How to Sew a Tiered Skirt From Scratch

Sewphilia Studio
by Sewphilia Studio
10 Materials
3 Hours

I love the way a tiered skirt looks, so feminine and flattering!

I made this black layered skirt for my mom when her birthday and Mother’s Day came out in the same week. She loved this layered skirt and wore it proudly.

I based this tiered skirt pattern off of others but made it my own. There are three pieces to this half circle skirt, and I made the center one pop in a contrasting color. Follow along with me to learn how to sew a tiered skirt.

Tools and materials: 

  • Fabric - 2+ yards of outer fabric
  • Lining fabric
  • Matching thread
  • Pattern paper
  • Tailor’s chalk
  • Ruler
  • Measuring tape/ruler
  • Pins
  • Elastic band - gold preferred
  • Sewing machine
Making the tiered skirt pattern

1. Make the pattern

The overall length of my skirt was 30 inches. The first tier was 11 inches, the second tier was 10 inches, and the bottom tier was 9 inches.

You can measure on the pattern paper or directly on the fabric based on your skills. 

Dividing hip measurement by 4

Measure your hips. Divide this measurement by 4.

If your fabric is straight, measure directly from the top. If it isn’t, mark a reference line. Mark your quarter hip measurement from the fold at the top.

Marking hip depth

Then mark the hip depth.  

Measuring second tier length

Add 3 inches to the hip circumference measurement to the length for hemming, seam allowance, and joining.

At the hem of the second tier, add 4 inches. Cut out the paper pattern. Fold your lining fabric and lay the pattern on top, attaching it with pins.

Cut out the fabric. You should have 4 pieces: front and backs for the first and second tiers.

Marking fabric

You’ll need to determine the radius of the skirt which is your hip circumference plus 1 inch divided by 3.142 or π. Fold the fabric.

Mark along the unfolded edge with your hip measurement. Plot this measurement across the fabric with chalk.

Marked fabric

Measure the length of the first tier. Plot it across the fabric.

Cut-out piece

Cut out this piece.

Pieces for DIY circle skirt

You’ll repeat this method for the second and third tier but add some more inches.

Mark the second tier by multiplying the first tier hem circumference by 4, then divide by 3.142.

Mark the third tier by multiplying the second tier hem circumference by 4 and dividing by 3.142.

Sewing the skirt tiers

2. Sew the skirt tiers

You should have 2 lining pieces and 3 skirt pieces. Start by sewing the lining front and back pieces for the first and second tiers on the side seams, right sides together.

Sewing the skirt tiers

Close up all three of the semi-circles by sewing a straight stitch along the side seams, right sides together. Finish all the raw edges with a zigzag stitch.

Pinned tiered skirt fabric

Pin the bottom tier of the skirt to the hem of the second tier lining right sides together. Leave a ½ inch seam allowance.

Example of how DIY circle skirt should now look

It should look like this.

Sewing second tier to lining

Join the second tier to the top of the lining using a straight stitch with ½ inch seam allowance.

Joining lining to first tier of skirt

Join the top lining piece to the first tier at the waistline with a straight stitch, right sides together.

Measuring elastic for waistband

3. Attach the waistband

Measure your waist and subtract 2 inches. Cut the elastic band to this measurement.

Attaching the waistband

Join the two ends together securing them with repeated straight stitches to make a waistband loop.

Mark the centers of the loop with a pin. This will help you evenly spread the gathers at the waist. Pin the elastic at the centers and the side.

Sewing the waistband

Sew the waistband to the top of the first tier, right sides together. Pull on the elastic band as you sew it to ensure all the fabric is attached at the waist.

Do a topstitch to make sure the waistband lays flat.

Folding the hem

4. Finish the skirt

Before attaching the first tier to the rest of the skirt, fold in the hem twice.

Finishing off DIY circle skirt

Then join the top tier’s lining to the second tier, right sides together. Remember to zigzag stitch the raw edges.

Hem the second and third tiers to complete the skirt.


How to sew a tiered skirt: Completed DIY circle skirt

How to sew a tiered skirt

I love the exposed elastic in this layered skirt. It makes it easy to wear and it's much simpler than putting in a zipper.

How to sew a tiered skirt: Completed DIY circle skirt

Don’t forget to comment if you enjoyed this fun DIY circle skirt tutorial!

Suggested materials:
  • Fabric - 2+ yards of outer fabric
  • Lining fabric
  • Matching thread
See all materials

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