How to Make a Patchwork Songbird Skirt

I was recently sorting my leftover fabrics from various garments and realized I had a sizeable collection of woven fabrics that would be perfect for a patchwork garment.  Patchwork garments are popping up everywhere from home sewists to ready-to-wear.  I was a pattern tester for the Songbird Skirt and thought it would be a perfect pattern for patchwork.  This post will lay out some basic steps used to prepare the patchwork for the skirt tiers and waistband.  

I gathered all my fabrics, grouped them by color and decided to use both warm and cool fabrics for the patchwork.

I cut the two waistband pieces out of a single piece of fabric to not add bulk to the waistband with extra seams.  The pockets were also cut from a single piece of fabric.  

1. Before cutting the fabrics into pieces, check the Skirt Pattern Piece Chart for the height and width of the pattern pieces for the waistband, top tier, middle tier, and bottom tier. Print out this page for reference and highlight the size for your pattern pieces or write down the dimensions listed for each pattern piece. You can also measure the printed pattern pieces for the dimensions. Keep in mind that the width on the chart and the pattern pieces are placed on the fold so this will be doubled for the full width of each tier. 

 2. I rounded up the measurement for the height of the bottom tier to the next inch since it was the largest. 

 3. I cut a few rectangles and squares from each fabric in varying width by the length of the bottom tier height.

4. Fabrics that were shorter than the bottom tier height were cut to the height of the fabric scrap and then pieced to another fabric and trimmed to the bottom tier height.

1. I suggest laying out all the tiers for the front and the back before sewing any pieces together

2. Measure the width to ensure it is at least 2 to 3 inches larger than the width on the chart.

3. Sew together the patchwork pieces for each section. I allowed a ¼” seam allowance and sewed my pieces together using a 3-thread overlock stitch on my serger. The patchwork can also be pieced on a sewing machine and then the seam allowance finished with a serger or a zigzag stitch.

4. Using a rotary cutter and ruler or the pattern pieces, trim the front and back skirt tiers to size. The patchwork is now prepped and ready to sew together following the pattern instructions.

The finished skirt is really fun and one of a kind. That is the beauty of patchwork, every time it will be a little bit different. It is a great way to use what you have and make something that expresses your personal style. You could use even smaller pieces for a really scrappy look. Try adding a pieced block, following your favorite quilt block. Or even add a little hand stitching for a really personal touch. The Songbird Skirt is a great canvas for trying something new!


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  1. Yay! I was going to make my next one like this. I’m so glad to see how it looks now!! You gave me confidence! I have so many nice linen scraps.

  2. I just love this idea! I’m going upstairs right now to see what scraps I can use for making this skirt!