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5 easy skirts to make & refashion - without a sewing pattern!

One of my favourite, most relaxing things to do after tucking my boy in bed at night is to make a skirt. Yep, even after a full day of sample sewing, tutorial shooting and pattern testing, a mindless, meditative quick-sew project can help me to wind it all down at the end of the day. 

We've put together a little round up of five of our favourite easy as pie skirts to make, none of which require a sewing pattern! All you need to whip up one of these babies is your waistline measurement (oh yes, and a whole bunch of fabric, notions, tools and your usual sewing paraphernalia. But still, no pattern!).

The circle skirt

Make it full, half or quarter, mini or maxi, from stiff wax cotton or drapey viscose, but don't ever forget that we have a circle skirt calculator app to take the head-scratching maths out of this otherwise peasy project.

Or, if the scientist lurking within is intrigued by the mathematical equations involved in the making of a circle skirt, head to this post to concoct your own...

The gathered skirt - two ways

Currently my favourite thing make and wear, and with so many fun variation possibilities!

Learn how to make a straight up gathered skirt here, or go one better...

...and check out our recent tutorial showing you how to make a two-tier peasant style gathered skirt here.

For more gathering techniques, check out this post.

The pleated skirt

Universally flattering, and with just enough fiddly technique to make for a deeply satisfying make, pleated skirts are massively underrated in our opinion! See how to make a classic knife pleated skirt here including how to create them using a fork (!)


Or bone up on all the various types of pleat out there with our handy glossary.


The refashioned skirt

You can literally make skirt out of anything - an old bedsheet, a pillowcase, your man's shirt - waste not, want not!

The party skirt

It doesn't matter if you're five or fifty-five - every girl needs a tutu

Other useful resources

It's all very well to just grab a piece of fabric and wrap/pleat/gather it around your waist, but what about those pesky - but essential - little details such as, oh, the zipper, waistband and hem?? No fear, you can rest assured that there's a tutorial for all of those too!

See here for our definitive guide to inserting an invisible zipper (& don't forget to check out this post for a trick to get your waistline to match either side of your zipper - it will change your life, we promise!). Choose which style of waistband you prefer here. Get the low-down on hemming curves here, and go for gold with a rolled hem here.

Comments on this post (11)

  • Jul 03, 2020

    Hi Linda, These are box pleats, there’s two on the front and two on the back. I would probably suggest 1-1.5 inches on each half of the pleat? Hope this helps? Jessica.

    — Jessica BHL

  • Jul 03, 2020

    Hi there! I’m wondering what sort of pleats – and how wide and how many – were used on the postman pat fabric skirt. I love this. I have an old bed sheet I would like to use and I would like deep pleats and a flat front like this. Thanks! :)

    — Linda

  • Jun 07, 2019

    Thank you for the knife pleat video! That easy, huh? If I had known I wouldn’t have failed so many times! Wonderful blog. Thanks again!

    — any

  • Jun 07, 2019

    Thank you for the knife pleat video! That easy, huh? If I had known I wouldn’t have failed so many times! Wonderful blog. Thanks again!

    — any

  • Feb 05, 2019

    very nice!

    — amanda

  • Feb 05, 2019

    I need a tutu! wonderful your post.

    — Eliane

  • Apr 07, 2017

    I just saw your brilliant skirt making idea.
    I have a jean fabric with silver studs that I’ve had for years.
    “Come to me my darling”!!!
    Thank you so very much,

    — Amina Linn

  • Aug 24, 2015

    Hi Maria, don’t worry the circle skirt app hasn’t gone anywhere! You can find it here –

    Happy sewing!

    — Elisalex - By Hand London

  • Aug 24, 2015

    Cant find your circle skirt app you stll have the link?


    — Maria

  • Aug 23, 2015

    LOVE LOVE LOVE this post! I can’t wait to try making my own!

    — Jenny

  • Aug 20, 2015

    Oh be still my beating heart – Postman Pat is my Welsh pin up boy! Whenever I’m trying to explain what a welsh accent sounds like he’s my go to! Timely post thank you, off to concoct a formal skirt for my Princess!

    — Lesley

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