Do It Yourself: How To Make Mini Skirts

For this simple DIY miniskirt, all you need is a couple of hours and a few basic supplies, and you can have a unique clothing creation.

Want a one-of-a-kind look but don't want to shell out tons of cash for couture? Then jump on the DIY trend, and make your own miniskirt! Just follow these simple directions, and you can have a brand-new skirt in a single afternoon.

First, you'll need the following materials:

-One and one-half yards of fabric

-Scissors

-Tailor's chalk

-Sewing machine or hand-sewing needle and thread

-Tape measure

-Ruler

-One yard of elastic or two yards of ribbon/cord

Wash the fabric before you begin. New fabrics aren't pre-washed, and many fabrics shrink the first time you wash them.

While you're waiting for the fabric to dry, take your measurements. Measure all the way around your body at the fullest part of your hips (if you want to wear the skirt higher, then measure your natural waistline). Then, hold the tape measure against the side of your body at the point where you want the skirt to fall on your waist or hips, and take note of the desired length.

Once the fabric is dry, fold it in half so that you have two layers, and the "right" sides of the fabric should be facing each other (the "right" side is the side that shows when the garment is finished). For now, you'll be working on the "wrong" side, which should be the side facing you.

With tailor's chalk, you will draw the outline of your miniskirt onto the wrong side of the fabric. Begin by drawing a straight line down the center of the fabric. Now divide your hip or waistline measurement in half, then use this new number to draw the waistline. If your hip measurement is 36, then you will work for now with an 18-inch waist. However, it is important to make the skirt a little bigger because sewing seams takes up a little fabric. Add an extra inch, and you can always make the skirt smaller if it's too big. Therefore, if you want your finished waistline to be 36 inches, make two marks with the chalk, 19 inches apart. The center line should fall exactly in the center of these two marks. Connect the two marks, and remember that waistlines tend to curve downwards slightly.

Do you remember how long you want your skirt to be? From the exact center of the waistline, mark this length, plus a little extra for the hem allowance. Now mark your hem line. The hem line should follow the slight curve of the waistline. Finally, mark the side seams, which should slant out slightly from the waistline to the hem.



Now, cut out the pieces. Place the fabric flat on a table or the floor, and cut through both layers of the fabric at the same time. To ensure a smooth cut, keep your bottom scissor edge against the table.

Note: If you are concerned about your skirt being perfectly symmetrical, one helpful hint is to fold the fabric a second time down the center line, before cutting, with the wrong side still facing out. Then, you will cut through four layers at once, and each side will be a mirror image of the other.

The next step is to sew the side seams. Line up the pieces, with the right sides facing each other, and sew straight down each side, with a 5/8-inch seam allowance. This is quick if you have a sewing machine, but it's a little more time consuming if you have to do it by hand. If you're really in a hurry, you might want to try a fabric glue, which you can find in craft or fabric shops.

At this point, your creation should have the basic shape of a skirt. But we're not finished yet---that skirt won't stay on your body by itself. Here are three quick, simple methods to make the skirt fit:

1. Elastic. Use 1-inch width elastic, and cut a piece approximately the same length as your waistline or hip measurement. Sew this elastic to the inside of your skirt.

2. Drawstring. Make a casing by turning over the waistline of your skirt and stitching all the way around, like a hem. Snip two small holes in the front of the casing, towards the center of the waistline on the front of the skirt. Take a piece of ribbon or cord approximately twice as long as your waist, and pin a safety pin at one end. Work this drawstring all the way through the casing, then remove the safety pin. Pull the drawstring tight and tie, then cut off the excess cord or ribbon.

3. Belt loops. Cut five 2-inch pieces of ribbon. Be sure to space each loop equally on the skirt. Sew one end of each loop to the inside of the waist. Turn the bottom edge of the loop under and stitch to the front of the skirt. Now run a long piece of ribbon through the loops and tie in a large bow.

For a finished hem, turn over the bottom edge and iron. Then, sew through the turned-up edge. For an extra flourish, add lace or ribbon trim, or take the leftover fabric and make a ruffle along the hem. Now get ready to strut your stuff! You're sure to get noticed in your brand-new skirt---take pride in knowing that you can say, "Thanks, I made it."

© High Speed Ventures 2011