Wellnesting | Creating a Happy Handmade Home

How to Make a Skirt from an Old Tablecloth


Are peasant skirts out?

How to Make a Skirt from an Old Tablecloth

Are they even called peasant skirts anymore?  *insert old lady moment here*

I think it's the Stevie Nicks/gypsy side of me that's unwilling to let them go. They're so comfortable - like sweatpants only better (and more ventilated) - and they can actually pass for dress wear if you top one off with a pretty blouse and cute sandals.

Dress sweats. Every woman's dream.

They're also so totally 2005 it hurts. But hey, I liked 2005 and I wouldn't be upset if it made a comeback. I'm just going to get me a tambourine and a flower crown while I'm at it to complete the ensemble.

Anywho. I had an old tablecloth lying around for the longest time (I believe it came from Anthropologie about a million years ago) and I liked it too much to get rid of it.  I really wanted to do something that would let me use up most of the fabric but still show off the cute border at the bottom, and since it's summer, I felt like a DIY skirt post was in order.

Just  cut your pieces, sew them all together, and away you go!

How to make a skirt from an old tablecloth

The cool thing about this skirt is that (1) it's really easy, (2) it's made from scrap fabric so there's no need to rush out and spend a fortune on the good stuff - just use whatever you've got, and (3) it's got a half-elastic waist band (business in the front, party in the back), which means it's perfect for lounging around on the weekend or eating a little too much at next week's cookout. So go ahead and play chubby bunny at your next barbecue, that's what this skirt was made for.

How to make a skirt from a tablecloth


Large tablecloth/shower curtain/piece of fabric
1 1/2 inch wide elastic
Sewing machine
Cloth marker or sharpie

First calculate how big you need your skirt pieces to be.

  • Measure your waist right where you want your skirt to hit and divide that number by two. Add 3 inches to that number for the waist band and 5 inches for the skirt panel.
  • Measure the length from your waist (or wherever you want your skirt to hit) to the floor. Add 1.5 inches to that number.
  • For the elastic, take your 1/2 waist measurement and subtract 1 inch.

It should look something like this:

How to Make a Skirt from a Tablecloth

Once all your pieces are cut out you can get to sewing.

How to Make a Skirt from an Old Tablecloth
  1. Take one of your skirt panels and, using an extra long stitch and without back stitching at the beginning, sew along the top, shorter part of your panel (where it will eventually connect to the waist band). Do this at one end only, leaving the other end alone. By using a long stitch, it should automatically gather the material ever so slightly giving you a pretty, billowy skirt once attached to the waist band. Do the same to the other skirt panel.
  2. Take the waist band and fold in half lengthwise. Press along the fold with your iron. Then, take your waistband and lay it on top of the gathered end of your skirt, right sides together. If you need to adjust the gather on your skirt panel, hold onto a single thread at one of your skirt panel and gently pull on the fabric to either loosen or tighten the gather. Your skirt panel should measure the same width as the waistband and the ends should line up evenly. Pin the two pieces together and sew the waist band to the skirt along along the top using a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Repeat for the second skirt panel.
  3. Fold the waist band in half along the crease. Then fold the raw edge under by 1/2 inch and pin so that it encloses the raw, gathered edge of the skirt panel. Be sure to line the waist band up on both sides of the fabric as best you can. Turn your skirt so it's right side up and top-stitch along the seam. Repeat on the other panel.
  4. Take your elastic and feed it through the waist band of one of the skirt panels.
  5. Use pins to hold the elastic in place at the ends.
  6. Next, place the panels together with right sides facing eachother and pin. Stitch along both sides of the skirt leaving a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Finish off by trimming the seam allowance and pressing the seams flat.

See? Easy, right?

How to make a skirt from an old tablecloth