Saturday, March 21, 2015

Lace-Trimmed High-Waisted Skirt Tutorial

I saw a pin for this skirt from Mod Cloth on Pinterest a while back, and have been on the lookout for fabric to make my own version.  I found this silk-blend fabric on the discount table at JoAnn's a few weeks ago. It is completely opaque, but not too heavy. It has beautiful sheen and subtle embroidered detail. I think it was probably a decorator fabric, but I decided it would be perfect for my lace-trim skirt! I bought 2 yards as well as some wide lace and a zipper to match. 

After cutting out mine, I saw that I had enough left to also do a matching skirt for my daughter! Yay! 
I only have one daughter, so you had better believe I am "that mom" who matches her as long as she'll allow me!

Now on to the tutorial!

1. Cut your fabric and lace.  Two yards of fabric made my skirt and my daughter's with about 1/4 yard to spare. I wear a Women's size 6, and my daughter wears size 5T. 

To determine your measurements for cutting:
  • Waistband-- Women's: Waist size + 1 inch (length) by 8 inches (width) (Waistband is folded lengthwise in picture.)  Girls': Waist size + 1 inch (length) by 5 inches (width).
  • Skirt body--Women's and Girls':  Waist size (or more for a fuller skirt) wide by measurement of bellybutton to kneecap length (Cut 2). 
  • Wide flat lace in same measurement as skirt body width
2. You'll also need corresponding thread, 9" zipper for Woman's skirt/ 4-6" for girl's, satin ribbon for belt (optional, not pictured here). 

3. Iron 1/2 inch fold around wrong side of entire waistband. Fold in half (wrong sides together) and press. 

4. Make sure each end of the band is the same width. These two ends will be almost touching in the finished product, so they need to be identical.  Set waistband aside.

5. Sew body of skirt together on one side (right sides together). If using a regular sewing machine, iron the seam allowance open. If using a serger, iron along inside of seam.

6. Lay out waistband. Line up the unsewn edge of the skirt body with one edge of the waistband. Overlap 1/2 inch of the top of the skirt body on the inside of the waist band as shown. Lay out the zipper next to it, lining up the zipper pull with the top of the waistband.

7. Mark the bottom of the zipper on the skirt body with a pin. 

8. With right sides together, sew the other side of the skirt body together (RST), stopping at the pin. Iron 1/4 inch down along the un-sewn remaining edge of the skirt body as shown.

9. Iron the hem.  I was able to use the factory-finished edge for the hem of my skirt, so one fold is sufficient. If your edge is not factory-finished, iron a 1/2 inch hem, then iron one more 1 inch fold. I realized that my lace could be sewn in conjunction with sewing my hem (as you can see). If this will work for your lace, skip to the next step. If not, pin your hem in place and sew a top stitch around the entire hem of the skirt body.

10. Begin pinning lace on to the hem at one of the seams. Continue pinning in place around the body of the skirt. Finish with a 1/2" overlap.  

Part of what gives this skirt its striking appearance is the lace that falls below the hemline. Choose your lace and your placement of it on the skirt's edge with this in mind.

11. Begin sewing the lace with a zig-zag stitch across the overlapping portion of the lace.  Sew a straight stitch across the entire circumference of the lace in two places--one near the top of the lace and one near the base of the skirt. 

12. Sew two gathering stitches around the top of the skirt body. Pull the bobbin (underside) thread to gather the skirt to the same width as the waistband. 

13. Line up the center of the skirt body (the closed seam side) with the center of the waistband. Adjust the gathers to be equal on each side. Lay the gathered top edge of the skirt body inside the folded waistband (about 1/2") and pin in place. Many pins in this step mean a nicer finished product, so don't  hesitate to use a bunch!

Sew a top stitch just inside the bottom edge of the waistband to secure the skirt in place. Leave 1 inch open at each end of the waistband and skirt for the zipper.

14. Place zipper between the folds of the waistband, but under the skirt body as shown.

15. Pin in place, then sew a top-stitch using a zipper foot. (This is my daughter's tiny skirt--hence the tiny zipper and giant-looking pins!)

16. Add the satin ribbon (if desired), and you are done! These are our Easter skirts, but I plan to use them year round! 


  1. What a great tutorial. It's pretty sad that I don't even own a sewing machine!!

    Thanks for linking up to Marvelous Monday on Smart Party Planning.

  2. this is so cute!! I was thinking to make a skirt similar to this myself this spring... glad i don't have to think through the whole thing i can just follow your steps ;o)