How to Sew a Line Skirt With No Pattern

    by Melissa J. Bell

    About the Author

    A writer with a Bachelor of Science in English and secondary education, but also an interest in all things beautiful, Melissa J. Bell has handed out beauty and fashion advice since she could talk -- and for the last six years, write for online publications like Daily Glow and SheBudgets.


    The line skirt, more commonly known as the A-line skirt, is a simple type of garment that flares out from the hip. This skirt style is flattering on a wide variety of body shapes and is often recommended to women who are pear-shaped or who are disproportionately larger in the hip and thigh area. The shape of the skirt draws the eye away from the body, toward the legs and waist, rather than drawing attention like a straight-cut skirt might. Like many garments, the line skirt is designed to fit curves and can therefore be draped and sewn without the use of a pre-existing skirt pattern.

    Things You'll Need

    • Cloth measuring tape
    • Muslin fabric
    • Elastic or cording
    • Markers
    • Pins
    • Scissors
    • Thread
    • Home sewing machine
    • Skirt fabric
    • Fabric pencil
    • Zipper

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    Drape the Line Skirt

    Take your hip measurement, at its widest part, from the center front to the side seam. Add 3 inches for ease, then double the entire measurement to get the width measurement. Add 5 inches to the desired length measurement.

    Cut a large rectangle from the muslin that has the length and width measurements from step 1. This will be your skirt front piece.

    Take your hip measurement again between the center back and side seam, then add 3 inches for ease. Cut 2 rectangles in this width measurement and the length measurement from step 1. These will be your skirt back pieces.

    Sew the skirt backs to the skirt front at the side seams, using a basting stitch close to the fabric edges.

    Put the skirt muslin on with the seam allowances facing outward. Line up the center back edges on your body and tie a piece of cording or elastic around your waist to hold the top in place while you work.

    Have a friend help you make adjustments and mark the sizing. Adjust the side seams and center front so that they fall into the proper body positions. Adjust the hem so that it falls parallel to the floor.

    Have a friend pin darts into each quarter of the skirt, so that you have at least one dart between the center back and left side seam, center back and right side seam, center front and left side seam, and center front and right side seam. You may need more darts if working on a curvy body.

    Adjust the darts so that they are spaced evenly and follow the curves of the body. Leave a small amount of ease between the pins and the body.

    Adjust the side seams so that they fit close to the body at the top and flare out and the hem.

    Transfer the A-Line Skirt Adjustments

    Mark all darts and seam lines with a marker. Mark the desired hemline. Remove the muslin skirt.

    Take the pins out of the muslin and cut along all marker lines. You should have separate pieces for front, left back and right back.

    Lay the muslin pieces out over your skirt fabric to use as pattern guidelines. Trace around the outsides of the pieces with a fabric pencil, straightening any wobbly lines as you go.

    Remove the muslin pieces and trace around the drawn shapes. Add an extra 1/2 inch at the seams for stitching. Add 1 inch at the skirt hem and 2 inches at the waistband. Extend the darts to the waistband line.

    Cut the pieces from the fabric along the outside lines. Sew the skirt together like you would if working from a pattern, using 1/2 inch seam allowances.

    • To work on your skirt alone, you may want to create a duct tape dummy of yourself so that you have an identical body double on which to drape. You can find instructions for creating a duct tape dummy in the resources section.

    Photo Credits

    • Jupiterimages/ Images