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Sewing cotton skirts

Stalindsay | Posted in General Sewing Info on

I love reading all the good information on this site. It’s a fun way to learn!

I have a question for you. I am making some cotton skirts for Spring–one is an all cotton print, the other a cotton pique. Should I line these? If I do line them, should it be with another cotton fabric (like batiste) or should it be a silky type fabric? It needs to be washable.



  1. suesew | | #1

    I think you answered your own question. It needs to be washable and I would prewash everything., I generally do not line cottton garments; I choose to wear a slip instead. The few things that I own that are RTW cotton are not lined. But this is yours and you can do whatever you like - one of the joys of sewing for yourself.

  2. mem1 | | #2

    Thats true you can do whatever you want.If you do line them i would use something silky as you want it to move well .It depends though are you in a very hot area are they to be worn with stockings? Are you wearing them with sandles at the beach.

    If you line them you wont get the crushing that you would otherwise .

  3. opalmom | | #3


    I live on cotton and linen skirts for 8 months out of the year (South Florida).  I line the linen and lightweight cotton skirts with cotton voile or cotton batiste.  I keep it all natural, because of the humidity and heat factor down here.

    The other thing that I have done, but it takes a lot of the fashion fabric, is self line the skirt.   So if I make a cotton skirt from a really pretty quilting fabric, I get DOUBLE the amount and self line it.    with certain patterns it actually makes it seem more dressy.

    But as someone else said, the beauty of sewing for yourself is to do what pleases YOU.

    Good luck


    1. sbsterling | | #5

      As someone new to the forum, forgive me if this question seems overly amateurish (is this a word?) but I didn't want to pass up the chance to flesh out the tip a little.  Is the process of self lining somethig that a beginner to intermediate sewer can master?  I am always looking for ways to turn my projects into more finished products.  I'm never really satisfied by the way my projects look on the inside and don't have a serger.  I imagine that you cut 2 of the same skirt in the same fabric but how do you complete the process?  Any help would be great- skirts are one of my favorite projects, I rarely feel discoraged working on them. 

      1. mem1 | | #7

        Well you could cut out the skirt panels twice and join the m at the waist band with the wrong sides together. If there is a zip you need to insert it in the outer shell and then whip stitch it to the zip leaving some space around the teeth the hems are done seperately wththe inner one slightly shorter than the outside one .

      2. Elisabeth | | #8

        You could try some different seam finishes like the hong kong finish. An illustration is here http://ianrpubs.unl.edu/textiles/heg147.htm#hkfOr a different type of seam that encloses the raw edge such as a french seam. You could also have some fun with topstitching like jeans have with a flat felled seam. Here is one example http://sewing.about.com/library/weekly/aa010698.htm

      3. opalmom | | #10

        I've done it two ways:  One is to cut "two" skirts out and treat them as one, as someone else has said.  The other is to cut two skirts out (with the outside fabric cut a bit larger than the inner one, say an inch and a half).  Make two skirts and then join them at the waist, so you will have two separate layers. 

        I prefer the latter method with really light fabrics, such as batiste, voile or lawn.  And then I use two different colours to make it "interesting"  if the outer fabric is white or ivory, I'll do the inner fabric in a medium tone (nude, peach, sage, lavender).  To me, that gives depth.  And if I'm *really* motivated, I'll do tone on tone embroidery on the inner layer to give it a psuedo "madeira" look to it.

        I use the former method when dealing with linen or silk jacquard, using the same fabric.  ie. handkerchief linen with handkerchief linen, silk with silk.  I sew the two layers wrong sides together and turn it inside out for final assembly.

        Heres to hoping that was clearer than mud.  If not,  let me know :-)

        1. Stalindsay | | #12

          Thanks!I think you must be a very talented seamstress. I hope to try your technique (with the embroidery) on a future project.Nancy

          1. opalmom | | #13

            Hi Nancy,

            I really don't think of myself that way but thank you just the same :-)

            Once you get the technical stuff down it really opens you up to letting the creative side out and sometimes it works and sometimes not.   Its very similar to cooking.  Any good cook will tell you that for every awesome meal, there were two that came out more like a bad lab from Chemistry.



  4. Elisabeth | | #4

    The style of skirt can help you decide. A close fitting A-line can benefit from a lining or, maybe even better, and underlining of batiste. On a little bit fuller skirt it won't be as necessary unless the fabric is too see through. On a really full summer skirt a lining can just add too much bulk. My choice would be cotton batiste rather than a silky since a silky is usually a synthetic which isn't as cool and pleasant as cotton in hot weather.

    1. mem1 | | #6

      Silk habituae and acetate are both natural fibers and washable and cool . Youre right about polyester though Yuck!!!

  5. alotofstitches | | #9

    Is your cotton a "shirt" weight or heavier?  If it's heavier (bttom weight) leave it unlined, but I suspect it's lighter and the pique will sag in the seat.  I underline the lighter weight fabrics that I intend to use for "bottoms".  A cotton underling cut same as garment, sewn to garment pieces, then treated as one piece will give more support & add weight to the skirt so that it hangs better.

    1. Stalindsay | | #11

      Thanks. I think I'll try your method.Nancy

  6. JeanL | | #14

    No need to line cotton skirts unless they're sheer and you're worried about seeing through.  I am a skirt nut and have dozens with the great quilting cottons available.  They are always a conversation starter!

  7. suesew | | #15

    Just to add to this conversation - I was just given a cotton skirt to hem. It was purchased in S Florida at an expensive boutique. It has about 2/3 of a yard of a polished cotton fabric and lined with a pretty cheap light weight cotton - price tag - $120.

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