How to Make a Fabulous A-Line Skirt Out of An Abandoned Curtain

11 Materials
2 Hours

For this transformation, I’m using a light blue, faux-suede curtain from the thrift store to show you how to make an A-line skirt. I love the color and the material, and I even love the opposite side, because it’s lined with a really nice, silky material.

I really love buying items with a large amount of fabric from the thrift store and giving them new life. It forces me to think outside the box and create really unique items from the materials that I find. I hope you enjoy this tutorial, and it inspires you to create something beautiful and unique.

Tools and materials:

  • Opaque curtain
  • Pattern for an A-line skirt (or a skirt to trace)
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Rotary cutter
  • Butcher paper
  • Tassel trim
  • Invisible zipper
  • Seam ripper
  • Sewing machine
  • Iron
Cutting out the A-line skirt pattern

1. Cut the A-line skirt pattern

To start, I folded my fabric just enough to fit this pattern on it, with the edge on the fold. You can find use this A-line skirt pattern, or you can use an A-line skirt you already own.

I cut around the pattern, leaving about an inch of seam allowance. I also cut my fabric shorter than the pattern, because I’m going to be adding a flounce at the bottom. 

Marking the darts on the skirt fabric

2. Mark and sew darts

Next, I marked two darts along the top edge of the skirt, using my pattern. I marked two dots at the top, either side of the triangle, then one at the point of the triangle. Be sure to use the marker on the underside of the garment.

To sew a dart, fold the fabric in half on the opposite side, matching up those two dots at the top. Then, sew a diagonal line down to the single third dot, until the needle runs off the fabric.

Measuring the bottom of the A-line skirt

3. Measure the bottom of the A-line skirt

Next, I measured the circumference of the bottom of my skirt to know how long to make the flounce. I folded the skirt in half and measured from one inch away from the raw edge to the folded edge, then multiplied that number by 2. For me, that came out to 42 inches. 

How to make a skirt flounce pattern

4. Mark and cut the flounce pattern

Then, I used my measuring tape to make a 42-inch circle, which I traced onto a piece of butcher paper. Then, drew another circle around it (which didn’t need to be accurate), and cut around both circles.

This left me with a donut-shaped pattern, with a 42-inch hole in the center. 

How to make a flounce for your DIY skirt

5. Pin and mark the fabric

I pinned my donut pattern to the wrong side of my fabric. Then, I measured how long I wanted the flounce at the bottom of my skirt to be, which for me was 7 inches. I went around the circle, marking 7 inches from the inner edge of the circle all the way around.

Cutting out a circle shape for the flounce

6. Cut out the flounce

I used a rotary cutter to cut both the outer circle I just marked, and the inner circle. 

Cutting the circle of fabric

Next, I made one straight cut from the outer edge to the inner edge of the circle, which allowed me to flatten the fabric. 

Sewing the flounce onto the skirt bottom

7. Sew the flounce onto the skirt

To hold the ruffle, I ran a straight stitch across the top edge of the fabric, about one inch from the edge. 

Snipping the fabric to help the seam lay flat

8. Snip 

Above the row of stitches, I snipped the fabric every few inches, which will help the seam lay flat when I attach it to the bottom edge of the skirt. 

Cutting the skirt waistband out of the fabric

9. Cut the waistband

To cut the waistband, I cut a strip of fabric 2 inches longer than my waist measurement, and about 5 inches wide.

Folding and pressing the skirt waistband

10. Fold and press the waistband

I folded the waistband in half and pressed it to hold the crease. Then, I folded both raw edges in and pressed those as well. This means when the waistband is folded down the center, the raw edges will be hidden inside. 

Sewing the side seams on a sewing machine

11. Sew the side seams

Next, I sewed down the side seam on one side of the skirt. 

Attaching the waistband to the A-line skirt

12. Attach the waistband

To attach the waistband, I encased the top edge of the skirt in the fold of the waistband, pinned it in place, then sewed it down along the lower edge. 

Trimming the bottom of the skirt

13. Trim

At this point, I trimmed off a bit more of the bottom of the skirt, because I realized it was too long to achieve the look I wanted. 

Hemming the skirt flounce

14. Hem the flounce

I hemmed the flounce, which was not so simple because it has a very curved edge. To help me do this neatly, I ran a basting stitch along the bottom edge, then folded and pressed the hem along the stitching.

Next, I folded the hem again to hide the raw edge, pressed it to hold the crease, and sewed down the hem. 

Double-folding the hems

I also double-folded the hem at the bottom edge of the skirt, and pressed it, but did not sew it down.

Attaching a flounce to the DIY skirt

15. Attach the flounce to the A-line skirt

I pinned the top edge of the flounce along the entire length of the bottom edge of the skirt and sewed it down. 

Sewing the side seams of the skirt

16. Sew the second side seam

On the second side seam, I sewed a basting stitch as long as my invisible zipper, starting from the top edge of the skirt. Then, I used a regular straight stitch down the rest of the seam. 

Creating the zipper for the A-line skirt

17. Sew the zipper in place

I then lined up the teeth of my zipper with the basting stitch, pinned the zipper in place, and sewed it down on either side, as close to the teeth as possible. 

Ripping the seam for the invisible zipper

18. Rip the seam

Once the zipper was sewn down, I used a seam ripper to open the basting stitches, leaving me with a perfect invisible zipper. 

Adding a tassel trim to the A-line skirt

19. Add the tassel trim

Finally, I pinned the tassel trim to the hem of the skirt, along the inner edge. I sewed it down, making sure to hide the stitches by sewing along the line of hemstitches. 

How to make an A-line skirt tutorial

How to make an A-line skirt tutorial

How do you like my DIY skirt design? If you use this tutorial on how to make an A-line skirt to create your own, please post your results. I’d love to see how it turns out for you. 

Suggested materials:
  • Opaque curtain
  • Pattern for an A-line skirt (or a skirt to trace)
  • Scissors
See all materials

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