Saturday, 6 April 2013

Making Simple Panelled Skirts

This is the final skirt pattern making article that I'm planning to write. It is simpler than the classic skirt, but a little more complex than the half circle skirt.

The Panelled Skirt
These instructions are for a 6 panelled skirt, but can be adjusted for 4 or 8 panels. The two measurements needed here are the waist and hip measurement.

I will use WAIST: 75cm and HIP: 108cm.

As there will be six panels in my skirt, I need to divide both measurements by six.
WAIST: 75 / 6 = 12.5cm
HIP: 108 / 6 = 18cm

Begin the pattern by drawing a straight line down the centre of your paper. Mark the 1/6 waist measurement equally across the top and the 1/6 hip measurement 17cm below.

Draw a straight line down through the point of the waist and hip measurements to the skirt hem length. Do the same on the other side of the skirt panel. Curve the waistline and the hem, making sure that the skirt is the same length all the way through.

Cut out 6 of these panels and sew together, leaving a zip opening. Check the fit. On my skirt I needed to slightly adjust the panels that sat against the small of my back .
I added a band around the hem for interest, but you could add a waistband or any other decoration you desire.

Panelled skirt front

As you can see, the process is very simple. If you wish to make a 4 panelled skirt, simply divide the waist and hip measurements by 4. Or if you wish for a 8 panelled skirt, divide your measurements by 8.

NOTE: Make sure you always add seam allowance and create a trial run for all patterns that you draw!


  1. is there any way this would work for a swing skirt? make it twirly like a circle skirt?

    1. If you made it 8 or more panels it might work. You would have to really shape the out at the bottom to get the fullness. I think a circle skirt with a full petticoat would work better for the traditional type of swing skirt. ☺

  2. What do you mean by "create a trail run"?

    1. I mean to create a toile or a test garment if you are not sure of your pattern. Sometimes a toile can save you the pain of cutting your special fabric only to find it doesn't work. :)