How to Make a Trumpet Skirt

By Cynthia Myers ; Updated September 15, 2017

Things Needed

  • Skirt pattern
  • Fabric yardage required for your pattern plus one yard extra for flares
  • Straight pins
  • Scissors
  • Tape measure
  • Paper and pencil
  • Sewing machine
  • Thread

A trumpet skirt fits tight against the body to the knees, then flares out, like a trumpet, or like the blossom of a trumpet flower. With a form-fitting silhouette ending in a flirty flounce, trumpet skirts can be dressy or casual, but always sexy. The flounce at the bottom can balance out a top-heavy figure and offset wider hips, making this a good choice for curvier figures. Trumpet skirts have been incorporated into everything from wedding gowns to belly dancer costumes. To make a trumpet skirt, you can use a pattern specifically for a trumpet skirt, or adapt a straight skirt pattern.

Choose a skirt pattern that falls at least to mid-calf. You need at least this much length to form a proper trumpet.

Pin the pattern pieces to the fabric with straight pins. Cut out with scissors.

Measure the distance from waist to knee. Mark this point on all your skirt pieces with a pin.

Measure the distance on the skirt pieces from knee to hem. On a piece of paper, sketch a triangle that is as tall as this measurement and 8 to 10 inches wide at the bottom. The longer your skirt, the wider your triangle should be.

Cut out this paper triangle and pin it to your fabric. Cut four triangle pieces of fabric. These are the insets that will form your trumpet.

Sew the skirt pieces together, following the directions on your pattern, but sew the back, front, and side seams only to the point you marked, leaving the bottom portion of each seam unsewn.

Pin a triangular piece of fabric in each open seam, with the right sides of the fabric together. Sew each triangle in place using 1/2-inch seams.

Hem your skirt, put in the zipper and finish the waistband according to pattern directions.


If you want a fuller trumpet, divide the front and back of the skirt into three or even four panels and insert six to eight trumpets.

This skirt works best in a heavier fabric such as denim, linen, or cotton. If you use a lighter fabric, line the skirt to add weight and help it drape better.

About the Author

Cynthia Myers is the author of numerous novels and her nonfiction work has appeared in publications ranging from "Historic Traveler" to "Texas Highways" to "Medical Practice Management." She has a degree in economics from Sam Houston State University.