Mini-tutorial series no.3 - Manning Cartell Skirt, Part 2

Manning Cartell Summer 10/11 - Compulsive Sketcher

So there was this skirt I made last week for my friend Clara. It's inspired by a Manning Cartell creation I saw in a magazine somewhere however when I went on their website, I couldn't find any pictures of the same skirt! The picture above is in a similar print. Isn't it gorgeous?

You can see pictures of the skirt (and Clara) here: Originally I made it for the hips, but when she tried it on she wanted it for her waist. So the pictures show a bit of alteration at the back made after the skirt was completed.

Here's how I made it. You'll need:

  • 1 piece of lining material
  • 1 piece of cloth for the outer layer (a pop print :D)
  • An invisible zip, about 40cm long. I got mine at Lincraft. 
As with previous tutorials, this one is divided into three sections- Making the pattern, cutting the cloth, and sewing. Please read all the instructions before starting :) And don't forget to click the Facebook 'like' button to share this project with all your crafty friends! 


STEP 1: Measure how long you want your skirt to be from your hips (should be on your pelvis bone area). On a sheet of newspaper, draw this line.
STEP 2: With a measuring tape, measure around your hips.

Divide this measurement by 4.

Add 2cm for ease.

Draw this line at the top as shown. I used a French Curve, but you can use a big plate if you want.

STEP 3: Add 5cm to your last measurement (i.e. hip divided by four, plus 2cm, plus 5cm). Draw this line as shown on the bottom of the skirt.

This is the hem line of your skirt.
STEP 4: Join the hip line and the hem line.

You've just made the pattern for the lining of the skirt, congrats!!

Cut out your pattern :)

STEP 5: We're gonna make a rough pattern for the pop print layer now. The reason why it's rough is because we'll be folding the cloth randomly before cutting it down to match the lining layer, so it doesn't matter too much as to how neat the pattern will be, as long as its bigger than the lining piece.

Lay out the cut pattern on another sheet of newspaper. Trace the hip line, extending it about 10cm.

Draw down the length, extending it about 50cm below the hem line. Draw your new hem line.


STEP 1: Fold your lining fabric. Lay out your lining pattern with the straight edge (the first line you drew) on the fold.

Important: Your pattern doesn't have seam allowances, so you'll need to allow for extra room around the pattern.
STEP 2: Cut about 1 cm around the pattern to include the seam allowance. That's your lining for the skirt front. Repeat step 1 and 2 for the skirt back.
STEP 3: Fold your pop print cloth. Lay out your top layer pattern like so.
STEP 4: Cut 1cm around the pattern. Repeat step 3 for the back of the skirt.


STEP 1: Pin your outerlayer and lining layer together, right sides facing, at the hip line.
STEP 2: Stitch.
STEP 3: Turn it out right sides out, and iron down.
STEP 4: Start folding the top layer down one side, randomly, and pin to the lining layer.

Important: Make sure that your lining layer stays straight! Don't fold it at all.
STEP 5: Pin down the other side. Make your folds diagonal lines across the skirt.

Fold and pin till the hem lines on both the outer and inner layer meet.

STEP 6: Baste (hand-stitch) your folds down. When you remove the pins your folds should stay in place.

STEP 7: Repeat the Sewing steps 1-3 for the back skirt.

We need to cut a slit into the back so that you can have the space to walk in the skirt.

STEP 8: Match the hem lines of the skirt. The fold the skirt lengthways as shown, right sides facing.

Slide your scissors in between the pop print layer and cut up about 40cm.

In my picture I did this after I folded all the pleats in, but this turned out to be a mistake 'cos after I cut the slit, the different layers didn't match! So cut your slit before pleating :)
STEP 9: Flip your skirt back inside out. Stitch the V-shape as shown.

Snip the < of the V so that the fabric won't bunch up after your turn it right side out again.

 STEP 10: Flip your back skirt right side out again.
STEP 11: Pleat and baste the back of the skirt again like in step 4-6.

(Yes I did repeat the pictures cos I was so flustered by the slit, I forgot to take photos!)

SEWING - Optional

STEP 1: At this point, I found that I had to hand stitch the pleats into place because when the skirt hangs down, the pleats drooped! You may have to do this depending on the depth of your folds and the stiffness of the fabric.

Start by threading a needle, knot the end, and run your hand between the outer and inner layers, poke the pin through the fold.
STEP 2: Stitch in a Z shape, from the fold back down to the unfolded fabric beneath. Try not to stitch into the lining layer (only cos' it's ugly).

Important: Be especially carefully of accidentally sewing the front and back skirts together!

When you pull your thread tight, the fabric should fold back- it's sewn down and won't droop when you wear your skirt.
STEP 3: Continue this for the length of the pleat. Or just stitch down for the most droopy parts of the pleats.

Make a few small stitches to finish and pull your needle through these stitches. Cut the thread. This avoids the bulk of a knot.

SEWING - Sewing the front and back together and putting in the zip.

STEP 1: Unzip your zip. Flip it so that it's face down. Pin it to the left side of your front skirt as shown. (i.e. the zip and skirt are right sides facing).
STEP 2: Baste it down and remove the pins.
STEP 3: You need to put your zipper foot on your machine. (My bad- took the picture before realising and changing the foot!). Your machine manual should have instructions, or you can Google the brand of your machine + 'zipper foot' for instructions.

Stitch down as shown.
STEP 4: When you get down towards the zip head, stop stitching, but don't cut the thread.

Raise the foot and pull the zip closed.

Continue to stitch the zip down to the end.
STEP 5: Lay out your back skirt next to the right skirt as shown.

STEP 6: Pin and baste the zip and the back skirt, right sides facing. Stitch following steps 3-4 again.
STEP 7: Pin down the lengths of both back and front skirt pieces together, right sides facing. Stitch.

For the side with the zip, stitch together the skirt pieces down the rest of the length.

STEP 8: We're gonna do the seams now! This is completely optional but I had some friends ask me how to do it, so here's how I do it...

Cut your seams down to about 1.5cm. Iron the seams open. Cut one side down to about half a centimetre.
STEP 9: Fold the uncut seam over the cut seam. Fold it over a second time to hide the raw edge. Sew it down.

This is a French seam (I think), and it's really strong for holding together your skirt - you'll get more wears out of it.

Finally, hem your skirt. You're done!!

Haha too cute Clara! Thanks so much again for doing the photo shoot! 

As always, feel free to comment below if you have any questions... or comments :) 


  1. awww hehe whenever i see your blog posts i just want to go shopping!!!

  2. Vicky, let's go shopping! I have to buy a dress for this Saturday, wanna come?

  3. Thank you Cherelle! Thanks for your message on IBF too!


Hope you feel inspired and creative- thanks for taking the time to read and comment back.