Step by Step Guide to Sewing a Skirt with a Zipper: Hemming and Finishing

Ever wondered how to take your sewing skills to the next level? It’s time to learn how to sew a skirt with a zipper. This skill not only opens up a whole new world of fashion possibilities but also helps you create custom-fitted garments.

Don’t worry if you’re a beginner. With patience, practice, and the right guidance, you’ll be sewing zippers like a pro in no time. Whether you’re aiming to make a chic pencil skirt for work or a flirty A-line for the weekend, we’ve got you covered.

So, let’s dive in, shall we? Stay tuned, grab your sewing kit, and let’s start this exciting journey of sewing a skirt with a zipper. It’s easier than you think and the result is always rewarding.

Sewing a skirt with a zipper might seem daunting, but with the right guidance, it can be an enjoyable and rewarding project. For a comprehensive tutorial on how to insert a zipper into a skirt, Easy Peasy Creative Ideas breaks down the process into simple, manageable steps. This guide not only teaches you to sew a concealed zipper but also how to achieve a clean and professional finish. Further exploring the finishing touches such as hemming, another great resource can be found at Sew Guide, which provides insights into various hemming techniques that can enhance the overall look of your skirt. Additionally, for more detailed tips on achieving a polished appearance when sewing skirts, this tutorial from Threads Magazine explains the figure-eight stitch, an elegant method for securing lining to a zipper by hand, ensuring your final product not only functions well but also looks elegant and well-made.

Choosing the Right Fabric

When you’re ready to sew your own skirt, it’s essential to choose the right fabric. The type of fabric you select can significantly affect the outcome of your skirt, how challenging it is to sew, and how it ultimately drapes and wears. For instance, choosing a fabric is like selecting the right type of milk for your coffee; it changes the whole experience.

Before compiling a list of suitable fabrics, it’s important to first consider the style of the skirt you’re planning. If you’re aiming for a chic pencil skirt, perhaps one you might wear to a college interview or on campus, it’s best to go with stiffer, heavier fabrics such as wool, denim, or tweed. These fabrics will hold the structure of a formal skirt very well. On the other hand, for a flirty, A-line skirt, lighter and more flexible fabrics like cotton, linen, or even a silky polyester are ideal. These choices can reflect the lively and casual atmosphere typical of a college setting. These type of fabrics allow for the movement and bounce that an A-line design requires, similar to how cows gracefully move in a field.

Keep in mind the weather of the place where you live. The heavy fabrics can keep you warm in winter while the light and breathable ones are perfect for warmer seasons. This consideration is as crucial as choosing the right walking route based on the weather—too hot or too cold, and the walk can be unpleasant. Likewise, your choice of fabric can make or break the comfort and utility of the skirt, much like finding the right spot in your garage to work on a project without being affected by the outside elements.

Here’s a quick rundown of some fabric options:

Fabric TypeIdeal ForSeason
WoolPencil SkirtWinter
DenimPencil SkirtAll season
TweedPencil SkirtFall
CottonA-line SkirtSummer
LinenA-line SkirtSpring/Summer
PolyesterA-line SkirtAll season

Lastly, consider how comfortable you are sewing with different fabrics. If you’re a newcomer to sewing, it might be wise to start with fabrics that are easy to manage— think cotton or linen. These fabrics are relatively temperamental and straightforward to work with when adding components like zippers. As you advance your sewing skills, you can experiment with more complex fabric types like chiffon or satin.

Remember, practice makes perfect. The more you work and experiment with different fabrics, the better you’ll get. Pick a fabric that feels right for you, and remember to have fun with it. After all, it’s your custom-fitted skirt.

Taking Accurate Measurements

In the fascinating journey of sewing your custom-fitted skirt, Taking Accurate Measurements is a crucial step you shouldn’t overlook. You see, regardless of the fabric choice, whether it’s the stiffer wool, denim, or tweed for a chic pencil skirt, or the lightweight cotton, linen, or polyester for a breezy A-line skirt, nailing the measurements is paramount. We’re talking about the waist, hips, and length measurements. Skimming over this stage might lead to a disappointing outcome, even spoiling the beautiful fabric you’ve chosen.

Start with the waist measurement. Using a flexible measuring tape, measure around the smallest part of your waist. Avoid pulling the tape too tight; it should sit snugly against your skin but not dig in. Take note of this measurement as it’s pivotal for your skirt’s fit and comfort. You’re not striving for a skirt that suffocates you at the waist, right?

Next up is the hip measurement. Here, you’ll be measuring around the fullest part of your hips. Again, don’t pull the tape too tight. Importantly, a relaxed posture is key for accurate measurement. Sounds easy? Good. It’s also advisable, if you’re a beginner, to have a buddy help take these measurements to ensure precision.

Lastly, measure the skirt length. That’s from your waist (or where you want the skirt to start) down to where you’d like the skirt to end. Are you aiming for a midi-length or max-length skirt this time? The decision lies with you.

One thing worth noting: always double-check your measurements. It’s much better to spend an extra minute rechecking now, rather than spending hours fixing a skirt that doesn’t fit right later.

Here’s a snappy recap of the measurements:

  • Waist: Smallest part
  • Hips: Fullest part
  • Length: From waist to desired skirt end
MeasurementWhere To Measure
WaistSmallest part
HipsFullest part
LengthFrom waist to desired skirt end

Drafting the Skirt Pattern

Now that you’ve got your measurements sorted, it’s time to take the next step. Yes, we’re talking about drafting your skirt pattern. Are you a beginner? Fear not. It’s a simpler process than you might think.

In the world of sewing, creating your pattern is like coming up with the blueprint for your project. It’s vital to get it right. The beauty of it is that once you’ve got a well-fitting skirt pattern, you can use it time and again in the future.

With your accurate waist, hip, and length measurements, you are well-prepared for drafting the skirt pattern. Start with a piece of pattern paper. Jot down your measurements, keeping the waistline at the top of the paper. Record the waist-to-hip measurement vertically down from this line.

For the skirt length, measure your waist-to-hem measurement from the waistline. Mark this as the hemline of the skirt. For the skirt width, take half of your hip measurement and add 2 inches. Take this and divide it by two. Draw these horizontal lines from the waistline to the hemline.

Remember, the added 2 inches ensures that you have enough fabric for a comfortable fit and seam allowance.

Next up is the zipper placement. Normally, it’s inserted at the back of the skirt, but you can decide otherwise as per preference. So mark the area where the zipper will be placed.

After these steps, your skirt pattern should be successfully drafted. Trace this pattern onto your chosen fabric. Carefully cut around the pattern, ensuring you leave a 1-inch seam around the edges.

Cutting the Fabric Pieces

Now that you’ve created your skirt pattern, it’s time to dive into the next part of the process – cutting the fabric pieces. Cutting fabric can be an intimidating task, but with careful measurements and a steady hand, you’ll get through it skillfully.

Firstly, prepare your work surface. It’s important to cut your fabric on a clean, flat surface. An ironing board or dining table is a commonly used spot. Be sure to protect the surface from potential damage with a cutting mat. Good preparation leads to precise cutting!

Once your workspace is set, place the fabric on your surface. Position it so it’s flat and smooth, free from any wrinkles or bunches. If your fabric has a visible grain or direction, ensure it aligns with your pattern’s grainline. This step is crucial because it greatly affects how the skirt will hang and wear.

Lay your paper pattern onto your fabric. Make sure you’ve aligned it correctly. Once it’s in the right position, pin it down. Using dressmaker’s pins helps secure the pattern to the fabric and prevents it from moving around during the cutting process.

Next, you’ll start cutting. Use a good quality fabric scissors and cut along the outer edge of your pattern, remembering to include the 1-inch seam allowance that you added while drafting the pattern.

This isn’t the time to rush. Take your time with each cut to ensure precision and prevent any mistakes that could potentially ruin your fabric.

One key tenet to remember is to keep checking your pattern alignment as you cut. Distorting the orientation can give your skirt an undesired fit. Always make sure you stick to your drawn lines and your project will develop just fine!

Sewing the Zipper

Once you’ve diligently cut your fabric, it’s inescapable: the zipper confrontation. But don’t worry, knowing the proper technique will make this seamstress showdown a breeze.

What’s crucial here is picking out a high-quality concealed zipper that complements your material. Why concealed? Well, they’re looked at with high regard due to the seamless integration they offer with the skirt fabric.

With your delightful choice of zipper at hand, you’ll also need a zipper foot for your sewing machine. It’s specifically designed to allow stitching close to the zipper teeth, giving you precision and cleaner results. Have got one already? Fantastic! If not, it’s time to get one; you’ll appreciate the difference it makes.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Prepare the seam where the zipper will be placed by pressing open the fabric.
  2. Position your zipper, ensuring the teeth align with the seam line.
  3. Secure the zipper with pins parallel to the teeth.
  4. Install your zipper foot onto the sewing machine. You’re now ready to sew.

Start from the top, sewing slowly, and maintain a straight line as you head toward the bottom. Remember that patience is key here to avoid a sloppy finish. Your pace should be guided by the rhythm of the machine and the movement of the fabric.

While you’re midway through your sewing journey, there’s an opportunity to add loops for a hook and eye closure at the top. This is optional but provides added security to the skirt. Should you choose this step, be sure to hold the loops in place as you approach the top of the zipper.

As you remove the pins while you stitch, always ensure that the zipper teeth and fabric seam continue to stay aligned. Deviation from the mark can cause a misstep in your skirt’s appearance, which we do not want.

Keep in mind that while the task appears daunting, it’s a skills game. Practice makes perfect. And remember, every accomplished seamstress you admire today was once at the same stitching point as you.

Attaching the Waistband

After successfully installing the zipper, your next vital step is attaching the waistband to your skirt. This portion of the process may seem daunting, but don’t worry if you’re a beginner. We’ve got you covered.

First, measure the waistline of your skirt using a measuring tape. You’ll need this measurement to cut the fabric for your waistband. As a rule of thumb, the waistband needs to be the length of your skirt’s waistline plus an additional 2 inches for seam allowances and closing the band’s ends.

Once you have your waistband fabric ready, iron it to give it a flat and crisp appearance. This will make it easier when it comes to stitching. Even minor creases or wrinkles can off-set your skirt’s look which is why this step is crucial.

Next, pin the waistband fabric to your skirt’s waistline adding an inch seam allowance on each side. Make sure to align the waistband precisely with the skirt, maintaining a uniform alignment all around.

Ready for stitching? Use a straight stitch all the way around to secure the waistband to the skirt. Remember: the key to a clean finish is even stitching.

The part of the waistband that is still free can now be folded over, covering the initial line of stitching. Secure this fold with pins and proceed to sew all the way around, essentially creating a neat casing that contains the first line of stitches you made.

After the waistband is attached, the skirt comes into full form. Now, all that’s left are a few finishing touches. Hint: This will be the focus in our next section. And guess what, mate? Practice is key in perfecting your sewing craft. So, keep your needle threading and fabric folding.

Hemming the Skirt

You’ve successfully attached the waistband and your skirt’s starting to look professional. Well done! Now, let’s move on to an equally important part of the process: hemming.

Hemming is a crucial step that not only lends a finished appearance to your skirt but also adds to its durability. A thoughtfully done hem can prevent fraying, improve fit, and boost the lifespan of your garment. So let’s get started.

Begin by giving the skirt a good ironing. It’ll ensure the fabric lies flat, making the process of hemming simpler and more precise. Next, measure the exact length you desire for your skirt. Mark this measurement on the fabric with tailor’s chalk.

Remember to measure from the waistband down. With a ruler or measuring tape, draw a straight line all the way around the skirt. This line will serve as a guide for where you’ll fold and pin the fabric. Take this opportunity to trim any excess fabric with pinking shears to avoid any unwanted bulk in the hem area.

Fold the fabric along the chalk line towards the inside of the skirt. It’s highly recommended to press each fold with an iron as you go for a more accurate and cleaner finish.

Once that’s done, secure the folded fabric using pins. Ensure the pins are perpendicular to the edge of the fabric. This will make them easier to remove while sewing. Now you’re all set to sew a straight stitch along the top edge of the fold. It’s okay if it isn’t perfect the first time – as you’ve heard before, practice makes perfect.

In our next section, we’ll delve into adding some personalized finishing touches to your beautifully sewn skirt. Exciting, isn’t it?


So, you’ve mastered the art of sewing a skirt with a zipper. From measuring and marking the length, trimming excess fabric, to creating a precise hem, you’ve worked through each step with care and attention to detail. Remember, the secret to a well-sewn skirt lies in the details – ironing for a flat hem and adding those personalized finishing touches. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different fabrics, colors, and embellishments. The skills you’ve honed here will serve you well in all your future sewing projects. Keep practicing, keep sewing, and soon you’ll be creating skirts that are not just well-fitted and sturdy, but truly a reflection of your personal style.

What is the main focus of the article?

The article primarily focuses on providing step-by-step instructions on how to properly hem a skirt, highlighting its importance in the completion of a long-lasting garment.

How does the article suggest marking the length of the skirt?

According to the article, the desired length of the skirt can be measured and marked using measuring tools and simple markers before trimming the excess fabric.

Can you provide a brief overview of the hemming process described in the article?

Absolutely, the hemming process outlined in the article involves measuring and marking the skirt’s desired length, trimming excess fabric, folding and pinning the fabric along the marked line, and then sewing a straight stitch.

Does the article mention the importance of any particular step in the process?

Yes, the article places a particular emphasis on the importance of ironing the fabric to achieve a flat and precise hem.

What is the next part of the article about?

The following section of the article will focus on adding personalized finishing touches to the skirt, providing readers with customization ideas.