How To Add Details to Skirt Patterns

Carol Zentgraf
How To Add Details to Skirt  Patterns

Add an eye-catching touch to a button closure by adapting the placket into an interlocking scallop design.


  • Skirt pattern with front button closure (such as Kwik Sew 3728)
  • Fabric, interfacing & notions (according to pattern envelope)
  • Seven 7/8"-diameter buttons
  • Trousers hook-and-bar closure
  • Removable fabric marker

Tip: Select light- to mediumweight woven fabric, such as linen, cotton or silk. Natural-fiber fabrics are easier to press into a scallop shape than synthetic fibers.

Alter the Pattern

Cut out the pattern pieces.

On the front pattern, mark the finished waist seam along the center front line. Mark the center-front line 1 1/2" below the first mark to denote the uppermost button placement. Mark six more button placements at a 3" interval along the center-front line. To denote the scallop inner curves, make a smaller mark halfway between each button placement mark (1).

Download the scallop template. Position the template over the front pattern, aligning the placement marks. Trace the template curved edge (2).

Draw a line 1/4" beyond each scallop right edge to account for the seam allowance (3). Cut the pattern along the line.

Draw a vertical line 2 1/2" from the scallop outer curve to denote the facing inner edge. To make the facing pattern, position paper over the front pattern. Trace the outer scallop edge, inner facing-edge line, and skirt upper and lower edges (4). Cut out the facing pattern.


From the fabric, cut one front and one facing. Turn over the patterns to cut the opposite front and facing.

From the interfacing, cut one facing, using the inner scallop line as the cutting line. Turn over the pattern to cut the opposite interfacing piece.

Follow the pattern guidesheet to cut the remaining skirt pieces.


Position one interfacing facing on one fabric-facing wrong side, aligning the straight edges. Fuse, following the manufacturer's instructions. Repeat to fuse the remaining interfacing to the opposite facing.

With right sides together, align one facing scalloped edge with one front scalloped edge; pin, and then stitch. Grade the seam allowances, and then turn the facing right side out; press. Repeat to stitch the remaining facing to the opposite front.

Follow the pattern guidesheet to construct the skirt, omitting the front closure instructions.


Position the skirt right side up on a flat work surface. Position the scallop template over one skirt scalloped edge; mark the button placements on the skirt. Repeat to mark the opposite scalloped edge.

Interlock the skirt scallops by alternating one above and one below (5).

Center one button over each upper scallop; mark the buttonhole placements. Remove the buttons, and then stitch the buttonholes on the upper scallops.

Cut open the buttonholes, and then mark the button placements on the lower scallops. Stitch a button at each lower scallop mark.

Hand stitch the hook and bar at the skirt waistband opening.

Top Transformation

Use this technique to add a zigzag closure to a blouse or jacket.

Select a pattern with an overlapping front closure. If the overlap is too narrow to draw the scallops, widen it by taping a pattern paper strip along the center-front edge.

Follow the skirt alteration instructions to trace the scalloped edge onto the blouse pattern overlap, adjusting the scallop size as desired. Make sure the button placements are aligned with the pattern center-front line.

Create a front facing pattern and construct the blouse front closure according to the skirt instructions. 

Tip: For a different look, use an alternate shape, such as a square or triangle, to draw a shirt placket edge.


JHB provided the Style #40148 buttons: (800) 525-9007,

Kwik Sew provided the pattern: (612) 521-7651,

Robert Kaufman provided the Essex Linen in Orange: (800) 877-2066,

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