OK, To start out with I wear a men's 38/woman's 18/20. I measure 53 inches at the widest point of my hips (I call it ghetto booty, LOL). You will need a top sheet from a twin (or larger if desired/needed) sheet set that is of a heavier cotton or jersey. You'll also need enough elastic for a band and/or a pull-cord.
I can say that you will get a skirt from a dorm sized twin top sheet if you are my size or smaller. Bigger hips then mine might get a slightly different result. For inspiration I drew on "A Petticoat for the Ages" on the Anti-Craft site... then I simplified and changed a few things; mostly that math, the ruffle method and the look of the end result. I don't care for math that much and something this simple didn't really need it. This will also use the hemmed ends as I hate hemming.
You must measure your widest part, your hips and then add 4 inches to get your length for your waistband. For me, it was 57 inches. Write your number down.
Following directions will yield a 30 inch long skirt.
First lay your sheet out flat on a large mostly clear surface. I used my floor. Don't mind the mess; it doubles as craft room/game room/living room/ dog play area. Use a chihuahua to weight the fabric. Take your scissors and carefully remove the wider hemmed end from the top end of the sheet. Set aside. This will be your waistband.
Measure out eleven inches along the short edge of one of the long sides. You will be cutting a eleven inch strip from each hemmed long side. A cheater's shortcut would be laying the first strip over the second cut strip and just using it as a guide. Only do this if your first piece is perfect.
Be aware, the chihuahua will be checking your work! 10 inches will be the width, and the 1 inch will be your hem allowance.
Using your machine (or hand sewing for those into self torment) stitch one set of ends together. Be sure the hemmed ends are together. This is the lowest tier of your dress. At this time you will have a long thing rectangle roughly 14 feet long, set it aside for now.
Now for the top and center of your skirt.
You will need a middle tier and a top tier. The top tier will be your measurement plus 4 (remember that number
from earlier?) long and 21 inches wide. If you want a shorter skirt, decrease that number (I'd say no shorter then 11 inches to not look odd) or a longer skirt increase that number. Be sure to leave an allowance for the hem.
I found it easier to cut the second tier before I cut the top piece. It is yet another 11 inch strip that runs the entire long side of the sheet. Set it aside. Measure a rectangle that is your number
long at the top (Plus your inch hem allowance) and add two inches (plus hem!) at the bottom. Cut it out. (You may notice in my pictures that it looks like I used two pieces for my top tier. I did. My sheet had a hot coco stain on it.. hence me turning it into a skirt; thing was brand new!) I simply snipped a straight edge and reattached those pieces.)
Working from the bottom.
Lay the center tier out flat. At this point the chihuahua will be watching you from the chair with an air of disdain so you'll have to use pins to affix the fabric to the floor. First affix the ends and then the center. Each time affix the fabric at the center in the same manner (pull the fabric up till it's tight at the center then pin at that point)
It'll end up like this:
with a pinned fold roughly every 1.5 inches or so. Don't fret if it isn't 100% exact. Sew it up using a nice tight stitch. Bottom ruffle, done.
Repeat this procedure for the next tier. The ruffles will be much more subtle at this point.
Next take that wide hemmed end and attach to the top tier as the waistband. Sew it up nice and neat.
Run some elastic (if that's what you'll be using) through the top hem. Pin each end securely at the open end. Sew up the side seam being sure to sew through the elastic. If using a pull cord, insert grommets (sewn or metal) and run cord through the hem and back out for tying.
Lastly, wear and enjoy. It's cool and drapy, comfy in its looseness and based off one of the more feminine and sexy kinds of dresses out there, the salsa dress. Every time I wear it I get some attention, heh. Makes my guy jealous. http://img42.imageshack.us/g/skirt8.jpg/
Clearer pictures. The hosting here made the red look bleedy.