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Paperbag waist skirt with pockets | Raylene Harvey

DIY paperbag waist skirt with pockets

Oh. Em. Gee. 2016 has come and gone in what feels like the blink of an eye! Mark my words, ya’ll… December 2017 is around the corner, so you’d better start shopping for Christmas prezzies now already. You’ll thank me later.

Okay, so I know I’ve been pretty AWOL for the past few months and there have been crickets on my blog as well as my social media. I guess I just needed a li’l break from all things social media to focus on my craft (hence me taking up sewing classes) and getting my life organized.

Paperbag waist skirt with pockets | Raylene Harvey

Paperbag Waist Skirt – Made By Me // Heels – ALDO // Wrap Choker – Made By Me // Bralette- Nick Coutts for MRP // Fedora – The Lot

We’ve settled in nicely in our new home and things are slowly coming together. For one, I’ve finally started my framed wall art area in my sewing studio! I will post pictures as soon as it’s all done. I have been sharing sneak previews of my work in progress on SnapChat.

In this DIY I show you how to make a super adorable paperbag waist skirt with in-seam pockets. I am obsessed with dark floral prints and I found this gorgeous cotton fabric earlier this year, but I wasn’t sure what I would end up making. I’ve been seeing paperbag waists everywhere – in both pants and skirts that come with a belt that you could tie up in a bow and figured it would be perfect for this project – I’m so chuffed with how this turned out! I’ve decided to separate this DIY project into two parts. In Part One I show you how to make the skirt with the pockets and paperbag waist. In Part Two I will show you how to make the belt and the belt loops, so do keep an eye out for that video in the near future. I must say, the more garments I create the easier it’s becoming to figure out patterns and eyeball measurements. Much like in my job as a web developer where I can look at the screen and know exact pixel measurements, I can now look at a garment and know what the measurements are. It’s made the process of creating garments so much more pleasant. It’s true what they say – practice makes perfect. Yes, I used to get pretty frustrated in the beginning when I couldn’t figure things out, but with consistent persistence, I’ve persevered and I know I can only get better! If you’d like me to post more DIY tutorials, do hit the like button on the video and subscribe to my Youtube Channel for more if you haven’t already. It gives me motivation to post more DIYs, so I do appreciate your feedback. Scroll further to enjoy the photos taken by my hubby and then watch my video below.

Paperbag waist skirt with pockets | Raylene Harvey
Paperbag waist skirt with pockets | Raylene Harvey

Photo Credit: Ricardo Harvey



  • Basic Sewing Skills
  • Cotton fabric that has a bit of structure
  • 1″ wide elastic
  • Co-ordinating thread
  • Fabric Scissors
  • Measuring tape
  • Seam guide
  • Tailor’s chalk
  • Ruler
  • Pins
  • Sewing Machine
  • Overlocker (optional)


DIY Paperbag Waist Skirt | Raylene Harvey

Right-click the above diagram and click Save image as… to download the bigger version. Please note that the diagrams are not to scale and should be used as a reference guide only.

I’m a self-taught sewist and DIYer, so the techniques I show you in my video are things that work for me at the time the video has been recorded. It may not necessarily be the “industry” way, but it’s certainly an easy way, and I’m happy to share my learnings with you as I embark on this creative journey!

Comments (4)

  • Heyy VERY helpful, thank you!!

    I saw a skirt at the store that had a paper bag waistband and the skirt attached was a pleated tulip style skirt. I tried it on and it stretched along with the elastic from the paperbag waistband and there was no zippers involved. How can you attach these two by keeping the elasticity of the elastic?

    • Hi Julianne,
      Thanks for your comment! I’m actually struggling to imagine what you’re describing, do you by any chance have a photo of the skirt? If I understand you correctly, the bottom part of the skirt was most likely gathered (hence the pleats) and then stretched and sewed along the stretch of the elastic paperbag waistband. If you have a photo please email it to me hello[at]rayleneharvey[dot]com and I’ll be able to give you a better explanation.
      Raylene xx

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