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Harper Sewing Pattern Skirt Hack

I’m excited to share a pattern hack with you today because it’s very rare that I sew a pattern without some alterations. I hack patterns all the time, and today is no different. Today I’m sharing a hack to turn the Harper sewing pattern by Megan Nielsen into a pleated skirt.

Harper Sewing Pattern Skirt Hack

I love flat front skirts and pants with elastic in the back. I love the comfort, the ease of putting it on and taking it off, the sewing is easier, and it can change with my body changes. The pattern alterations for this skirt were worth it to get this easy skirt.

Harper Sewing Pattern Skirt Hack

The pattern the Harper Shorts and Skort by Megan Nielsen. I like the look of both the shorts and the skort, but for personal preference I like to wear shorts that are knee length. I didn’t think that either view would look good lengthened to the knee. Also, I’m going into Fall and Winter and wanted to sew something that would be weather appropriate.

Harper Sewing Pattern Skirt Hack

Harper Sewing Pattern

I decided to turn the Harper sewing pattern into a pleated skirt. The alterations weren’t as hard as I thought they would be, and I’m happy with my new skirt. I haven’t had a lot of time to work with it in my wardrobe which I where I find how much I will wear something.

My waist is a size small and my hips are a size extra small so I decided to sew a straight size small. I wanted the skirt to flare out at the hem so I didn’t grade sizes.

Harper Sewing Pattern Skirt Hack


The pattern recommends lighter weight fabrics, and I only had a couple of fabrics in my stash to choose from. I’m trying really hard to sew my stash because my fabric stash is out of hand. I finally decided on this sea foam green solid fabric.

I thrifted this fabric earlier this year and after doing a fabric burn test and studying the fabric decided it was a blend. I think it’s a polyester blended with cotton or linen. It wrinkles easily, but the wrinkles fall out quickly. It has a little nubby look too.

The fabric has a nice drape, but it wasn’t too light to make it hard to sew. I had just over two yards which was the perfect amount.

Harper Sewing Pattern Skirt Hack

I love a skirt with pockets. I need pockets in all my clothing and I use them all the time. I just love that the Harper sewing pattern has pockets. These slash pockets are more flattering than side seam pockets on a skirt.

In this sewing project I used understitching, graded seams, stitched in the ditch, and

how to sew a rolled hem without a rolled hem foot.

Harper Sewing Pattern Skirt Hack

Harper Sewing Pattern Skirt Hack

  1. Cut out your size but don’t use the lining pieces. It was easier for me to not have too many pieces to alter.
  2. Make the front piece straight at the center front eliminating the crotch curve. Remove 5/8 inch from the center front. This line is now a fold at the center front.
  3. Make the back piece straight at the center back eliminating the crotch curve. This line is now the seam for the center back zipper.
  4. To fix the hem make the hem the same length from the waist across each pattern piece.
  5. Add length to all the pieces for a longer skirt. I added 8 inches to all the pieces so the skirt would hit me just above the knee.

Harper Sewing Pattern Skirt Hack


To make an elastic back add two to three inches to the center back. I added two inches or four total. Eliminate the dart by crossing it off and cut the waist line straight at the dart. Retrace the back facing.

  • When attaching the facing sew it onto the top of the skirt and grade the seams. Starting at one side seam sew a casing 1 1/4 inch from the top to the other side seam.
  • Insert elastic half the measurement of your waist into the back casing and tack the elastic at the side seams. Tack the facing down at each side seam. I also had to tack my facing along the front because my pleats were pretty thick.

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[…] used a narrow hem on my pleated Harper skirt to have an overlay that looked nice when it moved. If you make something using this tutorial, […]