DIY Fashion Sewing

Pretty Little Plaid Skirt Tutorial

August 15, 2011

Happy Monday everyone!

Today I’m sharing the tutorial with you for the skirt from this post.

The Pretty Little Plaid Skirt a.k.a. “The Modest Mini Skirt: Pretty Little Plaid Version”

Want to learn how to make one too? Then you’ve come to the right place! Just keep on reading…

What you will need:

  • 1-2 yards patchwork madras plaid fabric
  • 1-2 yards lining fabric (I used some inexpensive lightweight white muslin)
  • 8-9 inch zipper in coordinating color
  • Thread in coordinating color

Here’s just a quick little note: This skirt does not follow a traditional pattern and may not use “traditional” sewing techniques, but it is a fast way to make a summer skirt out of this type of fabric.

Ok, let’s get started!

First go out and find your patchwork fabric. I found mine at Joann’s Fabrics locally. I did some research and found out that it is called “patchwork madras plaid.”If you google it, you will find a few retailers online, but it doesn’t look like Joann’s has it in their online store. The closest print that I could find in their online store is this. I have never ordered from this online store, but it looks like they carry a lot of different colors of the fabric.

The inside of the fabric looks like this. A lot of little squares that look like they have been serged together. Fancy!

Anyway, I would say to check your local fabric store first. If you buy it at Joann’s, you might want to snag a coupon and take it in first. I think that it was somewhere between $10-12/yard. A little pricey – but the coupon helps!

You’re going to want to buy 1-2 yards depending on how long you want your skirt. You will also want to buy the same amount of another type of fabric for the lining, as the patchwork madras fabric is a little sheer. I bought some simple lightweight white cotton muslin to line it with – it’s soft, doesn’t weigh the skirt down too much, and is inexpensive!

Next, grab one of your favorite skirts from your closet. It should fit you well and have an approximate length that you like. You will use this to help you construct your “pattern.”

Fold the fabric in half either hamburger or hotdog style (right sides out is fine here) and then lay your skirt on top. You want to make sure that you have at least a few inches around all sides of the skirt.

Watch out for domestic snuggling critters who might also be interested in your project! Guide them off of your work, away from any pins, sewing scissors, or other interesting items, and then continue.

Use a measuring tape to check the space around your skirt. Leave 2-ish inches around the border when you trace the shape. I say “2-ish” because being approximate is fine here. You will be trimming any of the extra fabric off later.

It should look something like this.

Then go back and do the same thing with the white fabric. This time, use the plaid pieces that you just cut as the template. Don’t leave a 2 inch border around them this time, just trace them exactly. After this step, you should end up with 4 pieces (2 plaid, 2 white) that are the same size.

Stack your fabric pieces. First take the two plaid pieces and put the right sides together. Put one lining piece on top of each of them.

You want the right sides of the lining pieces to be on top and the wrong sides to be facing inside.

In other words, keep the softer side of your lining fabric on top (facing out, not facing the other fabric) because this is the fabric that will be touching your skin.

Draw a line 1-2 inches in and pin. As you are pinning, keep “peeking” inside to the inner madras layers of the fabric to make sure that the seams/squares of the plaid checks are lining up. It will look neater and more professional this way. This might take awhile, but it is worth it!

Try not to leave your work unattended for too long… or this might happen! I was just trying to go grab a zipper for the skirt!

Ok, so now you will want to have a zipper handy. I like the invisible zippers, but a traditional zipper would work too. Your choice. An 8-9 inch zipper is best. You can always trim it down.

Sew up one side of the skirt, then tackle the zipper. Colette Patterns has a good invisible zipper tutorial here.

Then sew the other side of the skirt and try it on to check the fit.

I needed to add some small back darts to mine to bring the waist in a bit for a better fitting skirt. You can do this as well, or leave as is if the fit is already how you would like it!

Tuck the rough edges at the top of the waist band under and sew, then trim the excess fabric away.

Try on your skirt and decide where you want the hem to hit. Then fold under, iron, fold under again, and sew! Or for something a little fancier, you can do this.

Voila! You are finished!

Wear it out and enjoy the rest of the summer weather!

Have questions? Know another place to buy the patchwork madras plaid fabric? Feel free to ask and share below!



  • Rosie

    oh i LOVE this skirt! really want to try to make it once i have a second :-)

    hope you’re well sweetheart