Two-Hour Travel Skirt

Pattern: directions below
Materials: 3/4yd elastic; 1 yd 60" wide lightweight shirting, printed all the way up to the selvadge (no white stripe at the edge). Note: to get my look, choose a print with a varied design along one end.
Cost: $10

 Sometimes on a vacation you just want to escape to another world. Or maybe you need a different style of dress--something away from your office get-up or perhaps more conservative than your usual beach fare. Sometimes you're going from winter to summer. And then you need a two-hour travel skirt. It's quick to make and cheap to buy so you don't have to worry about what happens to it after (or during) your holiday. And the best part is that it could just be that perfect thing to get you in that vacation state of mind.    .

This skirt is two layers: basically a yard of fabric cut lengthwise and layered one strip on top of the other.  The two strips are then sewn together at the waist and have an elastic band running between them. The selvadges become the hems, so no need to hem!

Below you can find directions on how to make your own two-hour travel skirt:

Step 1: Measure desired length of skirt. Add 5/8". My total length was 23" so that the skirt would hit at knee length (a more moderate length for travel abroad).

Step 2: Lay out the fabric and measure from the selvadge the length you decided on in step 1. Cut. The selvadge will be the bottom of your skirt--no need to hem!

Step 3: Deside how much shorter you want your second layer to be. I chose 2 1/2". Measure desired length from the other selvadge and cut. So I cut mine 20 1/2" from the selvadge.

Step 4: Wrong sides together, join the sides of your longer fabric strip together at the raw edges. Do the same for the shorter strip. Sew the back seam of each piece separately using a french seam as follows: With wrong sides together, sew with a 1/4" seam allowance. Turn the pieces inside out so that right sides are together. Sew each seam again with a 3/5"allowance so that it encases the raw edge of the previous seam.

Step 5: Turning both tubes wrong side out, slip the shorter tube on top of the longer one. Pin together at top and sew. 

Step 6: You may want to zig-zag or otherwise finish the raw edge.

Step 7: Turn the garment right side out so that the shorter tube hangs over the longer one. Topstitch from the edge at a distance that is 1/8" wider than you elastic. Leave an opening that extends 1" to either side of the back seam.

Step 8: Measure waist with elastic pulled taught. Cut, leaving 5/8" at each end.

Step 9: Securing one end of the elastic to the skirt, pull the other end of the elastic through the casing made in step 7. Use a safety pin to inch the elastic end through.

Step 10: Once the elastic is pulled through, sew ends together.


And check it out! I got featured on BurdaStyle!


  1. i like the floral and stripe combo :)

  2. It´s the first time that I come here. Wow! Your clothes are so nice!!!! You sew very, very well. I hope, one day, sew clothes like you.

    I am gonna try to make a "travel skirt" to me.. then, I´ll post on my blog. Thank you for sharing the tutorial.

    Viviane Basile - Brazil

  3. Thanks Viviane. I'd love to see your final result!

  4. Cute skirt! I like your blog layout and how you have your projects pictured on the right, I saw your post on Burdastyle.

  5. Hi there! I tried making this skirt this weekend, as I loved your original post. However, I'm a curvy girl with hips-- how can I make this so it doesn't look so poofy/huge in front and back? Should I add darts to make it more flattering?

  6. Hi Jen! Yes, this is definitely a bit of a poofy skirt. I think what might make it more flatering is having an actual waistband with a zipper instead of an elastic waist, and then gathering into the waistband.

    Here is a guide to doing a waistband:
    And a zipper:

    Another option could be a half-elasticized waistband:

    Let me know how it goes!

  7. Another option would be to use less fabric so that it is not as gathered at the waist :)

  8. Thank you for the tips! I think I'll try this again with the zipper/waistband instead. I'll keep you posted!


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