Tuesday, 6 May 2014

DIY Gathered Skirt: TUTORIAL

Hi guys! 

Eeeek! I'm about to share my first ever tutorial with you! Excited!!! I'm also a little nervous. If you spot anything that needs a tweak please feel free to comment so I can put it right :) 

This pattern is a simple gathered skirt that I designed myself when I first started to sew. There were no commercial patterns out there I felt comfortable with, and I didn't feel I was ready to begin using pattern pieces, so I made this up as I went along. Since then I've made several of these skirts, and am ready to share it with you! 

You will need: 

-a sewing machine (don't worry if you don't have one - you could enrol on a sewing class, hunt down a sewing cafe or borrow one off a friend) 
-a metre and a half of fabric (add a little more for extra width/length and don't forget to wash and press it before you start) 
-lining (optional) 
-matching thread
-8" zip
-medium weight interfacing

So, are you ready to sew? Let's begin!

1. First you need to take your waist measurement. This is for the waistband. Second, measure how long you want the skirt to sit by dropping a tape measure down from your waist to where you want the hem of the skirt to sit. Make a note of these for future reference. 

2. It's time to cut the waistband! Get your fabric and measure a rectangle measuring 4" height x your waist measurement + 1" seam allowance for width. It should look something like this:

3. Cut out a band of interfacing measuring 2" height x your waist measurement + 1" seam allowance. Attach this to the waistband. You could use sew-in, but I always find it easiest to use iron-on: 

4. Now it is time to cut the main body of the skirt. I used a simple rectangular shape which meant no fiddly pattern pieces. Measure the length you want the skirt + 2" for the hem x two times your waist measurement for width. So, for example, if you want a skirt length of 20", and have a waist measurement of 30", cut out a rectangle measuring 20"+2" x 30" times 2 = 22" x 60". 

5. If you're not using lining, head straight to step 6. If you are lining your skirt, now is the time to cut out your piece. Use exactly the same measurements as in step 4. 

6. Now, it's time to sew. First we need to gather the main body of the skirt, ready to attach to the waistband. If you're using lining, lay this over the main pattern piece of the skirt and stitch them as one. Tie a knot at the end of the thread and sew long stitches along the top edge of the rectangle, like so: 

7. Pull on the thread to gather the material. Taking the waistband and pin one end of it to the top right of the skirt, and the other end to the top left of the skirt, right sides together.  Now, pull the waistband out to it's full length so that you can see how much spare material you have between the two short edges. You need to space the gathers out evenly along the skirt, pinning it to the waistband as you go. 

8. Now it's time to sew that waistband! Put the waistband and gathered skirt under the machine and stitch from one side to the other, making sure to backstitch at each end and catching all of the gathers as you go. 

9. Remove the pins and fold the waistband in half, over to the 'inside' of the skirt. Press. 

10. Top stitch along the bottom edge of the waistband so it is secure and to create a neat finish. 

11. Sew up the side seams of the skirt, right sides together, leaving an 8" gap at the top ready to insert the zip. 

12. Insert the zip. You could use a tutorial on YouTube to help you with this if unsure. 

13. Turn the skirt wrong side out. Turn up the bottom edge of the skirt by 1cm, pressing with an iron as you go, until you have circled the entire way round. Repeat, so the raw edges are concealed in a double turn up. Stitch the hem. 

Congratulations! You've completed your very own gathered skirt. Well done! It should look something like this: 

I hope you enjoyed making this skirt. If you need any help or are having difficulties understanding any of the instructions, don't hesitate to get in touch! I would be glad to help. Also, don't forget to post your skirt pictures below! I'd love to see what you make. 

Have a great evening, and happy stitching! :) 

Beth x

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