Elastic Waist Skirt Tutorial – Mama Edition

with pockets!

This tutorial is very similar to the lil’ mama elastic waist skirt tutorial, with a few changes. If you want you can mash-up the two tutorials and come up with your own version, which I would love. I would suggest that you play with the two tutorials a little and take away from both of them what will work for you.

Materials needed:
2-3 yards of fabric
elastic, I used the 2 inch wide variety
coordinating fabric for the pockets
straight pins

Now take your measurements, you will want to measure:
your natural waist
from your waist to your knee or mid thigh, however long you want your skirt

For my skirt I cut my elastic 29 inches.
Then you want the width of your skirt to be at least 2 times the width of the elastic, so I cut 2 pieces of 30 inches by 24.5 inches.

Start with your two pieces of fabric.

Pin your pockets on the 4 edges of the skirt, 3 inches from the top.

Using a 1/4 inch seam, stitch your 4 pockets to the skirt pieces

Press your pocket pieces back.

Put right sides of skirt pieces together.
Using a 1/2 inch seam, stitch your skirt pieces together, going around the pocket.

Turn your skirt and press your side seams flat.

See your pocket in there peeking out? Now pat yourself on the back, you just tackled pockets.

Now finish your hem. Press hem 1/4 inch,

then 1/2 inch.

Then sew your hem using a 1/2 stitch.

Sew your elastic, using a 1/4 inch stitch. Please don’t use white thread with black elastic, I used it so you could see my stitch.

With right sides together, section your skirt off and pin your skirt to the elastic.

Because you probably have curves, you will need some give in your skirt and here is the main difference between the two skirts. You will want to stretch your elastic as you sew.

See above how the elastic is resting and your fabric is puckered slightly? Now put your needle into the fabric,

and stretch your elastic out until your material lays flat.

Now hold the back end of the fabric with your left hand and feed the needle with your right hand making sure you get an even stitch.

Then put a zigzag stitch on the edge of the fabric and elastic, stretching as you go. The zigzag stitch will prevent the fabric from fraying.

Turn your skirt and enjoy,
thats it, your done!

click on image to print



  1. mrs. olson :
    Super adorable skirt. I almost like it more for the mama. I'll have to try this!!
  2. SNSsoup :
    I L.O.V.E. it! I saw Haddie's skirt and wanted one for myself! I love your tutorials (thanks for sharing your knowledge when otherwise you could have kept it a secret)- it seems simple enough to make when I read it, but then when I've finished reading it I'm brought back to reality to be reminded that I don't even know HOW to sew! I don't know how to sew a single stitch! Isn't that pathetic. There must be a reason I've had all boys so far and no girls.
    Love the skirt Susan. Sometime or other (sooner than later I hope) I'll find someone to teach me how to sew and I'll make this skirt. I LOVE LOVE LOVE it! (especially the hidden pockets.
  3. raena :
    oooh thank you so much for this! especially on the pockets. i've been looking for a good source for these kind of pockets and this is great!
  4. leigh :
    Really cute! I love that fabric - what is it?
  5. Susan Petersen :
    like most of the fabrics in my stash - vintage and thrifted.

    thanks everyone!
  6. liz stanley :
    susan, so tell me about the zig zag stitch. you said to do it as you go? or do you do it after? i've never done one on the edge of a seem before, is it tricky?
  7. Susan Petersen :

    I do the zigzag stitch after the 1/4 inch stitch. I stretch the fabric and elastic when I do the zigzag stitch as well, but the zigzag stitch is much easier. The zigzag stitch can be used as a substitution for a surger.
  8. emily sparks :
    Yay! I am so excited to try it.
  9. Crissa Pollmann Robertson :
    I am so glad you did this in Mama Size. I want one SOOO bad but I don't have a sewing machine, due to my lack of patience and abilty to sew. I will pay whoever is willing to make one for me :) Can you tell how much I love this skirt!?
  10. lovesfool :
    This is amazing! Great tutorial. I'll be making this skirt this weekend.
  11. Erin :
    I love the fabric you chose. I have yet to find nice fabric while thrifting. Someday, hopefully! The skirt is SO cute. Sadly, I cannot pull off the high waisted gathered skirt.
  12. Kristine :
    i made this skirt this weekend (using your little girl tutorial).

    and i love it. so thanks.
  13. Eve :
    I just found your blog for the first time and I'm in love. You have the best projects! I can't wait to give this one a try. I've had a 1/2 finished skirt on my dress form for months...this is motivating me to tweak it a bit and get it done! (LOVE the pockets, gotta do that to mine!)
  14. dana :
    I was hoping you'd do this. And I ALWAYS want pockets in my skirt. lovely addition.
  15. Melissa :
    Great tutorial, Susan! I can't wait to try it.
  16. Anna M :
    cute skirt

    but more for me is your SWEATER! What the? I love it so much. Where, oh where, did you get it?
  17. luvinthemommyhood :
    Thanks for making a mom version of this skirt! Love it! I added it to our link luv roundup today, come by for a peek! http://bit.ly/d9rBZB Thanks for sharing!

    (p.s. we have "featured on luvinthemommyhood" buttons for blogs now, if you would like one send an email my way and I'll get one over to ya!)
  18. Heather :
    Love this skirt and tutorial! Thanks for teaching us! And is that you in the pictures? I'm so jealous - you look incredible. I had a baby around the same time that you had Gus and I am not yet ready to make clothes since I still have the baby bulge...must get rid of it in time for cute spring and summer skirts! =)
  19. Megan @ Megity’s Handmade :
    Yup. Pretty much love it! Now, if it can look so cute on me as it does on your skinny cuteness.

    Mom and mini me, here I come!
  20. Tammy Morrill :
    Susan, you look so hot it's ridiculous. Where's your tutorial for losing the baby weight?
  21. lovesfool :
    Just finished this skirt! Thanks for the tutorial!

  22. the mama monster :
    i found your tutorial last night and whipped up a skirt in an hour. i love it and your tutorial was great. i wore it to church today but i felt like a fatty fat fatlard... so i gave it to my skinny 14 year old sister and it looked much cuter. i will be making another one, just not so full cause i have child bearing hips.
  23. annie :
    i did it! i've never made myself clothing before ever, but this tutorial totally made me feel like i could. thank you! i might make a thousand more.
    i used graph paper fabric! http://ultravroom.blogspot.com/2010/02/threads.html
  24. Ashley Ann :
    Oh wow! I can't wait to make one (or two or three!) of these! I need to go to the craft store for big elastic. :D
  25. Alison :
    This is just FANTASTIC! I made a skirt like this last week, but it needed more give. I see here that STRETCHING the elastic as you sew is the key! DUH! ha. Thanks for a fab tutorial.
  26. Sadie :
    This is so cute! Thanks for the tutorial! I think I know just the fabric to use. ;)
  27. Bird R. :
    I made one- clover fabric with white elastic for St. Patrick's day. The elastic stretching is difficult but I think it turned out well.
  28. jenn king :
    I CAN'T WAIT! so excited to make it :)
  29. Julie Morris :
    Great tutorial! Going to start on one this weekend!
  30. Katie :
    Thank you for this wonderful tutorial! I made myself a skirt this afternoon. I love it. This is mine half way through. I did the elastic before the hem as I wasn't sure how long to make it.


    Again, THANK YOU!!
  31. katie :
    i just love this skirt!! i've been looking for one that i really love, but haven't seen it yet, but now i've decided that i'll just make one! and your tutorial looks like it will be really great and easy to follow!
  32. julieb :
    i have been looking for a skirt tutorial just like this
    i didnt realize how easy it would be
  33. Em-Jae :
    How did I not notice this until now?! Pockets on the skirt?! I love.
  34. megan taylor :
    I finally got a sewing machine & made this skirt - it was my first official sewing project & it turned out great! I've received so many compliments and requests for the tutorial. Thank you!!
  35. homemade grits :
    so great. love the pockets too!
  36. michele cabiness :
    I made these for my three girls as an easy easter outfit. I love them, thanks for the tutorial!
  37. Allie :
    I am loving this skirt! How easy and perfect for a HOT summer day!

  38. amy :
    OK, so I have a sewing machine and I'm fairly crafty, but I always have to get a friend to help when I want to make a real pattern. But with this skirt, I totally think I can make it on my own. Thanks so much for sharing the goodness!
  39. ellie :
    I just made this skirt using your tutorial. It is fabulous and I am in love. I put a picture up on my bog. Thank you so much for posting it!
  40. Charlotte :
    amazing tutorial! thanks so much for sharing! i made my very first skirt and i will make it again and again! :)
  41. Ebannie :
    I love it! Thanks for the tutorial!
  42. Anonymous :
    Can not thank you enough! You just saved me hours of browsing online for a good tut. Thanks!
  43. Amie :
    I LOVE this! I just bought some fabric today and thought it would make a gorgeous skirt and now I know exactly how to do it! Thank you so much for sharing your talents. :)

  44. nopinkhere :
    Love that you added pockets! I hate skirts and pants without them!
  45. Michelle :
    I stopped at the fabric store today (Mother's Day prerogative) specifically to buy 2" elastic to make this skirt. I can't wait! I thank you, and the ever-growing stash of fabric crammed into the bookcase shelves thanks you.
  46. inday_adin :
    Thank you for your tutorial. I might try to make one for me. :)

    Adin B
  47. Mandy :
    I can not wait to try this!!! Thanks for the great directions!
  48. Nicole :
    So, I tried this today and it didn't turn out... I completely botched up the final step and got a huge chunk of fabric left, hanging off of the elastic... any tips??
  49. Emily :
    I made this over the weekend. One note: I read the last part about sewing onto the elastic a bit too literally and my waist ended up more stretched than it needed to be. For newer sewers making this, you don't need to entirely line up the fabric just pull on the elastic a bit as you sew the fabric to it. Otherwise, the skirt is gorgeous. I learned from my error and will gift this one to someone who is a size bigger than I am and make a new one for myself. The pockets were so satisfying to make and are a great feature on the skirt!
  50. Anonymous :
    wow, im 14 and did this skirt! thanks this helped a lot! except i did my pocket in oppitsite direction(:
  51. Zom G. :
    This was such a lovely tutorial! I adore my new skirt! Thanks for being so awesome!
  52. Mrs. P :
    OMG i love your tut with pockets. i am going to make them for my teen nieces. They will be thrilled I am going to add pockets. Been flipping around your site. I love it! great stuff. Wish i could put my own together
  53. Kristina :
    gahh! You make it look so easy to make an awesome skirt out of scratch! I'm going to try making this skirt later on today... we'll see what I can come up with! lol
  54. Frankenstitches :
    Fantastic tutorial, just whipped this one out tonight (w/o pockets) for my daughter. She loves it and it was so easy.
    I hate the pinning, but I don't think my ruffler would have worked with the elastic next to the feed dogs.
    Am going to see what else you've cooked up here.
    Thanks so much!
  55. Nicole B. :
    I thought you had at one time provided a link to a re-make of this tutorial that involved putting the elastic through the material (rather than sewing it right to the fabric), but I can't for the life of me find it... any ideas?
  56. Nicole :
    YES! Thank you! I ended up just figuring it out myself, but I sewed both sides together and just left a wee hole to stick the elastic through. I like her idea much better. I'll bookmark this for future reference. Thank you!
  57. marla grace :
    thanks for the tutorial-- i made one (w/o pockets)!
  58. Anonymous :
    Loved!!!! Absolutely loved!!!!!! I am not a sewer but like to venture sometimes with easy things. I was looking for exactly this!!!! Thanks!!! I am going to make a skirt for my teenage daughter.
  59. Tiffany :
    Thank you for the tutorial! I made one and posted pictures on my blog. It was a big hit with my friends (and hubby)

    you can find pictures on my blog www.meekandchic.blogspot.com
  60. :) :
    WOw ! my only young and a beginner at sewing, i have just made this skirt, but made it alot shorter.!for the very first peice of clothing ive made i am super duper proud, thanks so much ! a wonderful tutorial .
    Love it !
  61. Anonymous :
    I can't quite understand the pockets? Does anyone know a good way to do them? I have a gap.
  62. Justine :
    oh my gosh! I love this pattern! And the fabric you chose is great too!

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    Its a lovely skirt you've made.
    Thanks a lot for helping us all. You are doing a great job. Keep posting more and en lighting us with the knowledge you have. :)

  66. Keely :
    hey! i love your blog so much, its so inspiring! i actually went ahead and made this skirt, i love it! mine is long enough for church but i can still wear it casual for school and such! thank you! keep up the good work!
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  68. lovely lindsay :
    making a skirt tonight, susan. thinking of you and wishing you'd come over and hang out by my sewing machine. love, lindsay
  69. Designer Clothes :
    wow that is simply great.. nice floral skirt.Looks awesome.
  70. cgraf420 :
    Hoooorah! I made this skirt for my first real sewing project ever, and I think it turned out great. Except for the pockets, I didnt use your pattern and mine ended up being way to small.... so at least things won't fall out. :) favourite new hobby, thank you so much!
  71. Sarah Flinn :
    Thank you so much for posting...your directions were so clear! I made my skirt this afternoon and already love it!
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  74. Anonymous :
    Love it! I tried it last night. Do you think a gathering stitch pulled to the length of the elastic would work, also?
  75. apotek dk :
    Jeg er så glad for du gjorde det i Mama størrelse. Jeg vil gerne have en så dårlig, men jeg har ikke en symaskine, på grund af min manglende tålmodighed og abilty at sy.
  76. Connie Hope :
    this is so cute! I made this skirt for easter and I can't wait to wear it! thank you!
  77. katesaunders :
    I love this skirt, so cute and looks so simple to make! Will certainly be giving this a go! Thanks!

  78. kim :
    I made this today!

    Thanks for a great tutorial :).
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  80. jeongyunsgirl :
    thanks so much for this easy to follow tutorial. Just finished my floral chiffon skirt with purple elastic. SEW easy! :P
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    I had been searching for a cool pattern like this... SO glad I came across your blog.

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  85. Cherubrock :
    I just finished making this skirt - first time I've used the sewing machine! It's a little big and took me a lot longer to make it (but that's cos I had to figure out how to wind the bobbin, thread the machine etc) but it still took me less than a day! Gonna make a second one now! This tutorial is just fab, thank you so much. I never thought I'd be able to do pockets without being super experienced.
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  138. Kayla :
    I just made my own skirt using your tutorial!! It looks awesome and I am so happy! Thank you!
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  140. K :
    Measurements are misleading... but otherwise nice tutorial. Especially the for the pockets!
  141. Cathie :
    really awesome tutorial ! I wonder would knit fabric be ok to use ? I have some pink knit fabric and some cream mesh overlay( it has flowers and leaves on the bottom)
  142. Darby :
    Made this skirt with a woollen fabric and lined it for a different look. Super comfortable and easy with the directions! If i made it again i might consider using a little less fabric but it balances nicely to make my waist look smaller. Thanks for sharing!
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  144. Harper :
    RE: "For my skirt I cut my elastic 29 inches. Then you want the width of your skirt to be at least 2 times the width of the elastic, so I cut 2 pieces of 30 inches by 24.5 inches." The elastic is 2" wide. Twice the width would be 4" wide for the skirt. I believe you meant length.
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