Curved-hem midi skirt hack

Use any straight elastic-waist skirt to create a trendy midi skirt with shirt-tail curved hem. Sew it in your favorite knit or woven fabric.

This knit skirt is sewn in rayon/lycra knit and has sideseam pockets and a curved midi-length hem
This curved hem midi-length skirt is sewn in a woven linen/cotton printed fabric

You’ll need five things:

  1. a basic pull on skirt with elastic waist. I used the Christine Jonson Patterns BaseWear Two skirt (straight skirt version)
  2. A ruler
  3. A pencil
  4. A large dinner plate
  5. Newspaper, pattern tracing paper or Kraft paper

Curved hem midi-skirt pattern hack steps:

Cut out your traced pattern and place it on top of opaque tracing paper or underneath transparent tracing paper.

Trace the skirt as a whole piece (both sides)

Remove the pattern piece

Using a large dinner plate, you’ll trace curved edges along the outside edge pattern piece. There is only one pattern piece for the skirt I used but if you have a front and a back, do this for both.

Place the plate so one side is along the sideseam and 1/2 of the plate is off the pattern piece (see photo illustration below). Trace the curve around to the new hemline. Remove the plate. You’ve added a few inches to the hem of the skirt, so adjust the skirt’s lengthen/shorten line by folding up the pattern and taping it down, so the final finished new hem is where you prefer it. I recommend a midi length hem for this style skirt – somewhere between 3” below the knee to 5” above ankle.

You may cut a sideseam pocket at this time – any sideseam pocket will work (from any other pattern.) Cut 4. Sew this pocket as you would sew any sideseam pocket when you sew the side seams of the skirt.

Cut and sew the skirt as directed.

Adding an elastic waist drawstring

A fun addition to a woven skirt (shown above in dark blue with geo print) is adding an elastic drawstring.

  1. Before sewing the waisband casing, fold and press the waistband
  2. Unfold and mark the CF of the skirt
  3. Make a mark on either side of the CF of the skirt, on the skirt side (not the folded-over waistband casing side) below the fold you pressed.
  4. Sew two vertical buttonholes below the fold you pressed. These will be your exits for the drawstring casing
  5. Cut your elastic for your skirt at 2/3″ your full-waist measurement. It needs to be much shorter because you will attach your drawstring ties to each end of the elastic.
  6. Sew two tubes of fabric
  7. I made mine 2″ x 15″ long, folded to 1″ x 15″, sew the long end, two short ends, then cut in half.
  8. Turn your drawstring tubes right side out and press
  9. Stitch the raw edge of one drawstring to the end of the elastic, and the other one to the other end of the elastic
  10. Stitch the casing down all the way round the skirt
  11. Thread the elastic-drawstring through the buttonholes
  12. Try on, adjust and tie! The nice thing about elastic drawstrings is once you tie it, you never need adjust it, since the elastic will stretch to get the skirt on and off.

That’s it! Enjoy your new stylish midi skirt with curved hem.