Free Skirt Pattern

April 26th, 2007

Bird Skirt

I wrote out the directions and specifications for making the bird skirt, and it’s now available to you free! of charge! and you should be excited because it took me about three hours to write it, take the pictures, and get everything ready for your viewing pleasure–that’s about as long as it takes to make it. You can click through the pictures to see large versions. If you have any questions, leave a comment and I’ll try to respond with speed. Please post a link to your finished project in the comments section if you make one. I would love to see it! Click

Skirt Pattern
By Dacia Ray

You will need:
1 1/4 yard fabric
1/4 yard medium weight interfacing
6” zipper
1 button
coordinating thread
(Note: If you’re a sewer, it would be easy to figure out how to add a lining to this skirt. Simply buy 1 1/4 yard lining fabric and alter Step 2 and Step 5 a.)

From the fabric:
1 Front panel: waist circumference x 23″ long
2 Back panels: (waist circumference/2) x 23″ long
1 Front band: (waist circumference/2) + 1″ long x 6″ wide
1 Back band: (waist circumference/4) + 3″ long x 6″ wide
1 Back band: (waist circumference/4) + 1″ long x 6″wide

From the interfacing:
1 Front band: (waist circumference/2) + 1″ long x 2.5″ wide
1 Back band: (waist circumference/4) + 3″ long x 2.5″ wide
1 Back band: (waist circumference/4) + 1″ long x 2.5″ wide

Step 1: Cut all pieces from the fabric and interfacing.
a. Measure your waist circumference where you would like the skirt to sit. Use this measurement when calculating how much fabric to cut.
b. Measure and mark the dimensions above directly onto the wrong side of the fabric, using a measuring tape/yardstick and a chalk pencil, as shown in Diagram 1. Then, using your scissors, cut out each panel and band.
c. Measure and mark the dimensions for the three band pieces onto the interfacing. Cut.
d. Finish each edge by zigzag stitching the 23″ length of the fabric on each edge, front and back panels only.

Diagram 1:
Skirt Pattern: Diagram 1

Step 2: Attach the zipper and seam the back panels.
a. Lay out the two back panels, right sides up, on a flat surface so that the pattern is facing the same direction on each piece, with the 23″ long sides touching. This is the inside seam to which the zipper will be attached.
b. Open the zipper and place the left hand zipper tape face down on the right side of the inside edge of the first back panel (the one on your left), with the top of the zipper teeth 1/2″ from the top of the panel and the edge of the zipper tape even with the inside edge of the fabric panel. Pin the zipper in place. (Any excess zipper that extends beyond the edge of the panel can be trimmed after the panels have been attached.)
c. Using the zipper foot on you sewing machine, attach the first side of the zipper by stitching close to the zipper teeth for the length of the zipper, closing the zipper as needed to continue stitching. Backstitch at each end. (See Diagram 2)
d. Repeat these steps on the second back panel, making sure that the zipper is placed so that the top ends of the back panels are even. Remove pins and press open. (see Figure 1)
e. Fold skirt in half at the zipper, with right sides facing. At the bottom of the zipper to the bottom of the back panels, pin. Beginning at the bottom of the zipper, sew a 1/2″ seam to the end of the panels. The two back panels of the skirt should now be one back panel and the zipper should be closed off. (See Figure 2)

Diagram 2:
Skirt Pattern: Diagram 2

Figure 1:

Figure 2:
Seaming After Zipper

Step 3: Prepare bands for sewing.
a. Fold the top (waist circumference length) of the fabric front band 1/4″ so that the wrong sides of the fabric are touching. Press to form a crease. Repeat with back bands.
b. Place the fusible interfacing for the front band, fusible side down on the wrong side of the fabric front band with the top of the interfacing meeting the top of the pressed crease, 1/4″ below the top of the fabric. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for attaching the interfacing to the fabric. Fold the band, wrong sides facing, in half, so that the width of the band is now three inches. Press to create a crease, reopen.
c. Repeat until each band is finished.
d. Lay the front band, pattern facing up with the wrong side to the table. Align the longer of the back bands, right sides together, with the left hand side of the front band. (See Diagram 3) Pin. Place the shorter of the back bands, right sides together, flush with the right hand side of the front band. Pin in place. Sew 1/2″ seams along the outer edges of the front panel, attaching both back bands to the front band.
e. Press seams flat and open the band so that it is one long piece.
f. Fold each six-inch raw edge of the band 1/2″ in toward the center of the band, wrong sides facing, and press to form a crease.

Diagram 3:
Skirt Pattern: Diagram 3

Step 4: Baste and gather the front and back panels.
a. Using the longest stitch on your machine, sew a 1/4″ basting line at the top of each panel. Be sure to leave several inches of thread at the beginning and end of each basted line.
b. At the beginning and end of the basted line on the front panel, take the thread that the bobbin sewed in one hand. Using your other hand, move the fabric toward the hand holding the string, gathering the fabric. (See Figure 3) Gather the fabric until it is the same measurement as the front band, taking care that the gathered fabric is equally spaced. Tie the two threads at each end in a knot, to secure the gathering. For the back panels, gather the fabric until both panels are the same size as the shorter back band, with the length of the two back panels when combined matching the length of the front panel.
c. Pin front and back panels together, right sides facing, with the gathered fabric at the top. Measure the gathered fabric at top to be sure the fabric measurements are the same as the bands, and nothing moved during the pinning process.
d. Sew the front and back panels together using a 1/2″ seam. (For a more finished look, use a French seam here) Turn right side out. This is a great point to make sure that the skirt fits.

Figure 3:

Step 5: Attach bands and panels.
a. Pin the gathered front panel to the front band, right sides together. (See Diagram 4, Figure 4) Be sure that the pattern on the panel and the band are going in the same direction when folded open to expose the right sides. Also, take care that the gathered fabric remains equally spaced while pinning and the side seams of the bands and panels match. Continue around the circumference of the skirt, pinning the back panels to the back bands. Sew a 1/2″ seam. (See Figure 5) Remove pins, press flat.
b. Take the top of the band with the pressed in 1/4″ and fold over, using the 3″ ironed crease as a guide. The top of the band with the pressed 1/4″ seam will need to fall just below the stitch that holds the gathered skirt to the band. Pin in place along the inside circumference of the skirt. The raw edges of the short band that were pressed in should match to the edge of the zipper on the skirt panel.
c. On the right side of the skirt, sew just below the edge of the band. This should catch the back side of the band to form a finished edge. (See Figures 6, 7)

Diagram 4:
Skirt Pattern: Diagram 4

Figure 4:
Attaching Bands and Panels

Figure 5:
Sewing Gathered Panel to Band

Figure 6 (Inside of Skirt after Stitching):
Finishing Band

Figure 7 (Outside of Skirt):
Finishing Band

Step 6: Finish the band.
a. Stitch the raw edges of the back bands that have been pressed closed, to form a finished edge. (See Figure 8 )
b. Place the button on the edge of the short back band about a 1/2 inch from the edge. Mark the diameter of the button and sew a buttonhole according to your sewing machine’s instructions.
c. Sew button to the long edge of the back band so that it aligns with the buttonhole.

Figure 8:
Finishing Bands

Step 7: Hem the skirt.
a. Zigzag stitch the circumference of the bottom of the skirt.
b. Measure two inches from the edge of the bottom of the skirt and press. (Note, you can alter the amount hemmed according to your specifications.) Continue around the circumference of the bottom of the skirt until a two-inch crease has been made.
c. Stitch using the blind hem stitch.

Congratulations! You’ve finished!

*This pattern uses a 1/2″ seam.

Entry Filed under: Blog,Crafts

50 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Beth  |  April 26th, 2007 at 3:38 pm

    Very, very cool, Dacia… Thank you! I passed the link of your skirt when you first showed it along to several people.

  • 2. Nancy Cook  |  April 26th, 2007 at 10:02 pm

    am so confused with the zipper
    are you sure about the directions? i feel like it should be face up.

  • 3. Lisa Knight  |  April 27th, 2007 at 9:19 am

    I love sewing skirts. I wish I liked wearing them as much!!! Thankfully I can sew them for my toddler :D.

  • 4. Heather  |  April 27th, 2007 at 12:16 pm

    I loved this skirt when you posted it. I’m so glad you posted the pattern. I’m going to use some fabric I just bought for it.
    Thanks so much.

    P.S. I love reading your blog.

  • 5. Chara Michele  |  April 27th, 2007 at 5:37 pm

    Thanks for posting this! I am definitely going to have to try it:)

  • 6. *karen  |  April 29th, 2007 at 12:43 pm

    Cool. I’ll definitely e-mail you when I try it myself. Thanks!

  • 7. melissa  |  April 29th, 2007 at 10:26 pm

    am a novice sewer, but this looks like I could do it! may be my first zipper project!

  • 8. Aja  |  April 30th, 2007 at 10:43 am

    Can’t wait to give this a try with the fabric I got from Soho with you – its a much better pattern than the one I bought. Very nice of you to post for us!

  • 9. Anne  |  April 30th, 2007 at 10:57 am

    You kinda ROCK!

  • 10. Nancy Cook  |  April 30th, 2007 at 6:27 pm

    I did it !
    Thanks again for the pattern.
    I added some ideas to the post that maybe will be helpful

  • 11. Nancy  |  May 29th, 2007 at 10:11 am

    whoa nelly! that IS a ton of work on the tutorial- the skirt is beautiful and i can’t wait to try it.

  • 12. Amanda Button  |  June 1st, 2007 at 3:53 pm

    Oooh, this is just too wonderful! Thank you for sharing the pattern! I don’t think it is humanly possible for me to be more in love with a fabric than i am with those pretty birdies!!!

  • 13. Anonymous  |  June 3rd, 2007 at 3:15 pm

    i came across this pattern when i was searching for the AH Bird Seed fabric in google so i could see if there was a colorway other than the white/yellow because i wanted to make a skirt. i ultimately found the fabric in a teal background w/orange & white birds. so, when choosing a pattern for my skirt, i decided to use yours! you can see my finished skirt here:

  • 14. Elerdine Denise Benn  |  June 5th, 2007 at 3:52 pm

    That is very good u can sew your own skirt and i do appreciate you posting it on the net. I will surely make one. keep up the good works.

  • 15. oormila  |  June 10th, 2007 at 11:55 am

    Fabulous! I am a beginner and I am inspired. Thanks for posting such precise and step-by-step instructions. Keep up the good work :-)

  • 16. andrea  |  June 17th, 2007 at 5:42 pm

    Could you please confim the sizes for the interface bands ? Shouldn`t their waist be circunferences divided by 4 the same as fabric bands, instead of divided by 2 ? I ended up with very long interface bands for the back and they seem to be not fitting in.

    thanks ! andrea

  • 17. Sew,Mama,Sew! Blog »&hellip  |  July 13th, 2007 at 10:52 pm

    [...] Nancy used the comprehensive, easy-to-follow and let’s just say fantastic tutorial from Dacia at Dacia Ray to create this beautiful skirt with some of some wonderful Alexander Henry fabric. Enjoy more of Nancy’s creativity on her blog, Sew Nancy, and then be sure to check out Dacia’s inspiring creations too. [...]

  • 18. skirts-free patterns &laq&hellip  |  September 1st, 2007 at 9:52 pm

    [...] Skirt Tutorial-gathered with back zipper (dacia ray) Posted in Sewing Projects Online. [...]

  • 19. Kashema Watson  |  November 5th, 2007 at 12:38 pm

    I am a stay at home mom. i am really interesting in sewing, especially my own. i was surfing th6e net wh6en i found your website.

    How can i get stared? I mainly need to know how to take measurements and cutting the fabric.

    i love your website, i’m going to keep brousing

  • 20. NIKOLE  |  January 7th, 2008 at 5:14 pm

    thanks for taking the time to do this, so cute, love it! I just bought a big skirt at goodwill and i’ll be making it into this skirt for my daughter!

  • 21. Sandy  |  May 24th, 2008 at 2:06 pm

    did i miss something, where do i click ‘continue reading’ for the pattern, i appreciate it. thanks

  • 22. Natasha  |  October 23rd, 2008 at 6:01 am

    Good post.

  • 23. Mynrose  |  November 28th, 2008 at 5:51 am

    Just what I was looking for, :) Thanks

  • 24. Costume Links » Ski&hellip  |  January 6th, 2009 at 9:12 pm

    [...] Free Skirt Pattern from Dacia Ray [...]

  • 25. alia  |  February 2nd, 2009 at 10:13 pm

    Assuming one does not have a sewing machine, how difficult would this be to do by hand?

  • 26. debbie  |  April 13th, 2009 at 7:20 pm

    I am new at sewing and wonder if you have any simple and easy skirt patterns using an elastic waist? i found some cute patterns for children’s elastic waist skirts but none for adults. anything you can suggest? i really am a “new seamstress” having just purchased a singer sewing machine. took me 2 hours just to figure out how to thread the machine. :)
    any help is appreciated

  • 27. Caitlin  |  June 12th, 2009 at 4:16 pm

    Wow. This looks really good.

    Do you think a novice/beginner sewer could make it?

    I really love that skirt, it’s so cute!!!

  • 28. bonnie  |  September 11th, 2009 at 5:09 pm

    i was wondering how i could change it to have an elastic band?

  • 29. Shiloh  |  October 9th, 2009 at 6:35 pm

    Hey, I am on my way to making this! I was looking for a tutorial, and this is exactly the type of skirt I wanted. You’ve made it very clear, so I can’t wait to see how mine turns out!

  • 30. emily.  |  November 17th, 2009 at 4:55 pm

    hi what clothing size is this skirt pattern for?

  • 31. Emma  |  January 6th, 2010 at 4:02 am

    Thank you so much! I got my first sewing machine for Christmas and it was the first thing I have ever made! I love it!

  • 32. Kim Ruttenberg  |  January 29th, 2010 at 9:13 am

    Hi there!
    I was wondering if you would know where I can get my hands on a pencil skirt pattern?
    PS I am going to try out your tote pattern.

  • 33. Rachel Irene Lunan  |  March 18th, 2010 at 12:38 am

    Thank you soooo much for the pattern. I”ve only had my sewing machine for a week and a half and I made this skirt in about 5 hours. I”m superpleased with it, thanks again!

    There”s a picture at the bottom of the post linked below.

  • 34. Spring Twirly Skirt Tutor&hellip  |  March 29th, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    [...] a tutorial from Dacia Ray showing how to sew a spring/summer skirt with a gathered waist and zipper/button combo closure. [...]

  • 35. Lynn Gorges  |  March 29th, 2010 at 7:08 pm

    I think that the waistband should read……cut out a 6 inch wide piece of fabric that is your waist circumference + 3 inches for some overlap. (Be comfortable when measuring, don”t suck your tummy in a bunch!) If you did it as it reads you would have a waistband that is over 100 inches long.
    Plan to make a skirt for my 19 yr. old daughter. I used to make these for myself in the 1970”s. We called them “dirndl skirts”.
    Thanks! Lynn

  • 36. Spring Skirt How-to, Thre&hellip  |  April 9th, 2010 at 11:43 pm

    [...] more skirt how-to resources. Brooksie’s Etsy: http://hautestew.etsy.comDacia Ray Pattern: Obi Apron Pattern: + S Pattern: [...]

  • 37. mogie naidoo  |  April 29th, 2010 at 12:53 pm

    i am really impressed with the pattern i am definetily going to try it thank u

  • 38. Steph  |  June 24th, 2010 at 11:54 am

    I love this simple, beginner friendly skirt pattern. I am new to sewing and blogging and
    I used your skirt pattern to make a cute summer skirt. I wanted to know if I could share your link for the free skirt pattern on my blog. So, if people stumble upon my blog and like the skirt they will know where to find the instructions.
    Let me know, thank you so much! You are so talented and inspiring!

    Steph-Zen in the Art of Sewing

  • 39. lovethis  |  June 24th, 2010 at 8:22 pm

    Is the band 6 inches wide in the final product?

  • 40. Easy Peasy Skirt – &hellip  |  June 29th, 2010 at 11:32 pm

    [...] amount of fabric stashed away and made this skirt in about 2 hours. Super simple and easy tutorial here by Dacia [...]

  • 41. Elena  |  June 29th, 2010 at 11:36 pm

    Thanks for sharing! I made one in about 2 hours!

  • 42. Liz  |  July 12th, 2010 at 12:26 am

    for step 5c…are you supposed to sew over the seam in the front? does that even make sense;/

  • 43. Style Waistland » B&hellip  |  August 11th, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    [...] which was just barely too tight.  So I sat down at my laptop and searched google until I found a tutorial by Dacia Ray.  It looked like what I wanted and it was easy enough to follow, but I was still [...]

  • 44. 48 + Free Skirt Tutorials&hellip  |  September 21st, 2010 at 1:59 am

    [...] 7. Simple short gathered skirt [...]

  • 45. Priscilla  |  October 27th, 2010 at 9:19 pm

    Thank you for the skirt pattern! I must try it out.

  • 46. lucy  |  November 3rd, 2010 at 11:03 am

    Just had a question about the band:)
    Beautiful Skirt

  • 47. Habemus saia ! | SuperZip&hellip  |  August 27th, 2011 at 10:18 pm

    [...] patterns que eu pretendo testar em breve. Se você quiset tentar, tá tudo bem bem explicadinho aqui, só tem que ter o trabalho de transformar as medidas para cm. Eu recomendo esta projeto pra quem [...]

  • 48. Emily J  |  September 28th, 2011 at 10:26 pm

    Hey girly,
    This looks awesome, but what fabric do you suggest? 100 percent cotton, polyester, etc?

    Give me some ideas. I can’t wait to try this out now that I have the time!

  • 49. Her Craftiness  |  September 29th, 2011 at 3:46 pm

    I would suggest a 100% cotton fabric–like a quilting weight. You could do this in another material, but cotton is the easiest to work in!

  • 50. خياطة وتفصيل  |  February 21st, 2012 at 7:44 am

    Just had a question about the band:)
    Beautiful Skirt

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