How to Choose the Best Fabric for Skirts

"What fabric should I use?" is a common question in sewing. This page offers tips for choosing fabric for skirts.

By: Nichole Pientka, Editor,
Updated May 01, 2020
Best Fabric for Skirts

If you love twirling, you have to love skirts! When you’re sewing skirts, did you know that the kind of skirt you are sewing requires different types of fabric in order to lay correctly?

Determining the best fabric for skirts depends on a few factors. Some kinds of DIY skirts do not have many limitations when it comes to fabric, but some rely heavily on the type of fabric.

You’ll want to choose carefully with a DIY pencil skirt, for example, because it’s so fitted to your body.

Cotton is usually a good fabric to choose with skirts because it’s easy to sew with and is relatively cheaper than other fabrics. With so many different kinds of fabric, it can be tough to choose the perfect fabric for your next skirt pattern.

We've put together this quick page that has examples of the most common skirt types and which fabric is best to use. Once you learn what the good fabrics for skirts look and feel like, you'll better understand how to choose them in the future. 

Depending on what kind of DIY skirt you want to make, you can find the fabric recommendations for DIY circle skirts, DIY pencil skirts, A-Line skirts, bubble skirts, maxi skirts, and mini skirts.

Best Fabric for Circle Skirts

Like most skirts, cotton is a great choice for circle skirts. If you make a full circle skirt like you'd see in the 1950s, satin works really well, even though it's a difficult material to work with if you're just beginning to sew.

The DIY skirt below is an easy cotton circle skirt you'll enjoy making and wearing! Take a look at The Ultimate Circle Skirt Tutorial.

For more circle skirt patterns, check out:

  1. Rainbow Panels Circle Skirt
  2. Zooey Circle Skirt Tutorial
  3. Trendy DIY Circle Skirt

The Ultimate Circle Skirt Tutorial

Best Fabric for Pencil Skirts

Any kind of fabric that has some stretch is good for this kind of DIY skirt. A cotton blend fabric works well, and then for the lining, you can use a lightweight cotton or silk fabric.

The DIY skirt below is the Unstoppable Pencil Skirt.

For more pencil skirt patterns, check out:

  1. Tartan Midi DIY Pencil Skirt
  2. How to Make a Buffalo Plaid Pencil Skirt
  3. Number One Pencil Skirt

Unstoppable Pencil Skirt

Best Fabric for A-Line Skirts

You need a fabric that moves and drapes well for the A-line skirt. These kinds of fabrics include silk broadcloth, crepe de chine, rayon, cotton knits, or wool jersey. This is the most flattering shape for most women’s body types and figures.

The DIY skirt pictured below is the Versatile A-Line Skirt

For more A-line skirt patterns, check out:

  1. Anthropologie Ruffled Skirt Tutorial
  2. Simple Gathered Skirt with Denim Band
  3. Scrappy Floral Skirt

Versatile A-Line Skirt

Best Fabric for Bubble Skirts

The bubble skirt is a skirt that's folded under on the hem to form a bubble-like shape. You can use linen, light tweed, and brushed cotton for this type of DIY skirt. You'll want a fabric that can be easily gathered.

The DIY skirt pictured below is the Bright Bubbles Girls Skirt Pattern.

For more bubble skirt patterns, check out:

  1. Sunny Day Girl's Skirt
  2. Bubble Skirt Sewing Pattern
  3. The Easiest Bubble Skirt

Bright Bubbles Girls Skirt Pattern

Best Fabric for Maxi Skirts

Maxi skirt fabric should be comfortable and lightweight since that's the appeal of this skirt style. These long DIY skirts allow for a lot of versatility when it comes to fabric. For a flowing and elegant look, choose chiffon or taffeta with a lining underneath because these fabrics are usually sheer. A more comfortable and casual DIY maxi skirt can be made out of cotton or jersey fabrics. 

The DIY skirt pictured below is the Tiered Maxi Skirt Pattern.

For more maxi skirt patterns, check out:

  1. Riveting Ruffles Maxi Skirt Pattern
  2. Jil Sander DIY Maxi Skirt
  3. 15 Minute Maxi Skirt

Tiered Maxi Skirt Pattern

Best Fabric for Mini Skirts

As the great fashion statement of the 80s and 90s, this DIY skirt requires a small amount of fabric, but you'll want it to be stretchy. Knit is a good fabric to choose for a mini skirt, but denim and cotton will also work well as long as they have some stretch. 

The DIY skirt pictured below is the Micro Mini Simple Skirt Pattern.

For more mini skirt patterns, check out:

  1. Suede Shirttail Mini Skirt
  2. Chalk Lines Mini Skirt
  3. Sequined Mini Skirt​​​​​​​

Micro Mini Simple Skirt Pattern

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I have never made a skirt and I don't think I've ever considered how important the fabric is for the type of skirt. Good to know!


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