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Skirt keeps turning

Kennis | Posted in General Discussion on

Hi! I have a general question about a skirt (it’s a RTW skirt). It sits below my waist and when I walk, it keeps turning, i.e. left seam moves to CF; CF moves to right, etc.). I wonder if it’s the construction of the skirt or my walking/posture. I want to make a similar skirt and want to prevent that from happening.




  1. tmorris1 | | #1


    Without seeing either your posture or the skirt fit it is hard to help you. The problem could be one of many things. Try using safety pins to alter the skirt where you think that it may be needed and then walking around your house in it. Perhaps if you lift the skirt to your natural waist then pin it to fit, it will be held in place more by your figure. It sound to me like your skirt is simply too loose.


    1. Kennis | | #4

      Thank you for your reply. I don't think the skirt is too big. Maybe this type of sitting-on-the-hip type of skirt just doesn't work for my figure.

  2. stitchintime | | #2

    This happens to me too and here I thought it was my silly problem. It happens in RTW and skirts I make myself. It happens more when I rush and walk quickly.

  3. thehat | | #3

    could it be the fabric or it could be that it needs a slip

    1. Kennis | | #5

      Thanks for your reply! The skirt already has lining, so the slip wouldn't quite work.

  4. jatman | | #6

    Hi Kennis!  In some men's clothing there is a waistband within the outer waistband that has sort of a grippy kind of rubber on it.  I suspect it was put in men's clothing to keep their shirts tucked in better but I wonder if you had such a band inside your skirt's waistband if it would keep it from turning.  I have no idea what it was called and a quick check of my husband suits has found nothing of the sort.  (I worked in a drycleaners as a teenager and I swear I remember seeing it in some of the clothing).  It was a canvas sort of material with the kind of rubber that you can find on the bottom of kids socks to give them traction.  Sorry this is so vague!  Hope you find a solution.



    1. SewFit | | #13


      The waistband finish you are referring to is called Snugtex and it available at the above link.


      Edited 6/21/2007 8:26 am ET by SewFit

      Edited 6/21/2007 8:29 am ET by SewFit

      1. jatman | | #14

        Yep!  That's the one!  I knew I wasn't crazy!

        Thank you!



        Edited 6/21/2007 8:44 am ET by jatman

        1. SewFit | | #15

          It's amazing what our brains "file for future" reference, isn't it!


          1. jatman | | #16

            Sure is.  Don't ask me to recall anything that I learned in college (other than my social security number) but I remember the men's waistbands from dry cleaners job that I had in high school.  Don't tell me I don't remember the useful stuff!


      2. MaryinColorado | | #29

        Thanks for the referral!  I see they also have elastic band with snugtex in it.  too cool

    2. MaryinColorado | | #27

      Hancocks, JoAnnes, etc have packages of the fabric with vinyl dots used on the bottom of footie pajamas.  I think it could easily be sewn into the side seams.  Mary

  5. Teaf5 | | #7

    Heehee, the skirt I wore last Friday rotated the opposite direction on me! When I lamented the fact that I had spent most of my son's graduation with my skirt on sideways, my husband smiled and said it looked fine to him anyway!

    The rubberized elastic inside the back waistband might work, but probably any skirt that rides on the hips rather than hanging from the waist will rotate because the hips have to rotate in order for you to walk. A natural, healthy walk makes the hips rotate in a figure-8 motion, with dips and rises at the outer & inner loops. (Can you tell that I read a lot of kinesiological studies?) So your hips are constantly moving the fabric up, down, and sideways.

    The waist, on the other hand, stays level, so a waistband that rests at your natural waist has a more stable base. On my rotating skirt, I have pockets, so I just reach in now and then and tug it back to central, but I don't think I'd want to wear it on a long trip.

    1. thehat | | #10

      may be you need to put a couple peices of vel cro on your panties Ha/ you know that they stay put just a laugh.

  6. BernaWeaves | | #8

    Unfortunately, that's the problem with skirts that sit below the waist.  They have nothing to grab onto, so they ride up slightly, get loose and start moving around.

    If you carry a purse or bag, either it or your arm is probably rubbing just a tiny bit every time you take a step and pushing the skirt around you.

    Solution:  Hope that high waisted skirts come back into style.

    OR:  Pin the skirt to your undies and hope they don't twist into a knot.

    1. Gloriasews | | #9

      I have the same problem with bias clothes - especially a beautiful full-length slip - it is SO annoying to be constantly adjusting myself!  I will try pinning the slip to my panty girdle next time I wear it & see if that works.  I was also thinking maybe weights in the hem?

      Another problem may be your gait - you may step further with one leg than the other, which, I think may be my problem.  I just noticed it last winter when I turned around to look at my footprints in the snow - what a surprise!  I also agree with the other poster who stated that the arm movements may have something to do with it, too, as I hang my purse on one shoulder, but swing the other arm, brushing my side.  I will have to check this out next time I wear a dress or skirt. 

      I think that rubberized band is called Grip-it or something with grip in the name.  That may work.

      1. User avater
        Becky-book | | #12

        Oh dear!  be careful if you pin your slip to anything; if you pin it while standing it might rip when you sit! Weights in the hem might work. I have a bias cut full slip pattern (from the '70s) and I had to add seams (princess style) to front and back to be able to adjust for "fluff" in the lower half! Made it up in clearance-table drapery silk, can't wear it under light colors, but it is my most comfortable slip!


        1. Gloriasews | | #18

          Thanks, Becky!  I didn't consider the possibility of the slip tearing from the pin - I'll keep that in mind.  My slip sounds exactly like yours - maybe I should try the vertical seams.  Like yours, mine is very comfortable, too, except for the twisting. 

          I now have a problem with a bias top that has a bubble about 3" wide about waist level in the back - otherwise, I thought it fits perfectly -obviously I was wrong.  To me, the bubble signifies that there is pulling horizontally at the waist.  I let out the back darts, but the bubble is still there, same size.  The top doesn't feel tight, but I'll try letting out the side seams now & see if that helps.  Do you or anyone else have any other ideas?  (The top is a sheer crepe, lined with a solid-colour crepe).


          Edited 6/21/2007 4:41 pm by Gloriasews

          1. Ralphetta | | #19

            Yours might be created by a something different, but I am sway-back and have that problem.  In my case I just put a couple of curved vertical darts there and it removes the excess by conforming better to my silhouette.  Clothing with a center back seam fits me best.  The mere existence of the seam, even without tweaking it, causes things to  hang better on me.I

            Edited 6/21/2007 4:57 pm ET by Ralphetta

          2. Gloriasews | | #22

            I think you're right yet again, Ralphetta!  I was just thinking this morning that the vertical seam might be the answer to the bubble.  I'll try it later on today & hope it works, as I don't want to spend too much more time on this top.  Needless to say, I'm not terribly impressed with bias clothing - it just doesn't feel the same when I'm wearing it.  I'll let you know how this turns out.



          3. User avater
            Becky-book | | #20

            Like Ralphetta said.. could be sway back issues or in my case, wide, high hips... the waist is not wrong but the hips are, and they don't let the fabric hang properly...still working out the best way to handle dressing this old body!

            Letting out the lower portion of the side seams is a good place to start, then try it on with the seams open; that might show you where the trouble really is.


          4. Gloriasews | | #23

            Along with Ralphetta's comments, yours also is applicable, as I, too, have high fluffy hips.  I did let out the side seams, so the garment feels loose (I previously thought that side slits would alleviate the problem, but I still have the bubble).  I'll leave the sides open for the time being & baste a vertical curved dart in the back & see how that goes.  Thanks for the input.


          5. suesew | | #21

            My guess would be that the bubble has formed because there is not enough room in the fabric below the bubble to fit around you, so the garment has lifted to where it can rest comfortably on your body. This can often be seen on the back of women's tight skirts that have a waistband. The waist ban fits but the skirt rides up because it is tight across the hips and/or backside, leaving a little bunch of fabric just below the waistband.

          6. Gloriasews | | #24

            This is what I originally thought, too.  That's why I let out the side seams with the thought of leaving slits there, but that didn't change the bubble (as I stated in other replies here) - there doesn't seem to be the tightness in the hips that I had expected - the top is still loose at the bottom.  I'll see what happens this afternoon when I try these ideas. 

            Ralphetta may be right, too, with the swayback idea.  I had never felt that I had that problem, but I will address it anyway (maybe I have been living in denial).  Thanks so much for your input - we always know we will get help in these threads, eh?  Knowledge is power!


          7. Ralphetta | | #25

            I would suggest 2 small darts rather than just 1.  I think it looks more "planned", like " I meant to do that" instead of a correction.

            Side slits don't make much difference on me because I have no hips, but stick out in back.

          8. Cathie | | #26

            This topic is very close to my heart. I first noticed this problem in my teens, and never knew what to do about it. I tried various solutions, none satisfactory, and am still on my quest. So, naturally, I am super delighted to read these posts, and, last night, in bed, thought of adding here too. After all, something must come from discomfort in fitting, and all those hours of tweaking/altering, and pouring over sewing books. I think several things can help here: curving the waist line, for those with this, or with tilted waist lines. Then, mimicing the curves we have (or don't have) with the side seams, and the center back. Swayback (large bottom) can cause shifting, as we try to become comfortable. Then, there are thighs to consider too. I have been looking at sewing books from France, Germany, and the Middle East, and this issue is much better handled there, than, for instance, by the Big Four. Try some Independent pattern companies, do your own tweaking/altering, look at pattern making books (for tips). Also, the worst scenario with slips I ever had was totally loosing it (my slip). I now have decided to wear either silkey boxers (easy to make), or, to forgo totally, adding cycling shorts, or dance tights. Happy sewing. Thanks for the inspiration, and fun reading.

          9. Gloriasews | | #30

            Yes, the 2 darts are better - 1 would just look odd.  I haven't had time to try it out yet - hopefully, if not this aft, I'll spend all day tomorrow (all day if I have to make a new dress, that is).   As for your hips, I'll gladly give you some of mine, but I stick out at the back, too, more than I used to (I'm more rectangular shaped now, not terribly wide, but with the fluffy bits on my high hip (& shortwaisted).   I think the shortwaistedness actually has produced the bubble at the back of the dress, as I usually have more fabric there when I buy clothes, but the bias is accentuating it.

            As you can tell, I have never dealt with bias in clothing, just in the slip that keeps twisting.  The bias top & skirt keep shifting & won't stay still as in a regularly made garment, so it's frustrating.  Will grit my teeth & keep working on it.  I have to have it ready for a wedding next weekend & am running out of time, as we leave Friday AM.

            Edited 6/24/2007 5:01 pm by Gloriasews

          10. Ralphetta | | #32

            I think that most well-dressed women who buy RTW have  some slight alteration....or should.. to look their best.  Notice that I said to look their best 'cause I know that few people want to spend all their attention on their wardrobe.

             Reading your comments about your body reminded me of the times I have matter-of-factly mentioned my own flaws while looking in a mirror. I find it patronizing when someone, usually in a superior fashion,  gives me a lecture about being "too hard on myself."  Duh,  There is a big difference between recognizing a problem and "being hard on yourself." ( You can tell this really gets on my nerves.)  I don't understand why some people think there is anything wrong with analyzing and determining your good points AND your bad ones so that you can look your best.

            Maybe, those of us who sew are more candid about the things we need to camouflage.  Ignoring those problems is either "denial" or ignorance. Before someone takes offense, I don't mean stupid, just uninformed.


          11. solosmocker | | #33

            Well said, Ralphetta! You are so right. You have to understand your body to fit it. Does it lean forward? Is one hip higher than the other? Is the posture very erect? Add to this all the normal critiques of our bodies, small, large, angular, round, apple, pear, etc, etc. I think seeing oneself as you truly are, accepting those differences, (not flaws), and doing what you can to emphasize your best points is a noble activity.

            Dress for the person you are today! Tomorrow may never come.

          12. Gloriasews | | #34

            I agree with you & Solosmocker (yet again)!  You're right in stating that we aren't hard of ourselves, but we are being truthful about our shapes, as we DO want a good fit that does emphasize our good points, as none of us are perfect.  Also, we do want to dress ourselves nicely for today, not the way we'd like to look if we lost weight, were 20 lbs. lighter, etc.  I think that all sewists are critical of this - I do it automatically when I see someone's clothes on them & see right away where they can be altered to fit better or they are not wearing the right size or style for their bodies (they are probably not sewists).  We all see it every day either at a mall or walking down the street, eh?

          13. Gloriasews | | #31

            Yes, I know what you mean, but it doesn't seem to be pulling anywhere, as there was lots of room when I let out the side seams & the bubble was still there.  As I told Ralphetta, it may be because I am shortwaisted.  I will try her 2 vertical darts idea & see how that hangs.

    2. MaryinColorado | | #28

      "Don't get your knickers in a twist!"

  7. Sussana | | #11

    If you ask me---


    just kidding   : )



  8. suesew | | #17

    Here's a question that may help solve this problem. After the skirt moves, does it stay there or would it keep moving around your body if you let it? If it shifts to one spot and stays there, I would suspect that it means it is adjusting to the shape of your body - that the fullness from darts or hip shaping is finding a better place to rest on your unique curves. If it would just keep moving, I would think that it is a tad loose, also.

  9. gladeyes | | #35

    Hi! I have this problem with skirts and also pants. A tighter fit slides less. I know I have one hip higher than the other and also the same hip is larger than the other. I'm not quite sure what to do either. I try to keep the waistband sitting just below the waistline with a contoured waist band fitted as snug as I can. I still get a little shifting but not near as much.

  10. skirtgrip | | #36

    Skirt keeps turning


    I was reading about your skirt turning issues and have a new solution for you. I was having this issue as well and hated trying to safety pin my skirt or tape it to my body, so I developed the skirt grip. The skirt grip is an elastic band which has grippy silicone on both sides of it that you wear around your body underneath your skirt. One side grips onto the fabric of your skirt and the other sits comfortable against your body or undergarments to prevent the skirt from twisting around.  For more information feel free to check out my website at http://www.skirtgrip.com

    Thank You,


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