This tutorial is for an open-front skirt, similar to the one worn by
Cate Blanchett as Lady Tremaine in the 2015 Cinderella movie. The
finished skirt has two layers of green satin (sewn together as one) on
the bottom, and two layers of black organza (sewn together as one) on
The skirt is primarily made up of very large rectangles of fabric,
which are gathered at the end to make a very full and flowing skirt.
1. Cut 2 large rectangles of green fabric and 2 large rectangles of
black fabric as shown in the diagram. (The 45/49 inch measurements are
based on someone who is 5'6" tall; you may have to adjust for your
2. Sew the two pieces of green fabric (right sides together) along one
long edge and the two short edges, making a large pocket, as shown in
the diagram above. Press the seams flat and turn the pocket right side
out. (Optional step: for extra firmness along the hem of the skirt sew
a piece of horsehair crinoline to the seam allowance before turning
the pocket right side out as shown below).
3. Use chalk to mark a line about 3 inches up from the edge of the
fabric, and sew the two pieces of black fabric (right sides together)
along the long edge on the chalk line. Press the fabric flat.
4. Sew the two short edges of the two pieces of black fabric (right
edges together) to make a large pocket like the green fabric. (The 3
inch seam allowance will create a dark decorative band along the
bottom of the semi-transparent fabric).
5. You should now have two very large rectangles, with raw edges
hidden inside (except for one long edge on each top). Check that the
hems are lined up then sew or serge the open tops of the "pockets"
closed to make the fabric easier to control.
6. Mark the middle of the green and black "pockets" and pin them
together. (This is to center the slightly smaller green rectangle on
the larger black rectangle.
7. Fold the excess black fabric on each end in towards the middle and
sew the top down. (This extra fabric is to make the front edges of
the finished skirt look smooth, instead of having separate green and
8. Pleat and pin the fabric so that the total width is approximately
half your waist size plus 3 inches. Sew the pleats together at the
9. Cut a waistband (I used black velvet, with a finished width of
about 3 inches) then sew the waistband on the outside of your pleated
skirt as shown in the diagram. (The rest of the waistband will wrap
around your waist, with the end hidden under, and close using hooks
and eyes on your hip). Place a piece of interfacing on the the inside
of the waistband, and fold over and slip stitch to the inside of the
skirt. Sew hooks and eyes onto the closure.
10. Optional: add appliques to increase the visual interest of your
skirt! You can embroider the organza layer, purchase iron-on patches,
or add fabric appliques. For this skirt I cut flowers out of
heat-transfer flocking, and then ironed them on. This skirt can also
be worn with a pointy hat to make a fancy witch costume!
This skirt used 8 yards of crepe back satin and 10 yards of crystal
This blog post was made by fashionista and dear friend Vivien Lee. Check her out at freshfrippery.com!
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