Easy Skirt Tutorial – Drawstring with Pockets

Sew an easy drawstring skirt in any size with this tutorial - Melly Sews

Hey y’all – today I’m posting a tutorial for Skirting the Issue. For those of you who don’t know, Skirting the Issue is an annual event spearheaded by the ladies at Simple Simon & Co to sew a little handmade love for girls in foster care. You can read more about Skirting the Issue here.

Sewing Bee - Skirting the Issue

I was so excited to team up with my friends Amy of Positively Splendid, Miranda of One Little Minute and Jamie of Scattered Thoughts of a Crafty Mom to host a sewing bee for Skirting the Issue in Austin. We had a great group show up at The Stitching Studio last week, and together we got 30 skirts sewn for local girls!

Wall of Skirts for Skirting the Issue

I made these drawstring skirts with pockets. They’re pretty simple, but not as fast as the skirts some of the other girls were sewing, as I was the last one done! In my defense, Miranda is super fast at sewing and I did make 4 of them.

Drawstring Skirt Tutorial - Easy to Make in Any Size!

Want to make one? You’ll need two measurements – the waist size and skirt length. You can use  the chart you can download here to find waist and length measurements for sizes 6m-26w – such a handy reference!

You’ll also need fabric, 1/2″ wide elastic, and two buttons for the pockets.

Ok, so that the skirt gathers, you need to make it 1 1/2 times the waist measurement. Then divide that measurement by 2, so you have a front and back. Add 1″ to the width for 1/2″ seam allowances.

Add 2 1/4 inches to the length – 1 1/4″ for the casing and 1 inch for the hem.

Step 1 - Drawstring skirt with pockets - Melly Sews

Make a buttonhole for the drawstring to pull through later. This should be on the center front of the skirt. See this post for help with buttonholes.  Make sure to cut the buttonhole center.

Step 3- Drawstring skirt with pockets - Melly Sews

Sew down and finish the side seams. See this post for finishing techniques. 

Step 2 - Drawstring skirt with pockets - Melly Sews

Fold and press to form the casing, which will cover the buttonhole you made earlier.

Step 4 -Drawstring skirt with pockets - Melly Sews Step 5 - Drawstring skirt with pockets - Melly Sews

Make the drawstring – this is actually two tubes sewn to the 1/2″ elastic.

Step 5- Drawstring skirt with pockets - Melly Sews Step 6 - Drawstring skirt with pockets - Melly Sews

Make the pockets. If you cut two of the pocket pieces out of a different fabric, and sew one of each fabric together, you’ll have a cute contrasting pocket flap.

Step 7 -Drawstring skirt with pockets - Melly Sews

If you want to cheat, you don’t have to make the buttonholes here. You could just sew the buttons through the pocket and flap to keep the flap down.

Step 8 - Drawstring skirt with pockets - Melly Sews

Sew your pockets onto your skirt front.

Step 9 - Drawstring skirt with pockets - Melly Sews

Form the hem.

Step 10 - Drawstring skirt with pockets - Melly Sews

Insert your drawstring through the buttonhole. The elastic will be inside the casing, and the fabric part will be outside to tie. NOTE: Child safety standards in the U.S. state that “no drawstrings at the waist can exceed 75mm when garment is expanded to full width.” 75 mm is just under 3 inches. So if your drawstrings hang out longer when the skirt is fully expanded, you’re going to want to cut them down. You can knot the ends so that they won’t fray.

Step 11 - Drawstring skirt with pockets - Melly Sews

And you’re done!

We finished each skirt by adding a “Handmade with Love” label to it that had the skirt size, tying them on with twill tape and a safety pin. I got the labels from this free printable and just printed them on cardstock.

Handmade with Love - Skirting the Issue

P.S. – if you want to make a skirt for yourself with this pattern, they can be cute on women too.

Pocket Detail - Drawstring Skirt Tutorial

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  1. Sarah Helene says

    WOW, busy sewers indeed! I counted 30 skirts in the photo, all sewn in 1 day for the “Skirting the Issue” donation to foster girls. LOVE the turquoise color of the skirt in your ‘Drawstring Skirt’ tutorial. Easy to follow directions with accompanying drawings. Pockets are essential to young girls — to hold their found treasures or whatever! I see you sewed 4 pocket skirts from same pattern: 2 grey & 2 turquoise. Thanks for sharing. Sarah in Minneapolis

  2. Laura Adams says

    This is so cute! I made one out of black baby-wale corduroy for my granddaughter to wear to kindergarten. It was so quick to put together, I will definitely be making more (perhaps for my daughter’s, too). I think next time, I will sew the pockets on before I join the front to the back… seems like it would be even easier that way. Great instructions – I especially loved the neat trick of sewing elastic in the middle of the drawstring. What a great idea. Thanks so much!

  3. Irene says

    Great tutorial. Just made it for my little girl and for my friend. Looks comfy… So i’m going to make another one for myself!

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