Emma's Gathered Skirt Tutorial

Hi everyone,

It's Emma here from Emma and her Machine.

Today's post it a tutorial for a self-drafted gathered skirt. I hardly ever buy skirt patterns as skirts are super easy to make so I wanted to share how I make a simple gathered skirt. There's so many beautiful drapey fabrics on the Sew Me Sunshine site at the minute so I couldn't resist a lovely, swishy skirt! You can easily customise this skirt to fit what you prefer.

You will need: a metre and a half of lovely swishiness, like this beautiful Aqua Spray crepe de chine, some iron on interfacing and a zip.

  1. Measure your waist or your hips, depending on where you want your skirt to sit. Take this measurement and add 1.5 inches. Also measure from your waist/hip to where you want your skirt to sit and add 3 inches.

  2. Cut 1 piece of fabric, which is 3 inches in depth by the length of your waist. Mine is 39 inches so 39 inches x 3 inches as a long rectangle.

  3. Then cut either one or two pieces of fabric depending on how much gathering you want. I cut two pieces which were the total width of the fabric as two rectangles. I used the entirety of the fabric here, which makes for a below the knee skirt on me, customise this to fit your style. 

  4. Prepare the waistband piece, by cutting a piece of interfacing which is your total length by 1.5 inches and press it down one side. Using this as a guide press it in half and press the interfaced side up by ⅝ inch.

  5. If you have had to cut two pieces of skirt, sew them together along the edge.

  6. Now we're going to gather the fabric to fit in the waistband, there are several ways to do this but I used clear elastic to get really easy, even gathers. Cut a piece of elastic the length of your waistband. With a zig zag stitch, sew this along the width of your skirt with a ⅜ inch seam allowance. Pull the elastic tightly as you sew, don’t be scared to really pull, there’s more stretch in the elastic than you would think! 

    Tip: Mark half and/ or quarter way marks on your elastic with a biro so you can see where it should be meeting up. You’re skirt should be gently and neatly gathered 

  7. Attach to the waistband side which had not been pressed right sides together with your gathered edge using lots and lots of pins! 

  8. Sew in place using ⅝ seam allowance.

  9. Trim the seam allowance (this should remove the elastic and that’s fine, it’s done it’s job now).

  10. Fold the waistband over and pin it in place, (this should be the ⅝ inch seam allowance your pressed in step 4) capturing the seam allowance. Stitch in the ditch to secure.

  11. Attach the zip along the remaining side (having only recently mastered invisible zips myself, I am not best placed to offer advice here but there's lots online - a good one is By Hand London https://byhandlondon.com/blogs/by-hand-london/11628353-inserting-an-invisible-zipper-the-definitive-tutorial 

  12. Leave it to hang for a day so the fabric drops (if you can wait!)

  13. Straighten the hem if necessary. Turn the hem up by an inch and then another inch, press and sew in place. 

Then, you're finished, a beautiful gathered, feminine skirt. 

You can change this up by using a different fastening, deepening the waistband, increasing the amount of fabric for even more gathers, or playing around with colour blocking. Pockets are pretty easy to insert too. It's a perfect wardrobe staple.

I would love to see yours if you try it so please tag me @emmaandhermachine

mma is part of the Sew Me Sunshine blogging network. She chose the fabric and chose what to make with the fabric. She was given the fabric free of charge in exchange of writing this blog post. 


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