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My version of the American Apparel 'Full Woven skirt'
I had this black material and was looking around for ideas. I loved this skirt and I figured I would have a go at making one like it.
I find skirts made from rectangles easier than circle skirts so that's how I chose to make it.

To help with measurements, I am 1.57m and my waist measurement is 65cm.

My skirt rectangles were 40x90cm

... I should have ironed it before I took photos...

Posted by StephanieM Published See StephanieM's 10 projects »
  • How to make a high-waisted skirt. American Apparel Style Skirt - Step 1
    Step 1

    Measure your waist- where the skirt will sit [pink line]

    From waist measure where you want the skirt to go to. [green line]

    You don't need to include seem allowancees

  • How to make a high-waisted skirt. American Apparel Style Skirt - Step 2
    Step 2

    For the skirt: CUT 2

    w= Green line
    (mine was 40cm, but I'm short)
    l= waist measurement + roughly half again (mine was waist=65 +25 = 90cm

    Alternatively, measure the bottom of a full skirt you have and use that measurement.

    For the waistband:
    use your waist measurement and add 1/3 again (for me 65+21= 76)
    and make it 8cm in width

    NOTE: The American Apparel skirt actually has a thinner waist band, make it thinner if you want a closer copy.

  • How to make a high-waisted skirt. American Apparel Style Skirt - Step 3
    Step 3

    Hem what you want to be the bottom of the skirt. And zigzag stitch the top and sides.

    NOTE: you did not need to include a seem allowance when you cut because this part doesn't sit on the waist

    Face the right sides of the rectangles together and sew the sides together. You now have a VERY wide skirt!

  • How to make a high-waisted skirt. American Apparel Style Skirt - Step 4
    Step 4

    Make a 3mm hem on both long parts of the waistband.

    Now mark out half your waist measurement (mine: 65/2= 32.5 so I measured out 32.5) with a coloured pencil or tailor's chalk.
    This part will sit flat across the front.

    The longer part will be the back of the skirt, most of it will be elasticised.

    With your tailors chalk measure 8 cm from each side. (Check this on you, that 8cm is enough to be not seen from the front. This is so it looks flat all the way around from the front)

    Now sew the waist band together with a 5mm seem

  • How to make a high-waisted skirt. American Apparel Style Skirt - Step 5
    Step 5

    It's time to gather the skirt.

    You can gather by sewing 2 rows of stitches close together on the longest stitch length on your machine along top of each rectangle. Don't back stitch or cut the threads, leave them so you can pull them.


    Sew one row of shirring elastic on the top of each rectangle as I did because my material was too thick. Once again don't back stitch or cut threads so you can pull them.

    Do the rectangle that will be the front first. Pull the shirring elastic until the rectangle is the same width at the top as the front part of the waistband. Make the gathers even.

    For the back, only gather the ends of the material so there is the same amount of ungathered material as there is the large part of the back of the waistband. [look at picture].

    This part will become gathered when the elastic is put in.

  • How to make a high-waisted skirt. American Apparel Style Skirt - Step 6
    Step 6

    Pin the skirt to the underneath of the waistband, with a 5mm overlap. Have the pins on the outside of the skirt.

    Sew along the outside of the skirt.

  • How to make a high-waisted skirt. American Apparel Style Skirt - Step 7
    Step 7

    Now the final stage: elasticising the back. This part depends on how strong and stretchy your elastic is. Hopefully yours is similar to mine.

    Cut 3 elastic pieces, each 1/4 of your waist measurement. Pin the first piece of elastic on the inside of the waistband. The 2 lines drawn before is where you need to pin the elastic's ends to.Obviously the elastic is nowhere near long enough unstretched.
    PIN AND SEW ELASTIC ONE AT A TIME (unlike picture)

    Sew with a small stitch length and back stitch a few times at the start and end. Stretch the elastic as you sew.

    Do with the other pieces of elastic and go and try it on :)


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Bella Trix
Bella Trix · Manchester, England, GB · 3 projects
could you post an image where the skirt isn't being held out? I wanna see if i like it before i make it Happy

taa x
Grace · Bristol, England, GB · 9 projects
very nicely done! i love how you used the same pose and shirt as AA did ;)
StephanieM · 10 projects
I used cotton. But I would recommend using anything that doesn't need to be ironed -.-
groovylittlegirl · 5 projects
Thats really nice, what fabric would be best?
Belle · Waikanae, Wellington, NZ · 1 project
This is really pretty Happy
Angharrad · Liverpool, England, GB · 4 projects
I fell in love with the pink version of that skirt and when i looked at the price i nearly feel over! Im so glad you pt this How To up :]

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