How to DIY a Beginner-friendly Midi Skirt

8 Materials
3 Hours

This is a perfect DIY midi skirt for a beginner!

You only need to take three measurements and you don't need a midi skirt sewing pattern at all.

This tutorial covers some important sewing skills for a new sewist, such as how to sew a long skirt, how to add pockets and how to insert a zipper.

I show you everything step by step so in a very short time you'll have a new skirt to wear.

Tools and materials:

  • 100% cotton bedsheet or similar fabric
  • Free pocket pattern
  • 8 inch (20 cm) or longer zipper
  • Measuring tape
  • Ruler
  • Pins
  • Scissors
  • Sewing machine
Taking measurements

1. Take measurements

Measure your hips across the widest part. You should be able to fit a finger between the tape and your hip.

Measure your waist across the narrowest part in the same way.

Measure the length of your skirt vertically from the waist. As a guide, a midi skirt would end 10 - 14 inches (25 - 35.5 cm) above the floor.

Cutting material

2. Cut the material

Cut one front and two back pieces. The front should be your full hip measurement wide and each back piece will measure half your hip measurement wide.

The length of the front and back pieces will be the finished length of your skirt, plus half an inch (1 cm) for the hem.

Cut a strip for the waistband, 5 inches (12 cm) deep and your waist measurement plus 1.2 inches (3 cm) wide.

Also cut 4 pocket pieces, using my free printable pattern.

Attaching pockets

3. Attach pockets

Measure and mark 4 inches (10 cm) from the top edge of the front along one side edge. 

Attaching pockets

With the right sides together, pin the straight edge of the pocket to the front and sew it in place. Repeat on each side of the skirt.

Finish each side edge with a serger or a zigzag stitch.

Sewing side seams

4. Sew side seams

Place the side edges of the skirt together, with the right sides facing.

Pin down to the top edge of the pocket, around the pocket bag and continue down the side seam to the hem.

Sew, taking a half inch (1 cm) seam allowance.

Gathering top edge

5. Gather top edge

Sew two parallel lines of basting stitches, leaving long ends at the beginning and end.

Sew the first row 0.5 inches (1 cm) from the raw edge and the second line 0.75 inches (1.9 cm) from the edge. Use a thread tension of 3 and a stitch length of 2.

Gently pull on the threads and push the gathers towards the center.

Distribute the gathers evenly, until the top edge of the skirt matches the width of the waistband.

Attaching waistband

6. Attach waistband

Press one long edge of the waistband to the wrong side by 0.5 inches (1 cm)

With the right sides together, pin the unfolded edge of the waistband to the top edge of the skirt. Sew in place just below the lower row of gathering stitches.

Attaching waistband

Fold the waistband in half lengthways and cut a notch in the center on both sides.

Shortening zipper

7. Shorten zipper (optional)

If your zipper is too long, here's a simple way to shorten it.

Mark the length of your zipper 8 inches (20 cm) from the top of the zipper tape.

Shortening zipper

Sew a zigzag stitch of length 1-0 across the teeth.

Cut the zipper just below the stitching.

Shortening zipper

If necessary, sew a zigzag stitch across the upper teeth where you want the zipper to stop.

Inserting zipper

8. Insert zipper

Mark the length of the zipper from the waistband notch.

Join the center back seam from the mark to the bottom edge.

Inserting zipper

With the right sides together, pin one side of the zipper tape to one edge of the skirt.

Place the top teeth just outside the notched edge of the waistband and turn the waistband over to the right side to enclose the tape.

Sew in place close to the teeth and repeat for the other side of the zipper.

Finishing waistband

9. Finish waistband

Turn the ends of the waistband right side out and pull out the zipper teeth.

Finishing waistband

Fold the waistband to the inside and pin down the folded edge, covering the basting stitches.

Finishing waistband

Sew on the wrong side. Top stitch the top edge of the waistband.


10. Hem

Turn up a narrow double hem, pin and sew in place.

DIY midi skirt

DIY midi skirt

I hope you found this helpful and feel confident that you know how to sew a skirt.

If you learned some new skills, I'd love to know in the comments below.

What else would you like me to make a tutorial about? I'm always happy to hear from you how I can best help you.

Check out my post on How to Sew a Super Elegant Dress.

Suggested materials:
  • 100% cotton bedsheet or similar fabric
  • Free pocket pattern
  • 8 inch (20 cm) or longer zipper
See all materials

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