sides: Most types of material have one side which is intended to be seen, which is called the "Right Side" and is supposed to finish up on the outside of the garment. The other side is called the "Wrong Side".

Some materials look equally good from either side; others look very similar from either side, but it is still important not to mix up the two sides or the garment will look patchy.

In the case of denim, it is very obvious that the Right side is much darker than the Wrong side and mistakes are unlikely. For less obvious material, it is best to decide at the outset which side will be the Wrong side and mark it all over with "W"s in tailor's chalk.


 This shows how the pieces are laid out so as to give the least waste of material. Because the material is folded in half and the two halves cut out together, two pieces will be created for every one shown in the drawing below. It does not matter at this stage whether you fold the material so the Right sides face each other or the Wrong sides face each other.



Selve edge: When each piece of cloth is being made, it is held in the weaving machinery by the "Selve Edges" , which are left rough and unsighly and should not be included in the final garment. When folding the material in half lengthways, the selve edges will come together as shown above. The hem of the skirt panel will be marked out so as to be clear of the selve edge.

Make sure you have folded the material so that the fold runs along the length of the cloth and the selve edges come together.


Using the wooden board as a guide to mark out three lines 'A', 'B', and 'C' accurately at right angles to the fold edge. The top edge of the board is aligned with the folded edge of the material and tailor's chalk is used to mark the material using the L.H. edge of the board as a straight edge.

Line 'A' is positioned about 1" 2.5cm from the L.H. cut-off edge of the material, line 'C' is spaced 22" 56cm from 'A' and line 'B' is spaced a further 22" 56cm from 'C'.

A to C = 22" 56cm
C to B = 22" 56cm

Line 'C'is the centre line of the skirt panel. When marking out the cones which will form the panels, the apex of the cones must be in line with the centre line.

Remove the board and carefully smooth out the material between lines 'A' and 'B', taking particular care that the selve edges align accurately with each other. Lay the tape measure along line 'C' with the '0' end in the approximate position of the apex, pulling it tight. Adjust it until the 36" 91cm mark is 1/2"1cm inside the selve edge and the centre line of the tape is exactly above line 'C'. Then pin the eyelet at the '0' end of the tape to the bed mattress with a large darning needle to fix the true position of the apex.

(If you find that the dimensions you need to mark are longer than your tape measure, transfer the measurments to a long piece of string by means of knots or felt pen marks and use the string instead of the tape measure to mark out the arcs shown below)

Tilting the needle away from the direction of pull will help to prevent the tape from slippping off. The tape can now be pivoted around the apex pin to mark out arcs on the material.

From now until the skirt panel has been completely marked out, is is important that the material is not moved.

With the tailor's chalk, mark out the position of the 36" 91cm measurement where it intercepts line 'A' and line 'B'


Swing the tape through an arc between line 'A' and 'B', marking the position of the 36" 91cm measurement at several places; then join up the marks to give a smooth curve. This will be the hem line.

Using the straight edge or ruler, draw diagonal lines from the apex to the two points where the arc intercepts lines 'A' and 'B'..

Draw another arc between the two diagonal lines, this time using the 12" 30cm mark on the tape measure. This will be the waist line.

Now mark two additional diagonal lines 3/4" 2cmoutside the two existing diagonal lines. These are shown in the drawing below as "cutting line". This allows some extra material for the seams when the panels are joined together.

Slip the wooden board between the material and the bed. Ensure the selve edges are still in alignment and then carefully cut along each cutting line, making sure the two layers of material are cut 'as one' (If necessary, they can be pinned together before starting the cut, but make sure the pins will not be in the way of the scissors.) Reposition the board when necessary, so as to keep it underneath the cutting point.

Cut along the hem line, gently lifting the material away from the cut so as to allow the scissors to follow a smooth curving path.



In a similar way, cut along the waist line.

This will have created two identical skirt panels. Leave the centre line 'C' chalk mark on the panel as it may be needed later


Carefully lift the skirt panels away, leaving the remaining material folded along the centre line.


As shown in the drawing below, mark a line to the left of line 'A' and another to the right of line 'B', just far enough away to give a straight uninterrupted line right across the material. Cut along these lines. Cut out the triangles shown in blue below.



Put these triangles aside, keeping them folded as they are; they will be needed when you come to make the pockets.





Retrieve the spare material and ensure that it is folded with the selve edges together as previously. Locate the edge which was the cutting line adjacent to line 'B' and mark a new cutting line parallel to this edge and 4.5"11.5cmaway from it.

Lay the material over the wooden board and check the alignment and flatness of the two thicknesses, then cut along the new cutting line to make the waistband.


Take the petersham and measure-off the waistband length,33" 84cm . Mark the length with a felt pen. As a further check before cutting, wrap the petersham around your waist and make sure that length feels comfortable.

Add another 2" 50mm to the length to allow for a flap which will later be joined by a button or hook, draw a second line across the petersham and cut it on this line.


Fold the waist length of the petersham in half (ignoring the added length) and mark the middle line with a felt pen across both sides.



At this point you need to make a decision:

Do you want large scalloped pockets or smaller patch pockets?

(The large scalloped pockets are more difficult to make but they are more practical and allow you to carry bulkier items without spoiling the appearance of the garment)