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Seam Skirt in 30 Minutes

Time: 2019-04-03 12:28cheongsam dress Click:


How to Draft a One-Seam Skirt in 30 Minutes December 31st, 2008     

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Jennifer Stern, contributor

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Seam Skirt in 30 Minutes

Here is my stretch velvet skirt, together with the original fleece one I made a couple of years ago.

Jen Stern

Seam Skirt in 30 Minutes

The front view of the fleece skirt.

Jen Stern

Seam Skirt in 30 Minutes

Here is a close-up of the center back seam and embroidery.

Jen Stern

Here is my stretch velvet skirt, together with the original fleece one I made a couple of years ago.

Here is my stretch velvet skirt, together with the original fleece one I made a couple of years ago.

Photo: Jen Stern


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Christmas is over, and my thoughts have shifted to what I will be wearing on New Year's Eve. Whatever I pick needs to be stretchy so it's comfortable to wear while I'm eating, dancing...and eating again! I designed this one-seam skirt for a class I taught a few years ago. For the class I suggested that my students use fleece. It turned out to be the perfect winter skirt—warm and cozy! I decided to try it using stretch velvet for New Year's Eve! This simple pattern is really a rectangle with some darts along the waistline to create a nice shape. The single seam runs down the center back of the skirt. All you need to make your own pattern is a large piece of pattern paper, a long ruler or yardstick, and your hip measurement. After I show you how to draft the pattern, I will give you some tips on sewing a good dart.

If you're scrolling ahead to peak at how much work this pattern is to draft, don't be fooled by the number of steps, seven in all. I wanted to make it as easy as possible to follow, and each step takes just a few minutes!

step 1


Work on a large piece of paper. If you don't have paper that big, use newspaper and make a bold pen line with a skinny Sharpie marker.


Step 2

  When you add the waistline, measure the distance between the widest part of your hip and where you want the waistline of your skirt to sit.

Step 3

  The center back seam is usually straight. If you have a sway-back, you can take in the center back seam, creating a dart, for a better fit.

step 4

  These longer darts are a great substitute for side seams—depending on the kind of knit you are using, they can almost disappear into the fabric.

step 5

  If your waist is more than 6 inches smaller than your hip, you add an extra set of darts in the front and/or back to spread out the reduction. I don't recommend making darts with straight legs any more than 1 inch wide—it gets hard to end gradually if they are too wide.

step 6

  The center front waist should dip below the sides about 3/4 inch and the center back waist should be 1/2 inch lower than the sides.

step 7


step 8


color view of completed pattern


Take your completed pattern and lay it on stretch fabric of your choice. Make sure the width of the pattern is positioned across the stretch. Cut it out and get ready to sew some great darts!

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