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Simple Gathered Retro Skirt, perfect for one-directional patterns. No pattern required!
This guide requires no pattern, and is perfect for the beginner sewer or for a DIY girl in a hurry for a new skirt!
Not suitable for fabric with drape (i.e. silks, faille etc.)
Designed with directional prints in mind, such as lettering, stripes or gingham!

ALWAYS pre-wash your fabric to avoid shrinkage!

I do switch between cm and inches, as I live in a country that measures in metric, but I find inches more suitable for sewing. It's best to have a tape measure with both :)

The fabric I have used is a 112cm wide 100% cotton quilting fabric. This is my favourite type to use for this sort of skirt as they come in such fun patterns!

Posted by Emma Destruction from Perth, Western Australia, Australia • Published See Emma Destruction's 4 projects »
  • Step 1

    Measure your waist. Divide this by two, and this is the length of your waistband. The height is up to your personal taste, i have made mine 2.5 inches as i wanted more of my pattern to be shown.
    I would not recommend making it any taller than this as it will start to roll when worn. 1.5 - 2.5 inches is a good range.

    Cut 2 layers of interfacing in this rectangle.

    For instance, my waist is 72cm, so each piece is 36cm long, and i wanted it 2.5 inches tall.

    DO NOT include seam allowance.

  • How to sew a gathered skirt. Simple Gathered Rockabilly Retro Skirt - Step 2
    Step 2

    Cut two waistband pieces from your fabric. You need to make these twice as tall as your interfacing piece, and just as long. Don't forget to add seam allowance to these pieces.

    So mine is 36cm+ 2cm (left seam) + 2cm (right seam)= 40cm long.
    and 2.5 inches + 2.5 inches + 1 inch (outside seam) + 1 inch (inside seam) = 7 inches.

  • How to sew a gathered skirt. Simple Gathered Rockabilly Retro Skirt - Step 3
    Step 3

    With the rest of the fabric, cut out from your waistband piece to make it an even rectangle. Fold in half and cut two even pieces.

    TIP: if you snip into the fabric and rip most fabrics will tear straight down the grain. This ensures all your edges are perfectly straight.

  • How to sew a gathered skirt. Simple Gathered Rockabilly Retro Skirt - Step 4
    Step 4

    Iron your waistband pieces in half both ways so you can easily see the centre.

    Line up the interfacing on the front side (the side that, when folded the pattern is right side up).

  • Step 5

    Sew a gathering stitch from the side seam to the center of your skirt pieces on both sides.
    Tie off on the outside seams.

    Pin the center to the center of the waistband, and the outside to the outside. Gather inwards, pin and sew.

    (A gathering stitch is simply a straight stitch but on the longest length your machine will allow. To gather, simply pull gently on the top thread and the fabric will gather.)

  • How to sew a gathered skirt. Simple Gathered Rockabilly Retro Skirt - Step 6
    Step 6

    Top stitch one foot width above the waistband seam to catch the excess fabric up in the waistband.

  • Step 7

    Insert your zip into one of the side seams.

    There are usually instructions on the zip packaging if you have not done this before.

    Sew this side to the edge and top stitch zip down.

  • Step 8

    Sew up the other side seam. Your skirt should now be a circle and not flat anymore!

  • How to sew a gathered skirt. Simple Gathered Rockabilly Retro Skirt - Step 9
    Step 9

    Iron and pin your waistband in half: to its finished length. Top stitch over the waist seam to catch it down on the inside.

  • How to sew a gathered skirt. Simple Gathered Rockabilly Retro Skirt - Step 10
    Step 10

    Now try on your skirt and check the length. You might want to trim it shorter (if you are short like me).

    Pin your length and trim your skirt to that length plus seam allowance (I chose a 3 inch seam allowance for the hem)

    TIP: if you plan to wear this skirt with a petticoat try it on with one as this will change its finished length.

  • How to sew a gathered skirt. Simple Gathered Rockabilly Retro Skirt - Step 11
    Step 11

    Overlock (or serge) all raw seams.

    Sew up your hem and give it a good iron!

    Voila! You're done!

Made this project? Share your version »


GlassEyeball · Mold, Wales, GB
I've looked all over for this pattern (I'd forgotten the name of the website! Yeesh!) and I've finally found it! However, it'd be awesome to know the yardage of the fabric you used!
Pocket N.
Pocket N.
This is an awesome looking tutorial. I want to start a skirt from this this week but I was wondering how much fabric you used. You said it was 112cm wide, but I have no idea how much to get, length-wise
BetsyBGood · Brighton, England, GB · 7 projects
I wish I had your talent for sewing ^_^
Francine M.
Francine M. · Machias, Washington, US
Very Nice looking skirt, and very well done directions. I will be trying this soon.
FrolleinKram · Las Vegas, Nevada, US · 132 projects
Wohooooo I love this!!!
Steph. · Reading, England, GB · 212 projects
where did you get the fabric from? it's so cool! ^^
Sarah W.
Sarah W. · London, GB · 48 projects
Definitely going to make this ASAP

CO + K User

this is so cool!
HilleyHillieHillarious · Sabattus, Maine, US · 2 projects
Love Love <3
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