A simple skirt

This is a tutorial for a really simple skirt, simple but cute and with the same techniques you can make very different skirts. The style of the skirt is decided on how much fabric you have in it. For a very full skirt I would use the width of the fabric you are using, for a more narrow style use less fabric width. The waist of the skirt is a wide elastic.

You need:
Fabric – Two pieces that are the length of your skirt + the width of your choice.
Wide elastic – The measurement of were you want the skirt to sit; hips, waist, ect.


Finish of the edges of your fabric, serge the edges or use a ordinary zig zag stich

Put your fabric right sides together and sew the two side seams.

Iron your seam allowance apart.

Hem the skirt by folding up 1,5 cm (inches) in the bottom, iron it flat and sew a straight stitch.

Sew a gathering stitch it the top of the skirt, I do this by putting the seam length at the highest number on my machine.

If your wide elastic have a right side and a wrong, put it right sides together and sew it together.

Mark four places on your skirt with needles, both seams, middle front and middle back.
Do the same thing for your wide elastic; this is so that it will be easier to gather your fabric more even.

Put your fabric and wide elastic right sides together, making sure that the needles match up. You want to have the seam at the elastic at the pin for middle back.

When you are gathering your fabric to the elastic you need to do it on a stretched elastic, if you don’t and sew the skirt together the elastic will have stopped being elastic.
If you do not have a nice friend to help you hold the elastic stretched you can fix it all by yourself. I never have anyone around to help me, and then you learn to come up with things to manage by yourself.
Put the elastic around your legs, up by your knees this way you can easy stretch the elastic out while still have both your hands available. Stretch your elastic out as much as you can and pull one of the threads from your gathering stitches, gather your fabric and pin as you go along.
If you are not making such a full skirt you might not even have to gather the fabric to the elastic, just stretch it out and pin the fabric to the elastic.

When you are relaxing the elastic your fabric will gather even more by itself.

When you are sewing the fabric to the elastic you need to stretch the fabric or you will end up with useless elastic that will not stretch any more. The easy way to do this is to stretch it in the sewing machine with your hands, the machine might not go forward as it use to since you are pulling the fabric a bit. You might need to help it a bit by feeding it into the machine, pulling it backwards.

When the elastic relaxes the fabric gathers even more.

Now you skirt is done, put it on and dance the “I am awesome” dance since you have just made the cutest skirt ever and it looks awesome.

Here is a skirt I have made using this technique.
re:design24 summer dress

A little clarification.
This is how the waistband looks when it is all finished.
finished elastic

This is the inside, here you see the edges of the skirt part sewn onto the elastic.
inside of elastic

12 thoughts on “A simple skirt

  1. I love your blog! You sew (and weave) great things!

    I’m a little confused by this pattern. Could you possibly show a picture of the top of the finished skirt (near the elastic?) I can’t figure out how it looks from the description.

    Thanks! (Obviously, since I’m asking about a picture, I’ll just stop back and look for it.)


  2. Thnak you for thos kind words, I have now added two photos to the tutorial, I hope it helps you.

  3. Hi, I just found this while I am struggling to put together a packet for about 6-7 girls in a 4-H club in Milwaukee who are learning to sew. May I please use some of your very creative and refreshing pictures and directions for these kids? Thank you so much.

  4. Hello.
    You are very welcome to use pictures and instructions from me.
    I hope the girls have fun! :)

  5. Thanks so much. You combine clarity and creativity better than anything else I have found.

  6. Enjoyed this post. I have postponed making a gathered bedskirt because I hate using the gathering stitches…they always break! I plan on lining my bedskirt. Do you think elastic will work to gather through two thicknesses? My bedskirt will be in three pieces – 2 sides and foot. Thanks for your advice.

  7. Thank you so much for all your tutorials! I’m in love with the tutorial for the underbust corset. There is no other way to do it better! Just one question: Is your Steampunk-skirt sewn (specially the first version) in the same way as the “simple skirt”? I would so happy if I you could tell me if it is- or maybe, if it is not, how you made it.

  8. Hello Evelyn and thank you :)
    The steampunk skirt is kind of sewn as the “simple skirt”. With the difference that it has a fixed waistband and not elastic as I use in the “simple skirt”.
    With a fixed waistband you require a zipper in the skirt, you can see how I sew a fixed waistband on in my How to sew a fishtail skirt tutorial. And you also gather the fabric against the fixed waistband, in stead of as in the “simple skirt” letting the elastic gather most of the skirt by it self.

    I hope that helps you a bit :)

  9. I like the helpful info you supply to your articles. I will bookmark your blog and take a look at once more right here regularly. I’m moderately certain I’ll learn many new stuff right right here! Best of luck for the following!

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