Skirts are a staple of a great wardrobe. They are perfect for mix and match dressing which expands your wearable options. In the summer they impart a cool and casual style with a T-shirt, like this amazing Concord T Shirt and a cute pair of sandals. In winter they are great with tights, boots, and a cozy sweater. You can dress them up with your fabric choice and accessory styling or keep them low-key and everyday casual. Below is a list of 12 different types of skirts (and skirt styles) you should sew — I hope you find it inspiring.
Even if you subscribe to the capsule wardrobe theory (personally I couldn’t live with just a few clothes in my closet), you should have at least one line skirt or pencil skirt in your collection.
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1. A Line Skirt
The classic of all classics is the a line skirt. This New Look A Line Skirt Pattern offers lots of skirt options. It has cute pockets, comes in three lengths, and has a traditional waistband. It would be a good advanced beginner project because it includes a zipper and pockets. The next project after you tackle an easy beginner sewing project.
You can make this cutie up in lots of great woven fabrics, from cotton to wool, it will be one of those go to skirt styles you will make again and again.
2. Pencil Skirt
Classic, but more business than casual, the pencil skirt looks great on almost every body shape. The nipped-in hem highlights the shape and curve of your hips creating a sleek and sophisticated look. This McCall’s Pencil Skirt version is also high waisted giving it a form fitting skirt with a contemporary feel.
A perfectly fitting, well shaped pencil skirt needs to be in every work wardrobe. A pencil skirt looks sensational with a soft, drapey blouse and a classic or modern style jacket — Boss Lady Style. If you like to dress up, pencil skirts are a great addition to your closet.
3. Wrap Skirts
Wrap skirts are super casual and chic. Choose a pattern that is a little tailored like this Deer and Doe Agave Skirt for a sophisticated wrapped skirt style. I like the button closure as opposed to the classic tie — the buttons offer a more secure fit.
You can make your own Quick Wrapped Skirt with my DIY how-to video. All you need is a length of fun fabric and elastic for the waistband to be off and running with this quick project. Perfect for beginners or when you need something casual and you don’t have much sewing time at your fingertips. With several different ways to sew an elastic waistband, you can pick and choose what works best for you. Then decide your skirt length and start sewing.
Here is my quick DIY Wrap Skirts Video
4. Circle Skirts
If you are young, or perpetually young at heart, McCall’s Circle Skirt is definitely a lot of look. With the current retro trend, you can envision circle skirts with piles of tulle pumping up the hemline volume for a vintage style look.
Sewing the hem on a circle skirt can be frustrating since you are stitching a continuous curve. One way to achieve a perfectly smooth hem is to apply bias tape or a curved facing to the raw hem edge and turn that up for a hem. This will give your a smooth and pretty finish.
4. Yoke Skirt
A yoke skirt is a skirt constructed with a more tailored feel. Typically seen in a denim skirt, you can make this skirt style out of any medium weight woven fabric. Style Arc’s Charlie Skirt Pattern has a fly front zipper that works perfect with the denim skirt look.
Mastering a yoke skirt style takes some patience and fitting ability. It is best to make a practice garment before cutting into your fashion fabric. If the yoke waist skirt doesn’t fit properly it will not give you the desired finished look. Construction of this skirt style is perfect for the advanced beginner or intermediate sewists.
5. Asymmetric Skirt
I love all the options on this McCalls Asymmetrical Skirt pattern offers different varieties of high/low hemlines. The skirt is soft and floaty, perfect for a summer picnic, bbq, or out with your besties.
Many types of skirts look great with an asymmetrical hem. A wrap skirt with sharp angles, a maxi high low skirt out of a soft ITY knit, a flirty tiered skirt out of a gauzy fabric, and so many more. All it takes is a little imagination and an intrepid pair of scissors to create stunning asymmetrical skirts.
6. Gored Skirt
The gentle swing of this Style Arc Gored Skirt is perfect for your favorite knit. The pull-on construction is easy to make. It is a good option for learning to sew with knits. The drop style waist is flattering and the flirty hem is just fun to wear.
Sewing with knits is easy, you can learn about sewing a knit garment (this one is not a skirt) in my Concord T Shirt Sew Along video. Don’t let knit fabric intimate you — you can sew knits on almost any sewing machine — even without a serger — you just need the right techniques.
7. Box Pleated Skirt
Burda Patterns offers this stunningly classic Box Pleat Skirt. It would be lovely with the contrast inserts — I’m sure that would be something for an intermediate sewists to tackle. You can make wide or narrow pleats depending on your final pleated skirts’ look. Narrow knife pleated skirts, a relative of the box pleated skirt, is another pretty pleated choice.
A box pleat skirt style requires a lot of fabric and some careful maneuvering. You can be successful if you choose a fabric that takes a press well and mark your fabric carefully.
8. Mini Skirt
I am way past the years when I can wear a mini skirt. But, finding one like this McCall’s Mini Skirt pattern — it has cute pleating detail and a youthful dropped waistline — is one way to sew up an adorable mini skirt. If you are going to go min, then you want to pack a punch of style in the short skirt.
Getting the length correct for your body shape is key to being successful with mini skirts. They can get too short very quickly and go from cute to trashing in a flash.
9. Maxi Skirt
I like Burda’s maxi skirt because the fullness comes from the two front and back pleats. The flair is subtle — not all puffy from the waist — making it wearable for more body types.
I love maxi skirts or a well cut midi skirt, I wear them often. I am fairly short, so proportion is key when sewing up a floor length skirt. But isn’t that why we sew, to make clothes that fit our body and look great!
10. Mermaid Skirt
This versatile Vogue Skirt Pattern offers lots of skirt styles. View D is an example of a classic Mermaid Skirt. Add that cute little flip and the skirt back for a “business in the front – party in the back” surprise.
Cutting out the pattern takes a little concentration since the front and back are different lengths. In the end, it is a unique and fun style to have in your closet.
11. Panel Skirt
True Bias is one of those amazing independent pattern companies that produces stunning high end pieces. The Salida Skirt, a Panel Style Skirt offers a lovely fit. You know when you purchase a pattern from True Bias, you know you are getting quality pattern drafting. Beautiful in many fabric types, they make charming denim skirts when cut from old jeans.
Panel skirts are typically cut on the bias and require a decent amount of fabric. You will be sewing multiple vertical seams and the bias cut fabric can stretch out of shape. Take care to either stay stitch the strips or handle them gently. If they stretch, the seams won’t come together perfectly.
Also, with a bias cut skirt, it is best to let it hang unhemmed for several days. The fabric will actually grow and the hemline may need to be trimmed back into an even line.
12. High Waisted Skirt
This high waisted skirt pattern has the added bonus of a waterfall drop in the front. It is combination of an asymmetrical hem skirt and a high waisted skirt style. I love the way this one drapes, it is very flattering.
I made this Vogue skirt with a gorgeous Minerva fabric — read my review here.
Other Types Of Skirts (And Skirt Styles) You Should Sew
Of course there are so many more types of skirts than the ones highlighted above. I’ve listed a few more below — and there is always overlap — like a high waisted maxi skirt or mini mermaid skirts. Whether you like a mini skirt, midi skirt, maxi skirt, or knee length skirt, there is a length that suits your personal style. Try a few style options like a straight skirt, draped skirt, one with skirt layers, gathered skirt, or flared skirt – there is a perfect one or two out there waiting to become one of your wardrobe staples.
- Midi Skirt
- Gathered Skirt
- Broomstick Skirt
- Pencil Pleated Skirt
- Godet Skirt
- Bell Skirt
- Tiered Skirt
- Ball Gown Skirt
- Handkerchief Skirt
- Knife Pleated Skirt
- Bubble Skirt
- Peplum Skirt
- Tulle Skirt
- Tutu Skirt
- Inverted Pleated Skirt
- Poodle Skirt
- Flared Skirts
- Tulic Skirts
- Sarong Skirt
- Tube Skirt
- Cowl Skirt
- Trumpet Skirt
- Accordion Skirt
- Straight Skirt
- etc. etc. etc.
Get Inspired By High End Designers
I love looking at runway fashions and tweaking them to reflect my own version of what’s on trend. Several years ago, I was inspired by one of my favorite designers, Alexander McQueen. I made my version inspired by his runway show and you can read what that process looked like in my Alexander McQueen Tartan Skirt write up.
Find your favorite designer or a picture from your favorite fashion magazine and get started planning your designer inspired outfit.
Best Online Fabric Shops
Local fabric stores are great, but most of us don’t have direct access to fabulous New York or London shops. Great garments begin with great fabrics. I have assembled a list of my favorite online fabric stores where you know they sell quality fabrics.
If you want to really up your skirt game, my review of The Couture Skirt is a good place to consider adding couture tailoring to your skirt construction. One or two fine tailoring techniques will elevate your look and improve your sewing skills tool box.
Let’s Start Sewing All Types Of Skirts (and skirt styles) you should sew
There are so many different types of skirts out there, you will never run out of skirt styles to sew up.
Whether you love cute and casual or smart and sophisticated, there is a skirt style out there for you to sew. Having a tried and true favorite skirt pattern is key to amping up your wardrobe options.
Once you have a base skirt pattern you love, you can create different styles by simply changing the base. The fit on a skirt pattern takes into consideration your waist and hips, after that everything else is just style.
Stay tuned for our new Skirt Drafting Class — to keep up-to-date on when the class is available, join our sewing newsletter.
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I hope you are inspired by my 12 different types of skirts (and skirt styles) you should sew. Grab a great pattern and sew up a beautiful skirt.