Inside Couture - Plaid Skirt

I found this lovely Escada wool in Paris a few years back. There wasn't a tremendous amount of it, and even if there had been more, I wasn't sure if it wouldn't be a bit bold worked up into a jacket, so I decided a skirt would be the way to go.

That said, I wanted to make more than a simple straight skirt, so I decided that a flare along the bottom edge would be fun.

Of course, it's essential, especially with such a strong plaid, to make things as symmetrical as possible, and to match everything as carefully as possible.

You can see the narrowing in the top of the side seam, but you can also see how, despite the side seam, the pattern does appear to be continuous along the lower edge of the straight part of the skirt. 

Here's the flare at the bottom of the skirt - it's a full circle, and the skirt sits right in the middle of it, absolutely symmetrically placed. 

I decided to use an inner grosgrain waistband - a very narrow facing, if you will. Proper grosgrain - sometimes referred to as petersham - has tiny scallops along its edges. It's woven so that it can be streamed into a gentle curve which mimics the shape of the waistline.

The flare has been underlined with silk organza and lined with silk crepe de chine. A row of understitching has been applied (by hand,with tiny pickstitches) about 1/2" above the lower edge of the flare; it keeps the lining from falling below the hemline. 

The skirt has been underlined with silk organza as well - it helps maintain its shape, and adds a bit of body to the whole garment. 

Here's the center back and its hand-picked zipper - again, the plaid's been carefully lined up to be symmetrical. 


  • Jenni Karwoski

    Beautiful planning/layout. Must feel like a million dollars to wear this gorgeous skirt!

  • Helen Reeves

    Absolutely beautiful. My dream is to sew a perfectly matched tartan skirt just like this one,that dream seems closer now!

  • Deborah Hixenbaugh

    That skirt is absolutely gorgeous! The colors I love, the flair I love. My lofty goals are to be able to sew like that.

  • Susan Child

    This is lovely. I was just gifted 30+ yards of various beautiful Pendleton wool plaids from a wonderful seamstress that can no longer sew (breaks my heart – she is a fabulous seamstress). I wasn’t sure what to do with them until now.

  • Jamie

    One of my favorites!

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