Pattern Hacks & Tutorials

How to Create a Back Slit on the Orchid Midi Skirt

Zoomed in image of a woman's skirt and the backs of her calves, the skirt shows a back slit. Green box in middle of image has text overlay that reads: sewing tutorial create a back slit on the orchid midi dress
Zoomed in image of a woman's skirt and the backs of her calves, the skirt shows a back slit. Red box in the top left corner with white text overlay reads Orchid midi sewing hack: move the front slit to the back and shorten it too. White text at bottom of image reads petite font dot com.

Today’s hack is on how to create a back slit on the Orchid Midi. Spoiler alert: it’s SUPER easy.

If you read Tuesday’s post, you already know how to shorten the skirt and also make the A-line slightly more narrow. Aside from the midi-length, the other defining feature of the Orchid skirt is the front slit.

Image of a woman from the knees down showing off the slit in her mid-calf length floral skirt


When the skirt is at the full original length, the slit comes up to just above the knee or so. It looks really cool. But what if you want a slit in the back instead? I got a hack for that!

However since I shortened my Orchid to a skinny mini length, I knew the slit was going to be WAY too high. Remember, I took 5.5″ (14 cm) off just below the hip, effectively raising the slit along with it! It went from just above the knee to just below my lady bits.


But I’ve got a hack for that, too! So first I’ll show you how to alter the pattern pieces to move the slit to the back. Then I’ll show you what to do if you need to lower the slit, too.

How to Create a Back Slit on the Orchid Skirt

The Back Skirt is cut on the fold, but the Front Skirt is not. We’re simply going to swap them!

  1. On the Front Skirt, measure in from the center front cut line (not the extension at the bottom) 3/8″ (1 cm). Extend this down to the hem and extend the hem to meet it at 90º.
    • Cut off the extension along this line. The red line is your new fold line.
    • Cut 1 Front Skirt on the fold.
      Line drawing of a front pattern piece, then the pattern's extension cut off, and the new pattern piece with the words 'fold line" along the center front.
  2. On the Back Skirt pattern piece:
    • Take the extension you cut off in step 1 and tape it to the center back line.
    • This is your new pattern piece. Instead of cutting this piece on the fold, you will now cut 2 mirrored pieces.
      Line drawing of skirt back pattern piece shown in original form, then with grey extension piece added to center back, and finally the finished new pattern piece. At the bottom is this website address petite font dot com.

And that’s it!! You have successfully moved the slit to the back. Follow the rest of the directions to make your skirt (be sure to swap the front and back interfacing pieces, too) and attach it to the bodice.

But what if you don’t want the slit so high up your legs? If you want to make the slit shorter, it’s very easy.

How to Shorten the Slit on the Orchid Midi

If you haven’t altered the pattern to move the slit to the back, this same hack will work for the front pattern piece. For continuity, I’ll show you how to do it on the back piece, but the process is the same either way.

  1. Use your new Back Skirt pattern piece. Take into account the hemline, seen here in red.
    • Measure up from the hemline to determine how far up you want the slit to go (shown by a green arrow). This example shows the new lowered extension height in blue. (Note: According to Fashion Pattern Making Techniques Vol. 1, a standard kick pleat in the back of a skirt is 16-25 cm or 6.3″-9.8″ long.)
    • Cut the rest of the extension off above this line (the shaded blue area). This is your new Back Skirt pattern with a shorter slit.

Line drawing of new skirt back pattern piece showing hemline in red, then same piece with shaded out back extension and an arrow pointing to this new blue line, then again with shaded out extension removed. At the bottom is this website address petite font dot com.


That’s it! Really, it’s just ONE step to lower the slit. Easy, right?

If anything is unclear, let me know down in the comments.

Here’s a look at how my shortened skirt with the back slit looks. It’s much more subtle than a long front slit on the midi skirt.

Back view of a curly haired brunette in shortened and narrowed Orchid dress with the slit in the back of the skirt.

Check back next week when I’ll post my review of the PDF pattern, along with more pictures of the whole dress!

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Chris Griffin
Chris Griffin
Jun 30, 2019 5:40 am

Thank you! This was super clear and I’ll be using it today!