Sew An Iconic Fashion Item – The Mini Skirt

Do you listen to The High Low Podcast? I really enjoy it. They mentioned that the mini skirt has topped a list of the most iconic female fashion items of the last 50 years. It goes without saying that my mind leapt to sewing patterns!

Dolly and Pandora suggested that not all women feel comfortable in a mini skirt. Personally, I love a short hem. Paired with thick tights and boots or Converse, they’re the perfect combination of cute and easy to wear. Of course, there’s short and there’s short!

teen vintage mini skirt

All joking aside, if I was on the serious hunt for an interesting mini skirt pattern, I’d definitely go the vintage route. First of all, there are thousands of patterns out there. Second of all, they can be snapped up super cheap. Sewing pattern for £2? Just hit your local friendly online auction site.

But if you prefer contemporary mini skirt sewing patterns, here’s a run down of:

  • Tried And Tested Patterns
  • New Faces On The Block
  • Recommended Fabrics


how to sew a mini skirt

Don’t just take my word for it. These two sewing patterns are beloved of the online sewing community, and for good reason. They really work! If I had to choose between the two, I might plump for the V1247 with those super-cute in-seam pockets. But both patterns have their charms and the tulip shape on the Simplicity 2451 pattern is a nice variation.

I’ve sewn both of these – here and here – and they are great little patterns. Highly recommended!

NOTE – the V1247 comes up really short, so you may choose to add a couple of inches.

burda mini skirt patterns

If you have a collection of Burda sewing magazines, you’ll definitely have access to a mini skirt sewing pattern – see above. I sometimes feel that Burda gets overlooked in the rush to buy up the latest new release. Lots of Sewists swear by their piles of Burda back catalogue.

The skirt on the left also reminds us that mini doesn’t have to mean pencil. I love a flouncy little skater skirt. So flirty!



I’m currently cutting out the Ness Skirt, new release from Tilly And The Buttons. There must be something in the air, because Sew Over It has also released a mini skirt – the Ava Skirt. Have you bought either of these? I wasn’t sold on the Ness Skirt until I spotted Tilly wearing a version in this awesome canvas. The power of social media!

And talking of fabric…



Lightweight wool or wool suiting, fun canvas, quality denim. If you’re making a pencil skirt, I’d go for a fabric that can maintain the silhouette and shan’t crease easily. When I say quality denim – just take a look at the colour saturation on that black denim. I bought it from Ditto Fabrics, but I can’t see it listed now. Ditto is a great denim resource. Good denim is surprisingly hard to find!

The great news is that you can likely squeeze a mini skirt out of a metre of fabric – bargain.

Okay, I hope that inspired you as much as it’s inspired me. I’m off to make something to team with a pair of woolly tights…

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12 Responses to Sew An Iconic Fashion Item – The Mini Skirt

  1. Lucy says:

    Ooooh I do so love a mini skirt with thick tights too, definitely a wardrobe staple for me in winter. I’m excited to try the new Ness skirt and also spotted this little beauty last week (view C) which I’m hoping to make in a lovely blue and black dogtooth ponte – yum!

  2. Karin says:

    There’s a great pencil skirt in one of the Great British Sewing Bee books (I think it’s the second- but mine is in Dutch so all references to GBSB are gone anyway), which I’ve shortened… I ended up making five different versions of it and planning another one 😀

  3. ..a great look and a very good way to use up a short length of fabric. If you don’t want to buy a pattern, Vintage or otherwise it’s very easy to draft your own – contact us @aliceandcopatterns for some instructions.

  4. JenL says:

    One thing to think about with vintage patterns is that minis used to be even shorter than we think of them now. My grandmother used to have an alterations business in the early 1970s (US) and she talked about that — that the girls wanted their skirts as short as possible, just so that their bum did not show when they were standing. Sometimes one would wear matching underpants/bloomers.

  5. Caroline says:

    Liking the three Seamwork Mabels I ran up a couple of weekends ago. Short, sassy and stretchy for comfort (and can be v cheap depending on your Ponte Roma choice)!

  6. Well, I am really glad to hear I am not the only one to use Burda magazine! It is certainly overlooked, and for me, the best option to get patterns from. They are 100% reliable and the cheapest option. For 5 euros, you get 15 or 20 patterns! Instructions are not to die for and seam allowances are not included, I know,,, but I do not need instructions, I prefer to sew my way,,, and I prefer to decide what seam allowance I leave when I am cutting, and a more precise pattern.

    • Sarah says:

      I’m another Burda fan girl! For a while I did buy a couple of the indie patterns, which do have more comprehensive instructions. However, I almost always revert back to my burdas since I know their fit and they are always well drafted… And in my 10 year collection (it’s a collection, not a stash!), I always find whatever I’m looking for 🙂 Plus they are really good value for money… Win win in my books.

  7. Oh dear, I just made one out of two felt tree skirts emblazoned with Santas and reindeer heads! Many rules broken! 😉

  8. When I just want to sew something that works from a small amount of fabric I love the skirt on Newlook 6217 but it is more of a summer version. I have Ness and the fabric but nil minutes to make it but some time over Christmas I will have a go. Thanks for the inspiration. Jo x

  9. ROBYN A. WEINBAUM says:

    i’ve done the tulip skirt from 2451 at least a dozen times, gotten so many compliments. i wore mini skirts the first time around, shortest i go is maybe 2: above the knee.

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