Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane

Patternless Skirt


As part of our sewing day away the ladies all brought fabric, patterns and notions for the donate-swap table. As I don’t have much of a stash, I had to dive deep into the blanket box to see what lengths and leftovers were lurking there. I came up with a few serviceable pieces, one of them being this, which actually stayed home with me.


Navy distressed wool pinstripe from The Cloth House, London; the bulk of the fabric having been used to make culottes a few years back.


Enough to make a pencil skirt, roughly 50″ X 25″ (127 x 64cm). So the fabric was wrapped around Doris while I went off to locate a suitable pattern. However, I looked at the draping on the mannequin and thought – that looks interesting as it is – let’s make a skirt without a pattern. I mean it’s only leftover fabric anyway that had been long forgotten, nothing to lose.

Here’s how to make a skirt without a pattern. It helps if you have a mannequin but if you don’t then just use yourself and get a little help from someone with the pinning for darts.


This will be a lined wrap skirt with an asymmetrical hemline.










Pin the fabric to the mannequin, overlapping the fronts at an angle. Pinch out the excess at the back to make two darts and do the same at the sides. Four small darts for shaping.


Cut a waistband facing (I used another fabric) the same width of the ‘skirt’ and sew to the top edge. Cut the lining a little smaller than the skirt’s width and sew to the facing and the two sides, leaving the hem open.


Turn to the right side and press well, especially down the short edges. As the lining is smaller the edges should turn under neatly.


Fold up the raw edge of the hem lining a little higher than the skirt hem and sew.


The lining is not edge to edge therefore and should not be seen from the outside. You may have to make a few folds/pleats in the lining to make it fit within the confines of the skirt.

Make a buttonhole on the right hand side at hip and sew a button to the left side. This will hold the skirt up.


Recently I bought a few zips from Minerva and there was this brilliant deal for £1 – a bag full of assorted zips. Most are open ended chunky plastic type zips. I took a black one of these and sewed it to the wrap edge of the skirt.


No attempt to hide the zip was made because it’s a design feature! This keeps the wrap wrapped.

When you look at a piece of fabric and think it’s not worth keeping – think again.


26 thoughts on “Patternless Skirt

  1. “When you look at a piece of fabric and think it’s not worth keeping – think again.” I don’t understand? Great skirt, well done missus, I do like some zero/near-zero waste projects!

  2. Love it! You are going to give Vivienne Westwood a run for her money!

  3. I adore this skirt! Very flattering as well! Wonderful fabric! You might say I like the entire idea!
    I’ve been trying to find a way to make a wrap skirt out of a remnant I bought because I love
    the fabric. You’re a gem, positively.

  4. That’s adorable! I love the style and it’s very becoming on you. What a wonderful project and inspiration. . Thank you for sharing it.

  5. Great idea brilliantly executed. Love the idea of using up and zero waste but those left over pieces of fabric do take a bit more imagination to become a garment which sometimes we lack and clearly you didn’t.

    • Thanks Stephanie, although the ‘idea’ did take about 2 years to come to fruitiation and only because I had to give away the fabric – only then did it became very usable.

  6. What a beautiful skirt! Great job – again! Not that easy to think outside the box. You make it look so easy and chic.

  7. Great skirt! And great way to use up a piece of fabric.

  8. Great. I love working like this. One of my favourite methods (although lining it gives another level of excellence). It looks so much more exciting interesting than a pencil skirt and I love the zip. Super work.

  9. So satisfying when you manage to make something great out of long forgotten fabric!

    • And believe me Catherine, I had really and truly forgotten about this piece of fabric so it felt like I’d bought it all over again.
      Satisfying indeed. Thank you.

  10. Fantastic skirt! The zip as a design element is wonderful.

  11. Wowsers!! This is amazing! What a fantastic idea, and it’s turned out brilliantly.

  12. Love it and with the Westwood vibe it really suits you. Such a creative approach. I’m still too reliant on patterns (see you would have been great on the creative bit of great British sewing bee, they so got it wrong not picking you! X

  13. Start with a great remnant of fabric and a tall thin body and straight thighs, flat tummy, pert bottom and pin pin pin until it drapes perfectly…add a cool lining and facing, a button closure and a zipper…voila…now you are sewing/creating Ruth-style!!! I love your blogs…it makes me think I could be more daring!!!!

Let's talk.....

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s