So.. I promised you a tutorial for my gathered jersey skirts, and here it is! I hope it’s useful!
Like I said in my last post I based this on the really basic pattern I made a while ago for a Jersey pencil skirt. It’s so easy to do, see my old post for how to make the super simple pattern.
Ok, got the basic pattern? To start I copied it, then cut it up! I carefully marked it at inch intervals and cut along these lines.
I then cut out lots of 1 inch pieces of pattern paper and sellotaped them alternatively to the original skirt pattern pieces (this took a LOT of sellotape!!!).
This effectively makes the pattern twice as long as normal – which is fine as I’m then going to gather it I made a note of the length of the original pattern so I can gather to that length later. I also added a 2.5 inch rectangle to the top of the skirt to make a waistband. Tape, tape tape!
I then used a french curve to mark and trim the excess.
I then pinned this pattern to the jersey and carefully cut out, I added 1/4 seam allowances (by eye). Very importantly! Make sure you have the stretch going across your skirt. Think you’ve pinned it correctly? Just for me, check it again. It’s really easy to accidentally cut it out the wrong way. Go on, ask me how I know….
So, now it’s all cut out…. gather it to the length you had already noted, ….. and sew the sides together – easy!I gathered by sewing two lines of basting stitches and pulling on the bobbin thread to gather the fabric together. There are some great tutorials by the By Hand girls on gathering if you want more info
When sewing up the sides of the skirt I usually use a stretch needle but a normal straight stitch, as I don’t need the sides to stretch in length (it also probably can’t if the jersey only has stretch in one direction). You could alternatively use a piece of elastic to gather your sides, and then it would be able to stretch down too. Actually, hold that thought – I’ll give that a go next and show you how it went I left all my seam allowances unfinished, as it’s jersey it won’t fray.
Easy hem on the bottom, just fold up half and inch and sew it. You’ll need to do something a little different for this stitching as it needs to be able to stretch with the jersey. If you don’t have a coverstitch machine or twin needle then use a zig zag stitch with your stretch needle. I just zig zagged my hem and it looks just dandy
Now comes the waistband. Last time I just folded the jersey and sewed it like the hem, but I found that it wasn’t as sturdy as I liked. So this time I decided to use some elastic. This is where my trusty vogue handbook came in useful as this is another easy technique that I’ve not tried before. In case there are any others out there like me, I thought I’d do another mini tutorial to show you how I put in an elasticated waist
It’s pretty easy! Essentially measure the waist measurement from the skirt (this should just be your waist measurement). Add on 2 inches and cut the elastic to this length.
Fold over the fabric at the skirt waist to create a little channel for the elastic to go through. Fold under 1/4 inch and stitch using your preferred stretch stitch (I just zig zagged). Attach a safety pin to one end of the elastic and push it through the channel you’ve just made. Hopefully you can see all that in the photo below.
Once the elastic is in place in the waistband, overlap the the ends of the elastic by an inch (taking up the two extra inches) and sew together. I sewed a little x in a box, cos I’m cool , but you can do whatever you like!
The elastic should then fit snuggly in the waistband. I then sewed up the hole with a needle and thread.
Et voila! A gorgeous and quick new skirt!
Personally I love the gathered look (I would say that). I love how it changes the look of the printed jersey. I already made two different lengthed versions and I love them both. That’s the ease of the pattern – you can cut it off at any point!
I hope that all makes sense, let me know if I’ve missed everything out!