Simple Skirt Tutorial

Today we have a great tutorial from Amy on how to make a simple child’s gathered skirt! We get asked how to do this so many times from customers new to sewing that visit our bricks and mortar shop in Huddersfield,  Amy is one of our dressmaking tutors.

Easy Gathered Skirt tutorial

You will need:

0.5 metre of your main fabric

Fat quarter of contrasting fabric for the pockets

1 metre of 1 inch wide elastic


This skirt can be made for anyone, just adjust the measurements to fit.

First things first, measure the waist (or where you want the skirt to sit) and add ½” inch for seam allowance. I’m making a skirt for the average 6 year old, the mannequin has a 22 inch waist, so my measurements will be 23.5 inches for the length of the waistband. The ½” is for seam allowance and the extra inch is for ease so you can still breathe in your skirt!

Start by cutting your waistband out of your main fabric, you’ll need to make it the length of your waist measurement and 3.5 inches wide.


Multiply the width of your waistband (including the seam allowance) by 1.5, for my skirt that’s 23.5 inch x1.5 = 35 inches wide (I rounded it down for ease of measuring!). Depending on how full you would like the skirt to be (or how wide your fabric is) you can include more fabric, multiply your waistband by 2 for a full skirt.

Measure on your model where you would like the skirt to fall, I went for 15 inches to make it knee length.


Mark the middle of your skirt and waistband with a notch or a fabric pen.

Sew the short ends of your waistband together using a ½” inch seam allowance and finish the seam in your preferred method, I’m overlocking mine but a zig zag stitch or using pinking shears is fine. Fold in half lengthways and press.

skirt4skirt5Gather your skirt, the easiest way I’ve found of doing this is the embroidery method but you can also any other method. On the right side of the fabric take a piece of embroidery thread and zig zag stitch over the thread, try not to catch the thread in your stitches otherwise it won’t gather properly. Make sure your gathering thread is inside the seam allowance otherwise you’ll see in on the skirt. Tie a knot in one end of the thread and pull to gather your skirt.

skirt6Sew the side seams of the skirt together.

Match up your notches or fabric marks with the skirt and waistband, match the side seam of waistband with the side seam of the skirt, make sure your gathers are even and pin.

skirt7With the right sides of the waistband and skirt together sew with a ½”seam allowance. Finish the seam allowance of the other side of the waistband using your preferred method.

skirt8Cut your elastic to 3 inches shorter than your waistband measurement (including ease but not including seam allowance). Butt the short ends together of your elastic together, close but not overlapping, either using a zig zag stitch or overlocking. Insert your elastic, finger press the waistband down and pin. Don’t use an iron to press as it will flatten your gathers. Stitch the waistband down by ‘stitching in the ditch’ where the waistband and the skirt meet, make sure you don’t catch the elastic when stitching.

skirt9Turn your skirt inside out and stitch down the skirt side, finish the seam as you like. Hem the skirt by finishing the raw edge, pressing ¼ ”and stitching.

skirt10Now for the pockets! Cut 2 squares 3 inches by 3 inches and round off the corners on one side, this will be the bottom of your pocket. Press ¼” around the raw edges and stitch the top of your pocket down. Decide where you would like the pockets to go and pin. Stitch the pockets down.

Ta da! One finished skirt.




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