I sew gathered skirts all the time, pretty much always following the same basic steps. If you’re new to sewing, let me tell you a little secret – they are pretty damn easy to make. And you don’t even need a pattern. Not really.
Gathered skirts are made up of a few parts:
- The front skirt panel. I make mine the width of my fabric, cut on the fold.
- Two back panels. As above, but cut down the fold (this is where we add a zip). The best part about gathering is that you can make it fit into your waistband without any maths. WIN.
- Waistband. Mine is curved and in three pieces (one for the front, two for the back. Again, for the zip). It’s from a vintage pattern and I use it so often because I know it fits me well. You can do one big long strip if you prefer. I like curved waistbands because I have a big difference between my hip and waist. Flat waistbands tend to gape in weird places on me.
- Pockets if you want them (you want them). You can hide them in the side seams or sew them on as patch pockets.
Once you have the basic shape down, you can change things up a bit. Like adding buttons down the front and omitting the zip at the back.
But howwwwwwwwwww? Well, there are a pile of excellent tutorials online, so I won’t make another.
Here’s one from By Hand London.
And this one is for kids but the process is the same. I like to sew my zips in this way.
I made no effort to pattern match this one, but hey – look at my cool metal zip.
After you have the basics sorted, you can move onto sewing with really cool fabric, like this Alice McCall embroidered mesh. I lined the whole thing with black cotton lawn, which sounds intimidating, but really all I did was make another skirt. Then they both get gathered into the waistband. Not hard at all.
This is my latest, she’s pretty right? The fabric makes it next level fancy. I know you probably want to know where everything is from, so I’ll start from the top.
Rad galah fabric by Mount Vic and Me via Spoonflower.
Tulip and bunny fabric by Sarah Jane for Michael Miller (possibly out of print).
The Twits fabric is furnishing fabric found on ebay.
Alice McCall mesh from The Remnant Warehouse.
Now go on, make some skirts.