HOW TO SEW A GATHERED SKIRT - NO PATTERN NEEDED
You will need:
A light to medium weight fabric more than twice your length, with extra being for seam allowance and hem.
Craftpaper (wrapping paper or newspaper work too), Ruler & Pen if you'd like to make a pattern.
-I just measure straight onto my fabric, marking with pins and then cut it out but it's better to have the pattern so you can easily make more.
18cm (7inch) Invisible Zipper
Hook & Eye
Sewing kit with pins, tape measure, sewing needle, scissors, (I used pinking shears to save machine & neatening the seams).
What to do:
Firstly, take your waist measurement so where you want your skirt to sit. I measured my natural waistline, which is the smallest part of my waist so the skirt sits up quite high. Then measure from your waist to your desired skirt length. Gathered skirts can be made any length you like, short, midi or maxi.
Using your pen, paper and a ruler make your pattern pieces.
This skirt requires 3 pattern pieces: a front panel cut on the fold, a back panel to cut 2 pieces from, and a waistband also cut on the fold.
All pieces are rectangles, so no need to worry about finding the perfect curved edge.
Front Skirt Panel - Cut 1 on the fold along the width/skirt length:
Length/Waist Length: Divide your waist measurement by 2 and then add 1.5cm seam allowance to find the top length of the skirt.
Width/Skirt Length: To find the width of your rectangle - which will be how long you want your skirt - measure your desired length from your waist to where you want your skirt to sit and add 7cm. This will allow 2.5cm seam allowance at the top and extra for your hem, with a safety net to make sure it isn't too short.
Back Skirt Panel - Cut 2:
Length/Waist Length: Divide your waist measurement by 2 and then add 3cm seam allowance to find the top length of the skirt.
Width/Skirt Length will be the same as the front panel.
Waistband - Cut 1 on the fold along the short edge (the width):
Length: Waist measurement divided by 2 + 3cm seam allowance.
Width: 8cm which gave me a 2.5cm waistband once it was all sewn.
5. Pin all your pattern pieces onto your fabric and cut them out.
Now onto the sewing:
Join the panels together:
Pin the 2 back panels to the front panel on the sides and sew from top to bottom with a 1.5cm seam allowance. Iron all seams flat.
All together the panels will be double your waist measurement.
Set you sewing machine to the longest sized stitch.
Sew two rows of stitches along the top edge. The first 1cm from the top and the second 2cm from the top. Leave long tail threads and don't reverse stitch at the start and end!
Gently pull the top threads to gather the fabric and bunch it up in the centre as much as you can.
Add Waistband: Take your waistband and fold in the 3cm seam allowance at each end and pin so now your waistband is your actual waist measurement.
Lay the waistband down with right side facing the right side of the skirt along the top gathered edge of the skirt.
Start to evenly spread the gathers until the top edge is the same length as the waistband.
Pin the waistband over the gathered edge and sew down with a 2.5cm seam allowance, making sure the waistband ends are still folded in 3cm each side.
Pin down each side of your invisible zipper to the centre back seam (between your two back panels).
Just remember right side of your zipper facing right side of the fabric, with the edge of the zipper aligned with the edge of the fabric. The top plastic stop should be level with the bottom of the waistband.
Sew your zipper with an invisible zipper foot, so the zipper teeth can align in the groove of the foot and ensure the sewing machine needle can get as close to the zipper teeth as possible.
Then pin and sew the rest of the back seam together with a 1.5cm seam allowance.
Finish the Waistband:
Iron the top seam upwards to lay flat against the waistband.
Iron the waistband over the seam into the inside of the skirt.
Fold and iron under about half a centimetre of the waistband to hide the raw edge.
Pin the waistband along the bottom edge and sew it down.
Add Hook & Eye:
Hand sew the hook and eye into the inside of the waistband at the top of zipper.
Hem the Skirt:
Try the skirt on to determine the final length and then hem up to that length using an iron and lots of pins.
Sew around and you are all done!
These gathered skirts are very easy and quick!
The pattern and sewing is all very basic and don't be scared of the zipper!
I love wearing my gathered skirts with tight singlets and sneakers for a cool, feminine feel.
If you make one, I'd love to see! You can tag me on Instagram @rubyvaleroad