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Jan 6, 2011

Patternless Skirt in under 15 minutes - Tutorial

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Patternless Outfits have been my favourites. When i started sewing (i started with sewing saree blouses, quite difficult for beginners i know!) in my late teens. After the sabbatical when i returned to sewing after delivering my daughter, i began sewing patternless tops for the tiny new born and then 'graduated' to sewing patternless skirts... before i embarked on the journey of learning to draft patterns (which i btw love the most in the entire field of fashion design)

When decided to kick off sewing for the first time for the new year 2011, i kept thinking what to do, (i thought in between my domestic chores, remember i am back after vacation and have loads of laundry to do!) kept thinking and before i realized it was already evening, now with limited time available and mindset firmly stuck to 'Sew Something' for the  day, i had no option but to take the plunge.

Thank god i had no confusion in whom to sew for, of course for my DD as it is my first sewing for the year and remember she is my muse!

So i decided to do the Drindle skirt or the simple rectangle piece turned into skirt

There are just 6 Steps to right from cutting to sewing:

  1. Cut out rectangle fabric  with following dimensions
    breadth = waist round * 4

    NOTE: There have been various comments asking for clarification with this measurement
    I had taken it as Waist round * 4 to give large amount of gathers for my DD's skirt;

    Bare minimum required would be Seat round + 5 inches of ease.

    You can  also have waist round * 2 to get fair amount of fullness. The more the fabric the more fullness, you can join pieces to get the required width, if the fabric you have is not wide enough

    length = height desired + 1 inch for hem + 1 1/4 inch for waistband
  2. Rectangle Fabric

  3. Join the one and only seam (i have done french seam as the fabric was unravelling a bit too much)
  4. Fold the waist band 1/4 inch press and then fold again by 1 inch and press and stitch; remember to leave about 1 inch open to loop through the elastic

  5. Fold, press and stitch the hem
  6. Take elastic measuring - (waist round required - 2 inches) + 1 inch for joining the elastic ends together
    Loop elastic through the waist band opening, take care the elastic doesn't get twisted while doing so;

    Once you reach the other end of the waistband opening, overlap the ends about 1/2 inch and stitch them to secure the same
  7. Now stitch and close  the waistband opening
I have added a trim at the hem; you can embellish as desired or wear it as it is. My DD will get to wear it tomorrow as it is Friday and she needs a skirt to pair with her T-shirt for Friday.

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  1. I need a few skirts and have a bit too much fabric in my stash. Now I don't have to go out in our coming snowstorm to buy a pattern. Thank you!

  2. Sorry...bit of a newbie here :P What does *4 mean?

  3. Thanks Thendral & Condo Blues.

    Maysem, * 4 means

    Waist x 4 i.e., waist multiplied by 4 i.e, 4 times the waist measurement. I guess i should have used x instead of *.

  4. Thanks for linking up to Mad Skills Monday!

  5. Very cute! Great job!
    Thanks for linking up to Making It With Allie! I can't wait to see what you have for next week!

  6. I am so excited to try this! I am not much of a seamstress, but I have a great desire to learn more and this pattern looks like a great place to start!

  7. Thanks Ginger & Allie.

    MCB, I am so glad i am able to help you. Best wishes for your future sewing expeditions!

  8. This looks very sewable with my limited abilities. Thank you for sharing.

  9. You are most welcome, mindingmomma.

    Hope to see your finished skirt using this tutorial

  10. I think this turned out so cute! I hate patterns too...but mine never turn out this great! terrific job!

  11. Thanks Kimbo. I Don't hate patterns per say! but love to do no-pattern quickies once in a while and this skirt was one such attempt!

  12. Thank you for this tutorial. My 7th grade home ec sewing class years (eons) ago was of little help with my recently purchased "easy" pattern. I started the skirt, but ran into trouble with the directions. After staring/looking/reading the instructions numerous times, I gave up. Now, I can finish the sucker thanks to you!!

  13. Thanks Dana,

    I am glad my tutorial was of help to you. If you wish, you can follow adithisammasews and get updates of latest posts through google reader.

  14. My daughter and I are trying to make this, talk about the blind leading the blind. She is 11 and I am ... male. She bought just a yard of material and I'm thinking that should be plenty for a little girl like her, her waist is only about 25". Now, if I read the directions right we actually need a piece of material about 8 feet long??!! How can it be that we have to buy a piece of material that's 9 feet by 4 feet just for a little skirt?


  15. Mike U,

    I am sure you have got the instructions wrong or assumed the metrics in different proportions. I am talking about inches here. please read below clarification.

    The tutorial states as follows:
    Cut out rectangle fabric with following dimensions
    breadth = waist round * 4
    length = height desired + 1 inch for hem + 1 1/4 inch for waistband

    Which means, in case of your Daughter's waist round of 25inches the width of material should be 100 inches for maximum gathers at waist, but minimum could starting from her seat round + 4 inches (for ease of movement)so 25 + 4 = 30 inches wide fabric

    Length = height desired + 1 inch for hem folding + 1 1/4 for waist band

    So if your DD's height from waist to whatever length you prefer for skirt, for e.g., say till knee = 20" then yardage needed as height is measured along selvage would be 20 + 1 + 1 1/4 = 22 1/4 inches

    So material required will be
    width = 30 inches (if no gathers preferred at waist)
    If gatheres preferred at waist then it will be 100 inches

    Normally fabrics minimum has 34 inches between selvage (width of fabric) so cut single piece along the selvage for the desired height of skirt

    or if you need more gathering cut as many pieces required to get the above calculated width of say 100" would be nearly 3 pieces and join them together and follow the instructions.

  16. Thanks a lot. I think I understood the directions correctly. If we need a piece of material that is 100" X 22 1/4" using your example then we need to buy 3 yards of 4' wide material.

    Right, and I understand what you're saying about the amount for the gathers can vary ... a lot it would seem.

    Anyway, we did think about joining pieces of material together. I think if we cut the other way we can get a piece that is about 95" X 18" which I think will be enough. She is only about 4'5" tall. As Tim Gunn would say we'll "make it work". Next time we'll read the instructions more carefully before we start buying stuff.

    Thanks again.

  17. I am not the best at sewing and I have little patience for patterns because I am sort of the type of person who likes instant gratification. This skirt really fit my personality and abilty... actually it was really simple and I can sew more difficult things but anyway, it was really simple and cute. I DIDN'T use 4x the waist measurment as it seemed a bit much and I also didn't have that much, so I looked for other dirndle skirt ideas and found one that suggested only 2x the waist... it seemed fine too... unfortunately I didn't have that much extra either (I am using up scraps) but, the ten inches extra I had worked just fine. I will try with 2x or more when I have the material but just as a 1 layered skirt for my daughter, what I did worked just fine. Thanks for the ideas!

  18. Dear Anonymous,

    I have been getting more quries on clarification of waist measurement. refer to my earlier comment reply clarifying how much width of fabric is required. I have updated the post itself. Hope it is clear now.

  19. Great skirt and lovely simple tutorial!

    Thanks for linking to a Round Tuit!
    Hope you have a great week!
    Jill @ Creating my way to Success

  20. Cute and easy! Perfect combination! Thanks for sharing!

  21. Lovely . this post reminds me of a dress I made for my daughter when she was 6 months! It was fun but I must admit I find sewing even simple things requires a lot of effort from me - for some people like you it is a passion. Kudos Lakshmi!


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