How to make a gathered midi skirt

Simple gathered skirt

So my list of things to make is a bit like the music charts. Juggling old favourites with new ideas. This skirt was NOT on the list. I am pear shaped. And not particularly tall.

I shouldn’t even consider anything voluminous around my hips. But these gathered midi skirts look so good in magazines. I had to make one. This skirt calls for fitted tops and heels or I can look like a walking lampshade.  And I had to make it in black to tone it down.

I wouldn’t call this an easy tutorial. But it’s not advanced either.

The good news is there is no zip. You CAN get away without having to sew a zip in a waistband skirt. The hardest part – is gathering and sewing the waistband.

I have a glut of black cotton, so I used some for this. You want a light to medium weight fabric. You could veer to a gorgeous brocade if you’re tall and slim.

You need: –
matching colour thread
bright coloured thread

Press waistband and gather top of skirt

sewing machine
large press studs

You do: –
Take your measurements and work out how much fabric you need. You don’t have to make a pattern as you cut a basic rectangle. The waistband is a long strip. See pattern instructions above.

Cut skirt and sew centre back seam leaving about 12 centimetres open from the top. I used a 1.5 centimetre seam allowance. Sew a hem around the opening.

Gathered skirt pattern

Fold your waistband in half and press with a steam iron. Fold both halves inward in half again and press.

Cut away from waistband leaving 1.5 centimetres.

Using your contrast colour thread, hand-sew stitches along the top of your skirt. Pull the thread to gather up the top of your skirt.

Cut away from your waistband leaving about 1.5 centimetres. See picture at right.

This is where it gets a bit tricky. Pin your skirt to the 1.5 piece of waistband. Pin the centre front of your skirt to the middle of your waistband. Allow

Pin skirt to waistband

about 5 centimetres from the each end of your waistband and pin the skirt along the waistband.

You need to make sure you spread your gathers out evenly. Best done with skirt spread out on a flat surface and takes a bit of patience. Use as many pins as you need to hold the skirt to the waistband. See picture at left.

Now sew the waistband to the skirt along the fold using big stitches. The gathers can get a bit squashed as there are lots of them. You can see it happened to me. It’s not a disaster. Just unpick where you went wrong and pin. You will sew this bit again.

Squashed stitches that had to be unpicked.

Fit your skirt and check you are happy. Then sew again properly with regular sized stitches. If you are not happy with the fit, the big stitches are easy to pull out so unpick, re-pin and try again till you are satisfied.

Now sew across the ends of your waistband. Snip the corners and fold your waistband over the gathers. Pin the waistband in place and sew.

Place skirt on a flat surface and pin hem at bottom

Pin and sew end of waistband. Fold over and sew

of skirt. Fit to check hem is level then sew.

Finally sew a large press stud at each end of your waistband.

Press the skirt with a steam iron and that’s it. Skirt done.

It’s not a beginner tutorial but the nice thing is you can rectify it at the critical stage.

For more FREE – and much easier – sewing patterns and tutorials visit the Greenie Galleries at the top of the page.

See you next week.

Sew press studs to waistband