Reversible Skirt Tutorial

This week I came up with an idea to make a reversible skirt.  I wanted a reversible skirt that didn’t look like a reversible skirt.  My aim was to have a normal looking skirt which just happened to be reversible.  After buying the fabric I wanted, I thought I would check other reversible skirt tutorials before starting to sew.  There aren’t that many and I noticed a lot of people are asking questions about how to make one.  So, this is my version and how I made it.

The first thing is to take some measurements.  You will need your upper hip measurement (a) (this is where the top of your skirt will be) , your hip measurement (b), the distance between where your upper hip measurement was taken and where your hip measurement was taken (c) and the length of your finished skirt (d).  Then you need to transfer these measurements to a piece of paper with seam allowances to make your pattern. This is actually really easy to do and not something to panic about.  The front and back skirt are the same so you need just one pattern piece for both.  As the skirt is symmetrical, each piece will be cut on the fold, so the pattern piece you draw is for half the front/back (a quarter of your hip and upper hip measurements).

Hopefully, nobody actually has a figure like this one, sadly my drawing skills are lacking.




Fill in your measurements, remembering to divide your hip and upper hip measurements by 4 as shown and add your seam and hem allowances on.  I don’t tend to put in much ease on my skirts but if you want yours a bit roomier around the hips just move the line slightly further out.  (Every 1 cm wider on the pattern will increase the width of your skirt by 4 cm!)

I have drawn this pattern as a slight A-line, wider at the bottom.  This is up to your personal preference as to whether you prefer a straight cut or A-line skirt.  However, do bear in mind that you will need enough room to walk but if you make it too wide you won’t be able to fit both pieces on one width of fabric, so will have to buy twice the amount.  I usually adjust my patterns so that both pattern pieces just squeeze onto my fabric.  I bought an 80 cm length in each fabric for this skirt which was plenty.

Cut out two pieces of fabric on the fold in one fabric and two pieces on the fold in a second fabric but make this one about 6 – 8 cm longer than the first. (You’ll see why later.)  You will also need a strip of fabric in each colour measuring about 7 cm wide and 25 cm long.  This will form a button placket or tab to fill the gap behind your buttons and loops.

Sew and finish the side seams of both skirts leaving a gap at the top of one side measuring ‘c’ + 1.5 cm.   (This will give you enough room to get the skirt on and off.)  Try both skirts on at this point to check the fit.  My skirts are always too wide at the waist at this point partly because my measuring is so bad and partly because I’m worried I might make it too tight and then I would have to start again.  Last time I used this pattern I altered the top to make it fit first time, but I still cut it larger this time just in case!  So I had to do my side seams twice.

Make four rouleau loops and attach them to the top opening of one skirt flush with the fabric edge.  I sewed about three lines of stitches across the rouleau loops to secure them.


Sew the placket with right sides together across the top down the side, along the bottom and a little way up the other side.  I have interfaced mine.  Trim and clip the seam allowances and turn to right side and attach to side opening. Check that the raw edges match up with the opening on your skirts (leaving a 1.5 cm seam allowance at the top) and that the finished end of the placket extends below this edge by about 5 cm and attach it to one skirt opening.

Sew both skirts together along top seam allowance with right sides facing.  Turn right side out.  Top sew along placket, across rouleau loops and around top edge of skirt, sandwiching the placket and rouleau loops.  Sew four buttons on opposite the loops.  This can be on the seam allowances of the skirt or on the inner edge of the button placket, whichever you prefer.  Then reverse skirt and sew four more buttons in the same place onto the skirt now showing.

Hem shorter skirt to desired length.  Fold longer skirt, iron and hem so that about 2.5 cm is showing behind the shorter skirt and making sure that the hem is hidden from view.

I hope this tutorial has been helpful.  There will be follow on posts on how I made the rouleau loops and some of the other techniques I used to make this reversible skirt, such as the pintucks on the brown fabric and the decorative hem I used on the duck egg blue spotty fabric.