how to make a gathered skirt

The simplest girl's skirt, in my opinion, is the gathered skirt.  For a beginner sewer, it is easy to make, and for you experienced sewers, it can be whipped up in a cinch.

You'll Need:

fabric (lightweight cotton is breathable and perfect for spring)


bias tape

1 inch elastic

safety pin

Decide how "gathered" you want the skirt: I used one yard (3 feet) of fabric for a girl's size 5 skirt which made a very full, gathered skirt.  Cut two rectangles, mine were both 1 yard by one foot.

Sew the two short ends together (1/2 inch seam allowance) so you now have a tube.  Trim 1/4 inch with pinking shears so it won't ravel.

Now for the bias tape. Line up the edge of one of the folds with the raw edge of the wrong side of the fabric hem.  Sew along that line, as seen above, making sure to tuck in the inside piece of bias tape as you come back around to the start, so there is no raw edge of the bias tape exposed on the right side.

Fold the bias tape over the raw edge and overlap the front side of the skirt.  Now sew the bias tape in place on the right side of the fabric.  I used a coordinating thread.

Short cut to create the tube for elastic:

Hold up the skirt and fold over about 1/4 inch with your fingers, keeping the skirt taut.  While holding that, fold over another inch and 1/4 with your fingering keeping it taut.  Now, start to iron through both sides of fabric, the fold you just created, adjusting as you go, if necessary, making sure all the time that the elastic tube is parallel to the skirt's trim.

Now sew to make the tube for the elastic, stopping about 2 inches from where you started your seam.  Put your safety pin through one end of the elastic and now work the elastic through, pulling about 3 inches overlap elastic through the hole.  Fit the skirt to your child with both ends of the elastic pinned together.   Adjust.  Now lay both ends of elastic on top of each other and sew a rectangle, backstitching well to secure the stitch on the elastic.

Feed the sewn elastic back in to the skirt and sew over the opening now.  The skirt is finished!

With this basic pattern, you can create variations, try different trim, applique, etc., and totally change up the feel of the skirt.

the sleepy time gal