How to draft your own side-split midi-skirt

Floaty skirts have been doing the rounds this year; they’re comfy, easy to wear but oh-so-stylish, so here I’m going to show you how to draft your own like this!

Step 1 – Cut two rectangles for the skirt pieces

Take your waist measurement and measure out two pieces of your fabric at this width, so if your waist is 28”, the width of the front and back pieces will each be 28”; this way you’ll end up with double your waist measurement to gather in.

Measure down from your waist to the length you would like the skirt to be, if you’re not sure, go for longer as you can always chop a bit off at the end! I’m 5’6” and I cut mine 76cm long.

Cut two rectangles at the width and length you measured.

Step 2 – Cut your waistband pieces

Cut two long skinny rectangles to make your waistband. These will be exactly the same length as your skirt pieces are wide. The width you need depends on the width of the elastic you are using, but the formula is the same:

(Elastic width x 2) plus 3cm plus 5mm

So if you’re using 2cm elastic, do 2cm x 2 (so it goes over the front and back of the elastic), plus 3cm (1.5cm seam allowance on the outside and inside) plus 5mm (for wiggle room!) = 7.5cm width.

You’ll end up with two big rectangles and two skinny rectangles like this:

Step 3 – Sew the side seams

Before sewing anything, hold one of the big skirt pieces up to yourself and see how high you’d like your side split to go. This totally depends on your preference; I put mine 30cm up from the hem, which I have found gives good swishiness and leg flash without any worry of flashing too much! Cut a little notch each side of the skirt pieces at this length.

Sew the side seams of the skirt with a 1.5cm seam allowance, but finish at the notch you made for the split. Also sew the short edges of the waistband piece with a 1.5cm seam allowance:

Finish the seams however you prefer, then where you have the opening for your split, fold 1.5cm towards the wrong side, then fold this in on itself and stitch it down:

If, like me, you have a habit of marching around at speed, sew across the top of the split (like bar tacks on jeans) to avoid any risk of the split splitting up your thigh!

Step 4 – Attach the waistband

Slip the waistband piece completely over the skirt section, right sides together and pin in place:

Stitch the whole way around (joining two layers not four) with a 1.5cm seam allowance. Flip the waistband up and press. Fold the raw edge of the waistband over 1.5cm towards the wrong side and press, then match this up so it just goes past the line of stitches you just sewed, to create a waistband channel for the elastic to go in. Pin from the right side of the fabric as this is where you’ll sew:

Now you need to ‘stitch in the ditch’, i.e. along the seam line marked with yellow dots here, but leave a gap of around 5cm to insert the elastic:

Step 5 – Insert the elastic

Hold your elastic around your waist and get it to a comfortable size, it needs to have no slack to it otherwise the skirt will sit loose. Add 2cm for overlap and cut this length. Attach a safety pin to one end of the elastic and start feeding it in through the gap you left. Secure the other end of the elastic to the gap so it doesn’t get lost in the waistband. Feed the elastic through until it comes out the other side of the gap and you can match it up with the end that you secured there. Make sure the elastic isn’t twisted then overlap the ends by 2cm and stitch back and forth to really secure them. Let the elastic go in to the waistband and stich up the 5cm gap so it’s all closed.

Step 6 – Hem

Try the skirt on and see how much you would like to hem it. You may want to chop a bit off, but if not just turn up by 1.5cm, fold in on itself and stitch in place.

Step 7 – Strut.

On reflection after wearing the skirt and seeing the photos, I think I chose an elastic for the waistband that’s too narrow so it’s slightly unflattering. I’m going to unpick and cut a new waistband to fit a 2.5cm width, so word of warning – use an elastic that you know you’re comfortable wearing!

I was given this fabric from the lovely ladies at Sewalicious in exchange for a blog post 


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