Gathered skirt tutorial


Gathered skirts are by far the easiest skirts to sew. I made the black and red skirts in the photo above in about half an hour each. They require a yard of 45″ fabric, enough 1″ elastic to go around your waist, and the ability to sew in a straight line.

Before you begin, launder your fabric the way you plan to launder the finished skirt and iron out any major crinkles.


Cut the fabric in half horizontally, to make two pieces half a yard long and as wide as the fabric. With 60″ fabric you can buy half a yard and cut it in the other direction to make 30″ by 18″ pieces.

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Put the right sides of the fabric and sew up both short sides. You now have a big tube.


Next, make a casing around the top of the skirt to put the elastic in. Fold down and iron 1/4″ all along the top of the skirt, folding onto the wrong side of the fabric. Then, fold down another 1 1/4″. This should make a casing which is slightly larger than your elastic.


Sew along the edge of this casing, beginning a few inches before a seam and leaving open a 2″ gap.

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Make sure your elastic is an inch longer than you want the waistband to be. Starting with a piece of elastic as long as your waist works well, since the elastic should be a little stretched when the skirt is on. (This is the force that holds your skirt on. Very important). Attach a safety pin to one end of the elastic and feed it through the casing, gathering the fabric as you go. Make sure to keep hold of the other end of the elastic!


When the elastic is fed all the way through the casing, overlap the two ends by 1″, being careful not to twist the elastic. Sew up one side, across the diagonal to the far corner, down that side, and back to the far corner to complete a bow tie shape.


Carefully sew up the gap you fed the elastic through, making sure not to catch the elastic.


Check if you like the length of your skirt. This is the time to cut it shorter if you’re so inclined. To finish the bottom of the skirt, fold 1/4″ to the wrong side of the fabric all along the bottom of the skirt and iron down. Fold another 3/8″ and iron again. Sew along the edge of the folded fabric.


Your skirt is done!

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