Monday 13 July 2015

Simple Gathered Skirts ~ Skirting the Issue

A simple gathered skirt would have to be one of the easiest projects. It's all straight sewing - a rectangle of fabric with a hem and a waistband.

Make a Simple Gathered Skirt ~ Threading My Way

I made my first gathered skirt at about 10 years of age. Believe it or not, that skirt was completely sewn by hand - every, single stitch. Not by choice, mind you. All the girls in Year 5 at my school had to do exactly the same. We didn't progress to a sewing machine till the next year.

Although the hand sewn skirt was completely wearable, the experience is not one I've ever repeated. It was a rather lengthy process.

Sewing a gathered skirt by machine, on the other hand, is a very speedy process. You don't need a pattern, just a tape measure and your fabric. If you're not sure what to measure, or the steps involved, my How to Make a Gathered Skirt tutorial will step you through the process.

This gorgeous fabric comes from Little Ladybird (my daughter), on Spoonflower. Well, I think it's gorgeous, but Tash has since deleted it from her collection. Spring Trail in a larger print is still available, as is Spring Trail in a different colour.

When I make a simple gathered skirt, using just one fabric, I like to use 1" elastic and topstitch at least ¼" from the top edge. The effect is not large enough to be a Paper Bag Skirt, but it does make for more of a girlie look.

The second skirt is made with another Spoonflower fabric, Under the Apple Tree. When I make skirts with two or more fabrics, I'll often choose small prints, but when I only use one fabric, I like to use a a larger print. As the skirt is so simple, the fabric becomes the focal point, instead of the skirt design.

Make a Simple Gathered Skirt ~ Threading My Way

You can probably see that the second skirt is not as full as the first. It's a size two and uses the full width of the fabric, with just one seam at the back. The width ends up at double the waist measurement. The first skirt is a size four, with side seams and much fuller. It's two and a half times the waist measurement. 

And that's the beauty of a simple gathered skirt. There's so much leeway for variation, you really can't go wrong. There's only two things to watch for. The skirt needs to be wide enough to comfortably pull on and wide enough to comfortably run around in. If you double the waist measurement, you shouldn't have any problems.

These two little skirts were sewn in support of Skirting the Issue and will be making their way to Anglicare, where they will be given to disadvantaged girls in Sydney.

Simple Simon and Co

There'll be lots of free skirt tutorials over at Simple Simon & Co throughout the month.

Four years ago, for the first Skirting the Issue, 300 skirts were made. Last year, they almost made it to one thousand. I wonder how many will be made this year.

... Pam


  1. I love gathered skirts! I'm hoping to lose weight so I can start wearing them again, right now they do not look very good on me. They are super easy to make!

  2. I love these! My first sewing lesson with my oldest daughter was a skirt like this, but we used 2 full widths of fabric. She didn't like the elastic threading so much. :)

  3. I'm with you on the fabric, I love it! I'm sure the dd other fabrics are equally wonderful. Must go check them out right after saying how sweet these skirts are.

  4. I love simple elastic-band skirts! And what cute fabric! :) Lisa

  5. Cute skirts! I plan to sew for Skirting the issue too. I need to get started, cannot believe July is half over already!

  6. Pam, this little skirt is absolutely adorable! So good of you to refer back to the instructions for measuring as it is an important step for the beginner and a quick reminder for those ancient sewists, like myself(LOL). Your tutorials inspire those timid beginners to jump in and try sewing for themselves. I love the fabrics on both the tutorials. I always enjoy seeing what new designs your lovely daughter has created and from the looks of things her line is growing by leaps and bounds. How proud you must be of her! Goes to prove the addage "the apple doesn't fall from the tree," because her mother is talented too. I'll be pinning this new skirt/tutorial to my Sewing Tutorials board, as usual. I am going to send the pin to my daughters too. They both have owned sewing machines for years, but neither has used them enough to become friends with them, as you and I are. I keep hoping, but I suppose it is just easier to call or come by Mimi's house!

  7. What a great idea to organise lots of skirts being made, and I love the fabric too.

  8. Great tutorial, I need to try and make my daughter a skirt :)

    Thanks for linking up . Pinned!!

  9. Really cute skirt! This reminds me that I'm supposed to making something for my daughter. I haven't sewn clothes for her in a while! Thanks for sharing at Submarine Sunday!

  10. Lovely as usual. Thank you for sewing along with us again!


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