Paper Bag Skirt Tutorial

Hello, hello, hello!  And happy (belated) new year!  First project of 2011:

Fabric- 1/2 - 1 yard
1/4 - 1 inch elastic
Sewing stuff

First, measure your natural waist, not your hips.  Subtract 4 or 5 inches.  This is measurement W.
Now measure from your waist to where you want the skirt to end.  OK, now figure out how tall you want the little above waist piece to be, then double that.  If you have no idea what I'm talking about, it's the thing above the belt/sash.  Add an inch for the hem.  This is measurement L.

Waist: 29 - 4 = 25 = W
Desired length: 14 + 8 (4 inch top piece doubled) = 22 + 1 (hem) = 23 = L

Sorry if that was confusing just email us if you have questions.

Cut 2 pieces of fabric, W by L

Right sides facing, sew the L sides together so you have a pretty big tube.

Remeber when you figured out how big you wanted the top piece to be?  Take that measurement and fold it over.  (4 inches in this picture.)

Sew a seam at the bottom of the folded edge, making sure to leave an inch open for the elastic.

Now sew a seam 1 inch above the seam you just sewed, again leaving about an inch open.

Attach a safety pin to the front and back ends of the elastic.  On the back end, also safety pin it to the edge of the fabric.  On the front end, use it to push the elastic through the casing you made.  When it reaches the point you started at, pin the 2 ends together and sew them together.

Sew the casing shut.

Now it's time to make the sash! You don't have to make this sash, you could always just wear it with a belt, but this way the belt is guaranteed to match!
Put the skirt on.  Measure your waist wearing the skirt and add 10 inches for the tie tails.

I don't have an exact pattern for this part but cut 2 strips of fabric- waist measurement + 10 by about 2 inches wide.  Make the ends slanted.

Sew 3 sides together, leaving one short end open.  Turn it right side out then fold the short end over and sew it shut.  You can iron it if you want.

Lastly, hem the skirt.  I used a zig zag stich, just to make it super cute.

And there you have it!  A somewhat easy fun to make and to wear paper bag skirt!  You might have to wait 'till spring to wear it though...
As always, send us a pic if you make one, and enjoy!


  1. I'm sewing this this week....great tutorial!

  2. Have fun! And make sure to send us a picture of the finished project!

  3. ooh, this is great! I am going to try this out.

  4. okay, how long does the elastic need to be? Did I miss it?

  5. Oops sorry, forgot to mention that!
    The elastic should be the size of your waist plus 1 inch for seam allowance.

  6. This is a really cute skirt; I'm definitely adding it to the skirts I'm going to make for Autumn/Winter.


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