Convertible Hakama Maternity Skirt – Construction

As I was saying, before the Overlord appeared a little early…

Here’s an explanation behind the Convertible Hakama Maternity Skirt I previously posted about.

The design of this skirt is based off of Japanese hakama pants – at least the idea of them.  Hakama pants are meant to be worn over other garments, so they have a gap on the sides which I eliminated for this skirt.  I Googled a diagram about how to wear/tie these pants – this gives a nice overview onto how they are constructed.



Since I was already about 8 months pregnant when I started this skirt, I measured  generously over my bump for a 24” waistband (24” for the front and 24” for the back), thinking I wanted at least a 5” overlap on either side, with the front and back being two symmetrical pieces. I cut two 48” x 20” rectangles, to pleat the 48” top side down to 24”. I did the same with a light lining fabric, gathering instead of pleating the top, and adding a ruffle at the bottom.

This turned out to be way too much fabric and fullness at the top (as my waist and hips were expanding I didn’t really need to emphasize them more!) and too much fabric at the overlap to fall nicely. In the end I reduced one side of the skirt to a trapezoid of 19” post-pleating at the top, and 40” at the bottom. I cut off 8” total from the bottom (4 on each side) to get a better A-line shape.I also removed the gathers I’d had at the top of my lining to reduce bulk at the waistline. I sewed up the sides leaving an approximately 8” opening where the ties would overlap. Here’s my end measurements for the different pieces:


Side A fabric: 1.5 yards of fashion fabric
Side B fabric: 40″ length of fashion fabric
Side A lining: 40″ length of lightweight fabric (sheer cotton or lining fabric)
Side B lining: 30″ length of lightweight fabric


Here is a photo of the actual skirt with the front panel tied so you can see how the gap works.


The choices for exactly how long or wide each side is very flexible and forgiving; if you would like to make your own skirt your measurements may vary slightly, particularly for length.  For reference, I’m 5′ 5″ and at my natural waist this skirt ought to be waist length.  My normal pre-pregnancy natural waist would be somewhere in the neighborhood of 29″ depending on the day, of course ;).

I hope this breakdown has been helpful for others!  If you decide to make a hakama skirt, drop me a line in the comments, or hashtag it #hakamaskirt on social media – I would love to see what you come up with!


One comment

  1. AJ says:

    It looks so cute and super versatile! Never occurred to me to use the design for a modern skirt. Love it!

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