Learn How to Sew a Gathered Skirt

Rubyvale Road
by Rubyvale Road
7 Materials
4 Hours

Gathered skirts will never go out of style! If you have been meaning to add a gathered skirt to your wardrobe, why not learn how to sew one from scratch? In this tutorial, I show you how to sew a gathered skirt and you don’t even need a pattern. Start sewing and make yourself a perfect gathered skirt.

Tools and materials:

  • Measuring tape
  • Fabric
  • Pins
  • Pinking shears
  • Sewing machine
  • Zipper
  • Hook and eye
Gathered skirt pattern

Take measurements

Before you can get started on this DIY gathered skirt, you will need a couple of measurements. In the image above I have explained the measurements that you will need for the different sections of the skirt, plus the added seam allowance for each measurement. 

Cut the pieces

Cut the fabric 

Measure straight onto your fabric using pins and a measuring tape. Cut out the front panel, the two back panels, and, of course, the waistband according to the measurements you took. If you want to, you can always make a pattern that you can keep for future gathered skirts. 

How to make gathered skirt

Sew the panels together 

Next, pin the two back panels to the front panel, right sides facing, and sew the side seams from top to bottom with a 1.5cm (0.59 inches) seam allowance. Make sure you iron your seams flat to get that nice, professional look. 

Sew a straight stitch

Gather the skirt 

To start gathering, set your sewing machine to the longest stitch length. Sew the first row of stitches 1cm (0.39 inches) in from the top of the fabric. Begin and finish sewing without any backstitching. Keep a long tail of thread for the gathering. 

Sew a second row

Next, sew a second row 2cm (0.79 inches) from the top of the fabric. Don’t do any backstitching for this row either and keep those tail threads long. 

How to sew a gathered skirt

To gather the skirt, pull on the top threads only, and start gathering the fabric, making sure to spread the gathers evenly. This can take a little bit of time but it’s worth it to make sure the gathering sits nicely. 

Pin on the waistband

Attach the waistband 

Fold the extra 3cm (1.18 inches) inward on each end of the waistband. Line up the waistband with the top of the skirt, right sides facing, and pin it in place.

Sew a gathered skirt

Sew the waistband on with a 2.5cm (0.98 inches) seam allowance to completely incase the gathering stitches. Make sure that you go back to your normal stitch length to sew the waistband and the rest of the skirt. 

Pin on the zipper

Attach the zipper 

Now to attach the invisible zipper. Firstly, line up the little plastic stopper at the bottom of the waistband. Pin so that the right side of the zipper is facing the right side of the fabric. Make sure that the edge of the zipper lines up with the edge of the fabric. Pin the other side of the zipper to the edge of the fabric. 

Sew on the zipper

Make sure you have a zipper foot because it will make sewing on the zipper so much easier. 

Gathered midi skirt

Pin and sew the rest of the back seam with a 1.5cm (0.59 inches) seam allowance. 

Iron the waistband

Finish the waistband 

Moving back to the waistband. Iron the waistband upwards and then iron it over the seam toward the inside of the skirt. Then iron about a half cm (0.2 inches) fold in the waistband to hide the raw edges. 

Pin the waistband down

Pin it down on the inside of the skirt and then sew along the bottom edge. 

Make a gathered skirt

Next, hand sew your hook and eye into the inside of the waistband above the zipper. 

Hem the skirt

Hem the skirt 

To hem the skirt, press down the bottom of the fabric inward and then fold again and pin and sew the fold.

Sewing a gathered skirt

Making a gathered skirt is easier than it seems! How would you style this skirt? Let me know in the comments! 

Suggested materials:
  • Measuring tape
  • Fabric
  • Pinking shears
See all materials

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