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Tuesday Tutorial! Simplicity skirts, GBSB made to measure

It’s official, The Great British Sewing Bee is back! Putting the ten fresh -faced stitchers through their paces, last night’s Made to Measure challenge called on the contestants to show their sewing skills, fitting a skirt to a real mode. 

If episode one got you thinking about what Summer skirt you’d make, but you were worried about the skills involved, then fear not!

Simplicity’s sewing expert Julie Bonnar is here to offer her top tips for mastering this skill, in the Tuesday Tutorial…


  1. Correct pattern size

If you’re looking to sew your own clothes, then a skirt is a great pattern to kick start your new hobby, as you really only need to take one measurement:

Measure around your hips at the widest point, making sure the tape measure doesn’t ride up at the back. Use this measurement to find the correct size on the pattern envelope.

If you are an in between size, always pick the larger size, it’s easier to take it in than it is to let it out!


  1. Skirt style

Take into account your body shape when choosing your pattern. Certain skirt styles suit certain body shapes. For instance, if you are pear-shaped, choose a skirt shape that accentuates your tiny waist, whilst skimming over your hips – such as New Look’s 6348 pattern.

Check the pattern to see where the waist sits – some patterns will specify they sit 1in below waistline. Darts are useful to and help to make flat fabric pieces take on a shape and hug the figure.



  1. Befitting hemlines

The right length hem will depend on your shape and cut of the skirt. You’ll probably have some idea, which flatters you the most. Many women don’t like to wear skirts with too high a hemline if they are not particularly fond of their legs, so you may want the skirt to sit just below the knee.

Always wear the shoes that you’re going to wear and check in the mirror to see how it looks.


TIP: The best length is often where the hem hits the leanest part of your legs. This is usually just above or below the knee.

Simplicity’s Sewing Expert, Julie Bonnar, tells us more about her life as a stitcher: 


Teaming up with Simplicity is a complete delight! I have sewn their sewing patterns for many years, so I know their patterns, brands and ethos very well.

Having originally trained as an interior designer, I found I liked making clothes more than curtains! Aware that things were changing in the sewing industry with exciting new dressmaking blogs at the forefront, I decided in 2012 to create  The Pattern Pages.

The aim was to bring the DIY clothing community together and report the newest sewing pattern news, where to buy, the latest fashion trends, how to replicate the styles yourself, and sewing tips and advice to help you make your own clothes look the best they can.

I’ve worked in the publishing side of the craft industry for more than 12 years on magazines including Sewing World magazine and most recently (and still) as editor on the UK’s leading trade publication Craft Focus.


Got the Great British Sewing Bee bug? Head over to the Simplicity blog each week, for our Tuesday Tutorial – helping you master featured skills. 

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