1 hour velveteen skirt

1 hour skirt

This is probably the most easy piece of clothing you can make–no pattern pieces or tricky fitting.  Perfect when you just have to have something out of that new fabric but don’t have much time at all.  It’s simply a rectangle of fabric cinched around a wide elastic waistband, but nobody would know you didn’t pay $80 for it at Anthropologie!


In this case, I had to be able to put Anna Maria Horner’s new velveteens on my person right away, so I chopped some off a bolt and had it done in about an hour.  Here’s how you can make one too.

Materials needed:

2″ wide elastic
cotton velveteen (see step 1 for calculating yardage)
coordinating thread


Before you begin, you may want to review Anna Maria’s tips for working with velveteens.

*Don’t forget to backstitch and press each seam.  When pressing, light pressure and steam on the wrong side of the velveteen will be safe.

1.  Figure measurements:  Decide how long you want your skirt, add 7″ to that measurement, and that is how much yardage to get. (I got 30″ and my skirt finished at 23″ long. )  To determine how wide to cut the fabric, multiply your waist measurement by 1.5.  Trim the width of the fabric (from selvedge to selvedge) to this measurement.  Anna Maria Horner’s velveteens come 54″ wide, and I actually just trimmed off the selvedges and let that measurement determine how full my skirt was going to be.  You could change the factor of 1.5 to be smaller or larger depending on how much gathering you want around the waist.  It just has to be full enough to stretch with the elastic to fit over your hips.

2.  Sew side seam:  Sew short sides together.  These velveteens fray fairly easily because of that soft luscious pile, so I enclosed the raw edge with a French seam. Do this by first sewing with a 1/4″ seam allowance with the fabrics WRONG sides together, then sewing a 1/2″ seam with the fabric RIGHT sides together.  With the velveteen this makes for a somewhat bulky seam, but I figured this would be preferable to a messy seam.

3.  Create waistband: Fold and press a 1/2″ down to the wrong side all the way around the top of the skirt. Fold another 2 1/4″ down, press & pin.  This will be the casing for the elastic waistband. From the inside of the skirt, edgestitch 1/8″ inside of the bottom fold of the waistband, leaving a hole large enough to feed through the elastic.

4.  Insert elastic: Decide where you want the skirt to sit on your waist (I choose a fairly high-waisted fit) and fit the elastic around your waist to a comfortable tightness, but not so loose that your skirt will slide down.  Add 1 inch to this measurement and trim the elastic. Feed the elastic through the waistband, keeping the ends outside the open waistband hole. You may want to pin one end down so it doesn’t get lost in the waistband as it begins to gather. I attached a safety pin to the other end to help me feed it through the waistband.  Once it’s fed all the way through, pull the elastic ends out, overlap them 1/2″, and zig-zag along the overlapped part to secure those ends together. Fit the elastic back into the waistband, and topstitch the hole closed. The gathers around the elastic will distribute fairly evenly on their own.

5.  Hem: Turn under 2″ along the bottom edge of the skirt and press.  Fold again 2″, press and pin.  This wide 2″ hem will give the skirt a nice weight and shape along the bottom. You could choose to hand finish the hem here, but a straight stitch just 1/8″ inside of the fold of the hem, or a machine hemstitch, will do fine.

The velveteen is nice and thick so you don’t need a lining, but if you wear the skirt with tights you’ll definitely want a slip or you may end up with an embarrassingly shorter and wrinklier skirt than you started with.  And that’s that!