DIY Drawstring Skirt Tutorial: How to Make the Perfect Beach Cover-Up

Edgewater Avenue
by Edgewater Avenue
8 Materials
1 Hour

This DIY drawstring skirt is a perfect coverup for any swimsuit! This adorable drawstring skirt sewing pattern is very easy to make and has only 6 seams total.

You don’t need swimwear elastic but you will need swimwear fabric. The amount varies by the size of the pattern. It’s just one layer, so it's perfect for lazy lounging by the pool or beach, keeping you covered but cool.

Here’s how to make a drawstring skirt at home!

Tools and materials:

  • Tess drawstring skirt pattern
  • Fabric - up to a full yard depending on the size
  • Sewing machine
  • Loop turner (you can use a safety pin but you’ll find a loop turner much more helpful)
  • Scissors
  • Rotary cutter (optional but great)
  • Pins
  • Serger (optional)
Fabric for the DIY drawstring skirt

1. Prepare the fabric

Drawstring skirt sewing pattern

Print the pattern. Lay the fabric flat. Then fold it so the right sides are together. Lay the pattern on top of the fabric, lining up the pattern with the folded edge. Folding the fabric means you’ll cut once, but get two pieces at the same time! 

Cutting the drawstring skirt sewing pattern

2. Cut the skirt

Cut the fabric using your cutting tool (scissors or rotary cutter) except on the folded edge. You’ll have a nice symmetrical piece.

How long to make a drawstring for a skirt

Follow the pattern instructions for making the strap and cut out the strap from the fabric.

Ways to finish the raw edges of the skirt

3. Finish the raw edges of the skirt

If you’ve sewn before, you may wonder why this step is now. It’s quite unusual to finish the edges at this point.

You won’t be able to finish the edges once it’s sewn so this step is done before any sewing takes place. You have 3 choices on how to finish the raw edges of the waistline and the hemline. 

Serging the edges of the skirt

Serger rolled hem

If you have a serger, serge the raw edges using a 3-thread overlock stitch or do a rolled hem. Sew right at the top of the raw edges. Matching thread will help give a fine, finished look.

Creating a zigzag hem on the skirt

Zigzag hem

Do a zigzag stitch on an actual hem. Fold the fabric over once from the right side to the wrong side. Use a zigzag stitch or a standard stitch right at the edge.

If it bubbles out, sew a bit away from the edge. There is no seam allowance on the top or the bottom. This gives a clean and professional finish.

Leave it

Do nothing. Swimwear fabric doesn’t fray, so you just could leave it as is and it will be fine. Make sure all the cut edges are smooth. It is not the most professional, but it does work! 

Matching the skirt's right sides together

4. Sew the skirt together

Once the waist and hemline are finished (or not - your choice) match the skirt’s right sides together.

Clipping the skirt side seam

Align the side seam and clip in place.

How to sew a drawstring skirt

Sew the seam using a straight stitch with a ½-inch seam allowance on either side. 

You just have a few seams left to sew! Two of those seams are to sew down the seam allowance, creating 2 channels to feed the strap through.

Sewing channels for the drawstrings

5. Sew the drawstring channels

Sew down the seam allowances with a straight stitch as close to the edge as possible.

How to make a drawstring skirt

We recommend sewing in about ¼ of an inch. The goal is to sew as straight as possible, creating 2 tubes or channels on either side of the seam.

Make sure to keep the channels open on the top and bottom. 

Be careful when sewing this down and not sew these seams to the back of the skirt!

Sewing the drawstring for the skirt

6. Sew the drawstring

Fold the drawstring in half lengthwise, right sides inside. Sew along the raw edge, keeping one of the short ends unsewn.

Inserting the drawstring into the skirt

7. Install the drawstring

Use the loop turner in the open end of the newly-sewn drawstring to turn it out so the right side is facing you.

Feed the drawstring up one channel, looping at the top and feeding it through the second channel. Use the loop turner to make this much faster!

The ends of the drawstring should both be at the bottom.

DIY drawstring skirt tutorial

Here’s an optional step. Cut the drawstring loop at the top. Then sew the ends of each drawstring to the skirt itself. This keeps the drawstring securely in place.

Sewing a DIY drawstring skirt

Trim the excess at the bottom to leave a nice clean look.

This step helps to mitigate the drawstring pulling down at the top and prevents the strings from twisting.

Long DIY drawstring skirt

Here is the finished product in two different colors and lengths.

Short DIY drawstring skirt

DIY drawstring skirt tutorial

If you have any more questions, refer to the written guide that comes with the pattern. Please comment below on what you love about this DIY drawstring skirt sewing pattern. I love hearing from you!

Suggested materials:
  • Tess drawstring skirt pattern
  • Fabric - up to a full yard depending on the size
  • Sewing machine
See all materials

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