Easy Peasy Gathered Skirt Tutorial
Ok guys super excited for this very simple gathered skirt tutorial! You can make this for a little person, or yourself using these simple instructions. My Penny is in love with this skirt. I'm not 100% sure why. Ha! We have lots of skirts, but this is just bright and comfortable and just a livable skirt. She just loves it, and that makes me happy. Not a super fussy skirt (though my next tutorial will show you how to fuss it up a bit!) but easy and lightweight. This tutorial is an excellent base piece to learn and can easily be expanded upon in so many ways.
So lets get started on this cutie!
What you will need:
•Adorable Fabric (don't use ugly fabric)
Decide where you want your skirt to sit, whether it's your waist, or lower on your hips. Take that measurement and simply double it. So if your measurement is 20 inches, you'll need 40 inches of fabric.
For the length of this you'll take your waist measurement and add one inch. So if your measurement is 20 inches, you'll need 21 inches of 1 inch wide elastic.
•Thread that matches your fabric
•Rotary Cutter (optional)
•Cutting Mat (optional)
•Safety Pin (no one is going to see this so any safety pin will do)
So first up, gather everything you need so you don't have to run around looking for everything once you get going. (I speak from experience) We don't have a Joann's where I currently live, so I found this pre-cut yard of fabric at Walmart and I was THRILLED! I like to iron my fabric before I get started as well.
Start by measuring your fabric and cutting a nice straight line. I made this skirt for Penny. Her waist measures 20 inches, so I doubled it and cut at 40 inches. For the length you'll want to find where you'd like the skirt to hit, and add two and a half inches. *Don't stress about this. If you aren't really sure what length you want it, you will be able to put the skirt on and get the length just right on the end. If you're nervous, you can leave a few extra inches and cut off the excess in the last step.* For Penny I wanted the skirt at 9.5 inches (right to her knee) so I cut the length at 12 inches. Once I was done, I had a rectangle that measured 40 x12 inches. If you have a big rectangle you're doing great!
Now fold your fabric in half right sides together(using Penny's waist as an example, after folding it in half, you would have 20 inches on one side), and sew a straight line a quarter inch in (this is called a seam allowance) of your raw edge. You did it! Now if you are blessed to have a serger, surge along your raw edge. If you have no idea what I'm talking about, along the edge of your fabric where you cut, run a zig zag over the cut edge. This will keep the fabric from fraying in the wash. Once you're done, you should have a straight line sewn a quarter inch in, and a zig zag right next to it. See above. Then press where you just sewed (the seam) to one side. You should now have a fabric cylinder more or less.
Next we are going to make the place to put the elastic through (called the casing). No fear, this is easier than it sounds! Turn your fabric so the wrong side is facing out. You are going to fold over the press a quarter inch of your fabric, See the picture on the left. Next, you're going to fold that fabric again (an inch this time) and press it down. The goal here is to create a place to put the elastic that has enough room to put it into, but not so much that it moves around and twists with wear.
Once you've pressed the fabric, pin the material down all the way around so that it stays in place as you sew. Then sew a straight stitch close to the bottom of the folded over fabric all the way around, leaving a 2 inch opening so we can thread the elastic through. You did it! I'm so proud of you!
Ok, now we are going to thread the elastic through our casing (the little pocket you just created). You're going to take your safety pin and clip in onto one end of the elastic, secure it so you don't poke yourself (see first picture). Then take the the end with the safety pin and start threading it through one end on the casing. Making sure that you don't lose your loose end of the elastic as you go, just by feel start moving the safety pin through the casing with the goal of getting to the other end. It will bunch up a bit as you go which is normal and fine.
Now, that you have threaded the elastic all the way through, unclip your safety pin and overlap the elastic by an inch and run your machine over the two sewn ends back and forth a few times to secure it. Once you've done this, before you sew your casing closed, put your skirt on. How does the waist feel? Too loose? Too tight? This is the best time to adjust your elastic waistband. Once you've found your perfect fit, simply sew that 2 inch opening closed just as we sewed...sewed...had sewn....... the rest of the casing. Girl you are almost done!
Ok! Put your skirt back on and check your length. This is strictly a personal preference, if you want to make it a mini skirt you'll find no judgement here babe. Whatever length you choose, make sure you mark an extra inch and a quarter longer so you can finish your hem (the bottom of the skirt).
Ok! Fold your fabric a quarter inch towards the wrong side of the fabric. Press. Then fold it again (one inch this time), the same direction. Press. Pin. Sew. Done! You did it!!!!
It wasn't that hard right!? Imagine the possibilities.....long skirts, hi-lo skirts, pockets, trim, maybe a ruffle....In my next tutorial we will be doing all these things! I'm so excited. You're basically a pro now.
If you made this skirt I would LOVE to see it and with your permission, maybe even show it on here and on Instagram! Shoot me an email firstname.lastname@example.org If you have any questions, you can email me too! Thank you so much for following along!