Learn how to make a simple summer skirt with an elastic waistband and pockets with this step-by-step tutorial. This lightweight, flared skirt fits perfectly and the pockets are so convenient!
To make your own summer skirt you only need to measure your waist and the desired length of the skirt.
Patterns seem too complicated for these hot, lazy days of summer. I whipped up this comfy, no-pattern skirt in less than an hour (including the time for photographing all the steps), and I’m sure it won’t pose a challenge to anyone.
So, here’s how to make this easy flared summer skirt with pockets. The in-seam pockets add functionality to any skirt and they are so easy to sew!
To make my skirt, I used a lightweight cotton fabric and 1/8″ wide elastic for the waistband.
Sewing supplies – flared skirt with an elastic waistband and pockets
- free PDF pattern for the in-seam pockets – download here
- cotton/linen/viscose fabric of your choice
- sewing machine
- sewing machine needle
- matching thread
- sewing pins
- fabric scissors
- 1/4” wide (or 1/8” wide) elastic
How to make an easy summer skirt tutorial
Step 1 – draft the pattern pieces
Fold your fabric in half, and measure 1/2 of your waist measurement minus 2 inches from the folded edge.
Remember that this is the front piece on the fold, and the back piece will be identical.
Each of the skirt pieces is half of the total width needed.
So, in the end, the fullness of the skirt will about 1.7 times your waist measurement.
Here’s how I constructed this skirt. It’s composed of 2 identical pattern pieces. In the end, the top of the skirt will be (2x waist measurement minus 8″), while the bottom of the skirt will be (2x hip measurement plus 8 inches).
I did this because I wanted to reduce the gathers at the waist but still maintain the effect of fullness in the skirt.
Then measure your desired skirt length – I wanted a midi skirt, so my skirt length is 27 inches (I added 1 inch for the hem).
At the top of the skirt, I measured 12 inches (my waist measurement is 27.5 inches).
At the bottom, I measured 19 inches – that 1/2 my hip measurement, plus 2 additional inches. That’s 7 inches longer than the top of the skirt, and that means that the fullness of the bottom of the skirt will be about 2 times my hip measurement, plus 8 inches. That’s enough wearing ease, I think.
Anyway, you may add more or less flare to your skirt – just move the tape measure according to how much flare you want your skirt to have. Make a gently curved hemline.
Then add the waistband, straight up and down – just draft a 3” tall rectangle.
Cut out two identical pattern pieces.
Related: Tiered ruffle skirt tutorial
Step 2 – prepare the pocket pieces
After that, print the pocket pattern and cut the pockets.
You’ll need two identical pieces that are mirror images to each other – and these two pieces form one pocket. Repeat and cut out two more pieces for the other pocket.
Measure down about 3” from the top of the skirt pieces (just ignore the waistband piece) and mark that point – this is where you’ll start lining up the top of your pockets. Now take the pocket pieces and pin them, right sides together, on your skirt, matching the edges.
Then stitch the pocket pieces on the side seam of the skirt – make sure the pockets are symmetrical on both sides. Finish the raw edges with a zigzag stitch or a serger.
Step 3 – sew the side seams
Place the two skirt pieces with right sides together and pin. Stitch along the entire length of both side seams and around the pockets.
Zig-zag or serge around the raw edges to keep them from fraying.
While you’re at it, serge the top edge of the waistband.
Step 4 – make the waistband
Fold down 1.5” the waistband. You’ll need to stitch multiple rows and insert smaller lengths of elastic through each casing.
First, edgestitch the top edge of the waistband – stitch 1/8 inch away from the folded edge, all the way around – no need to leave an opening.
Stitch the second row 3/8 inch from the 1st row of stitching, the third 1/8” away from the second, and the fourth 3/8” from the third. For all these rows, you need to leave an opening so you can thread the elastic.
Now you can feed two pieces of 1/8” wide elastic (or 1.4” wide elastic) in the two channels that are 3/8” wide.
I cut both my elastic pieces 4” shorter than my waist measurement.
Join the elastic ends and then sew shut all three openings.
Step 5 – hem the skirt
I made a double-fold hem for my skirt. First, I stitched 1/4” away from the raw edge, then I folded the hem and pressed it in place with the iron.
Last, I folded the fabric toward the wrong side again, by approximately 1/2 inch, pressed it well, and edge-stitched the folded edge in place.
You can also use a serged and turned hem or make a narrow hem with your serger.
And that’s all – this cute everyday skirt is ready to wear!
I love having somewhere to put my hands when I’m standing! Every skirt should have pockets, don’t you think?
Did you find this summer skirt tutorial helpful? I’d like to hear what you think of it! And I would LOVE to see pictures if you give this skirt a try.