Sew a Romantic Handkerchief Skirt for Summer

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Make this beautiful and romantic handkerchief skirt in an afternoon and wear it that evening. A handkerchief skirt drapes airily with eight points, and only looks difficult to make. It is in fact one of the easiest patterns to make. It can be worn as casual attire or for very dressy events depending on the fabric choices that you make. Created with two large squares, the handkerchief skirt looks beautiful using one fabric choice or two complimenting fabrics and is a wonderful learning project for new seamstresses.

2 1/2 yards light and airy fabric, 45″ wide
Measuring tape, yardstick
Wrapping paper
Straight pins
Sewing machine
1/2″-5/8″ wide elastic
Safety pin
1″ wide bias tape

1. Measure the fabric and cut it into two equal 45″ squares. If you are using two complimenting fabrics, then cut a 45″ square from each fabric.

2. Hem the squares by folding the edges of each square over a 1/4″ and ironing. Fold the edges of the squares over a 1/4″ again and iron. Pin the folded edges of the squares and hem a top stitch all the way around. This is a wonderful time to add trims to the edges of each square, if desired.

3. With a measuring tape, measure your hips. This measurement (circumference) is then divided by pi(3.14). This new measurement is the diameter of the circumference. Add an inch to the diameter. Using the compass and the new diameter measurement, draw a circle on the back of a piece of wrapping paper. This is the pattern for the waistband cut out of your handkerchief skirt. Cut the pattern out.

4. Lay both hem squares on your sewing table with the right sides up. Twist the top square on top of the bottom square to resemble a pinwheel with eight even handkerchief points. Pin the layers together to keep the squares from shifting. If you choose, you can top stitch the overlapping hems of the squares to attach them together. This is a personal choice, is not a necessity. If you choose to leave the squares unattached, the outcome will look just as nice.

5. Find the center of the handkerchief squares. Pin the wrapping paper pattern over the center. Place additional straight pins through both layers around the outside of the paper pattern. Cut the center out of the handkerchief squares.

6. Pin the cut edges of the circle together and top stitch as close to the edge as possible to hold. Open the fold on one side of the bias tape. Place the bias tape with the right side down on the right side of the skirt at the cut opening. Pin the bias tape to the edge and sew along the fold line on the bias tape. Flip the bias tape to the wrong side of the skirt. Iron the bias tape down and pin the folded edge to the skirt. Top stitch as close to the folded edge of the bias tape as possible. Leave 1″ unstitched for threading the elastic through the bias tape casing.

7. Measure your waist and subtract 1″ from the measurement. Cut a piece of 1/2″-5/8″ wide elastic. Using the safety pin as a guide, work the elastic through the opening of the casing and around the waistband. Sew the elastic ends together and top stitch the opening closed.


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