Tutorial: Single Seam Skirt


I made this simple skirt a while back after feeling a bit bugged by the lack of casual summer staples in my wardrobe.

I had some raspberry interlock knit I scored at JoAnn for $3 in the remnant bin. Did you know that the remnant bin is a great way to find awesome fabric for cheap? I even found some amazing (and sort of affordable) remnants at Britex when I was in SF last weekend. I didn’t end up buying any of them and I still felt like I spent a million dollars there.

The skirt took about 20 minutes to make, and only requires one seam. You don’t even have to finish the edges, so really it could be a 5 minute sewing project. I like that kind of sewing!

It even has a slit up the back. Perfect for running around with a slim pencil silhouette. This is eerily similar to the maternity pencil skirt tutorial I made way back when I was pregnant, but it’s not doubled up and I’ve included some more detailed information on how to sew with knits.

Alison made a similar skirt another quick tutorial from Elle Keeps Moving (hers has two seams, but might be easier to draft if you already have a similar skirt). I’m a bit obsessed of the fabric Alison used, it’s nothing short of awesome.



  • interlock knit with 1.5-2x stretch (about 1 yard or less, depending)
  • sewing scissors
  • pins
  • sewing machine
  • matching thread
  • measuring tape
  • ruler and drafting paper (optional)

Gather your supplies. Fold your fabric in half. The straight line in the image above is the fold.

Take the following measurements: waist, hips, rise (distance between waist and hips), length. Figure out your hem. Mine was an inch and a half. Subtract 2 inches from your hips and waist measurements. This sounds nuts, but since your knit is stretchy, you’ll want it to hug your curves.

With drafting paper and pencil, draw a straight line the desired length of your skirt plus top and bottom hems. Measure 1 1/2 inch down from the top of your length line and make a mark. Create a line that curves up slightly as long as your final waist measurement (waist-2in.÷2). For the hip measurement, you’ll go down the length line the rise (distance between waist and hips). Mark in a straight line the final hip measurement (hips-2in.÷2). Repeat the same measurement at the bottom of your skirt. Now outline the silhouette of your pattern.

Now cut out your fabric and pin right sides together. When sewing with knits, no matter how stable they are, it’s crucial for you to pin every seam! I pin about every 2 inches. With a 5/8 seam allowance, sew your single seam. You’ll want to stop about 3-5 inches from the bottom for the slit. Be sure to secure your stitches. You can use just a simple straight stitch for this seam, but if you want extra stability, you can use double needles. Press seam allowance open.

While the fabric is still inside out, roll the top down for your hem. Iron and pin the hem down. Use a fairly close and wide zig zag stitch for this seam. It will allow for the most stretching without breaking so you can easily slip the skirt on and off. Press the top hem.

For the bottom hem, you won’t need as much stretching for the top, so you can use double needles. DON’T USE A SINGLE STRAIGHT STITCH. Double needles allow for some stretching, single needles in a straight stitch do not. If you don’t have access to double needles, use the same zigzag stitch used on the waist.

Finally, tack down the slit at the top and you can fold and stitch down the raw edges.

Fini! Let me know if you have any questions!

This tutorial/freebie is free for personal use and should not be distributed/republished without the express consent of Melissa Esplin. I love getting shout outs from around the web, but please, link with love. Do not copy this post, publish more than 2 photos or outright steal this idea for commercial publications. If you would like to use this tutorial for commercial purposes, please email me. Thanks!


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    1. ira lee henson says:

      love it! i love the way you mix colors, im trying it myself! and btw, how do you stand on your toes like that?!?! lol

    2. Jeannie D says:

      YAY! Thanks so much for posting…going to try to make one this weekend. And, yes…how DO you get up on those toes? :)

    3. Ruby Girl says:

      CUTE!!! love the skirt. nice work! xoxo linds {{www.rubygirlblog.com}}

    4. Lina G. says:

      wonderfull blog! i found it few months ago an i was so exited!
      so many ideas, so bright colors.. my clothes are borring:( i should learn from you! thanks!

    5. […] sewed it similarly to my single seam pencil skirt, but I added a waistband and tailored the seam to fall at the side instead of back. I made a slit […]

    6. […] racing with projects for the next month. I guess I needed something to unwind. So I made myself a single-seam tube skirt. Since I’ve already made one before, I had this one finished in under 20 minutes (hems […]

    7. Ellie says:

      When you say “Fold your fabric in half and fold in half” do you just mean to say that once, because if you fold it twice you end up cutting out two pieces of fabric not one?


    8. Rose says:

      really cute, think I will try it tonight

    9. Sarah Helene says:

      LOVE the raspberry knit– a go-with-everything top/T-shirt for casual wear. THANKS for sharing your easy & FAB tutorial, Single Seam Knit Skirt pattern. Sarah in Minneapolis

    10. […] that they would kill everything that touches them… needles, blades, scissors. I found this tutorial on a single seam skirt made after your own measurements. Perfect. So I drafted the pattern, cut my […]

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