Today is a good day. Today I finally begin my Christmas present to me! I’m going to make a classy plaid skirt that will *hopefully* be done in time for Christmas. This will be a gathered skirt tutorial. I’ve been wanting to make something plaid for the winter season. In the back of my mind I kept thinking about this lovely skirt made by Gina Michelle and decided that it would be a classy winter look using some plaid fabric.
This gathered skirt will have lining, inseams pockets, a zipper at the back, and the waistband will be strengthened with interfacing. The lining will be useful to prevent the skirt from getting static cling and sticking to your tights, plus it will make the skirt look more full.
I won’t be making any new patterns here as we will just be dealing with rectangles and using an existing pattern I made for the pockets. However, I will be writing my measurements down (on this blog) so that if the skirt comes out differently than I want it to, I will know how to adjust for next time.
- 1¼ – 1¾ yards of plaid fabric (depending on the width of the fabric and how full you want your skirt to be) – I’m using a Buffalo plaid flannel shirting fabric because I like how soft it is.
- 1¼ – 1¾ yards of lining
- fusible interfacing – **(optional – for stabilizing the waistband, and pockets)
- a zipper between 7-9″ long.
- matching thread
Now onto my Classy Plaid Gathered Skirt Tutorial
MAKING THE SKIRT
1. First we have to take some measurements. Measure
- How long you want your skirt to be, then add 2″. (My final measurement is 22″)
- Determine how full you want your skirt to be. The final skirt width should be between two to three times as long as your length. (My final measurement is 56″)
- Your lining will be 2″ shorter than the plaid length, but will be the same width. (My final lining length measurement ise 20″)
- How long you need your waistband to be, then add 2″. (My final measurement is 32″)
- How wide you want your waistband to be, double that then add 1″. (My final measurement is 4″)
2. You skirt will contain three pieces that you will need to cut out in both the plaid and lining fabrics. The front of your skirt will be one piece that is the desired width and length of your skirt (mine is 22″ x 56″). The back of your skirt will be two pieces, the desired width and length of your skirt, cut in half along the width (mine are 22″ x 28″). We have to cut the fabric in back at the half, because this is where we will add the zipper later.
Cut out your plaid, lining, and interfacing fabrics. P.S., I already love working with plaid because the squares are guides for measuring and cutting! I’m going to use a red fabric for the pockets, just for funsies. Zig zag all the raw edges so that your material doesn’t fray.
3. Make a pattern for your inseam pockets using my inseam pockets tutorial and cut four pocket pieces out.
4. I’m going to fuse the knit interfacing onto my waistband and pocket materials. For this you will need an iron, ironing board, and a damp cloth.
Place your interfacing onto the pocket and waistband fabric, rough side down. Make sure that the interfacing is slightly smaller than the material so that the interfacing doesn’t adhere to the ironing board below while pressing. Once you have them positioned, cover them over with a damp cloth (I used a hand towel). Iron over the damp cloth until the interfacing is adhered, about 10 seconds or so. This will help stabilize the fabric.
5. Next, we’re going to sew the pockets onto the skirt. Right sides together, pin and sew your pockets onto the front and back skirt pieces. The top of my pockets will be 5½” down from the raw edge top of my skirt. (*After making the skirt, the pockets were a bit low for me. Next time I will place them just 2½-3″ down from the top of the skirt.*) I will sew my pockets one to the skirt with a ¼” seam allowance, slightly less than the seam allowance that I will use along the sides of the skirt. Try to make this part as accurate as possible. You really do want your pockets to match up perfectly!
6. Right sides together, pin and sew the three plaid skirt pieces together, sewing around the pockets and along the skirt length edges. The long piece is in between the two short pieces.
If you turn it over to check, you will notice that you now have beautiful pockets!
Do this again for the three lining pieces. With right sides together, pin and sew the two shorter lining pieces to the longer skirt lining piece, along the skirt length.
7. This is a gathered skirt tutorial, so on to the gathering. Do two rows of straight stitches parallel to each other at the longest setting across both the top of the plaid skirt and the top of the lining. Gently pull the two bobbin threads one way, and the material the other way to gather the tops until they are as wide as the width of your waistband.
This is going to be a very full skirt so there will be a lot of gathering here, and I warn you, this is a giant pain to do. At least it was for me when gathering the plaid fabric. Full disclaimer. I was listening to my headphones while doing this (sleeping baby), and got tangled in the bobbin thread I was pulling, so much so that it got wrapped up in me and my headphones and sliced through the wire casing around my headphone wire. Battle scar.
8. Right sides together, pin and sew the gathered plaid fabric onto the waistband using a wide, straight stitch. Repeat with the gathered lining fabric. If you flip it over it should now look like this.
9. Fold your wasitband over and sew in place.
10. Now, we will add the zipper to the back. I will be using tape to add my zipper; a technique I learned from Melly Sews.
Right sides together, sew the side of the skirt together using a basting stitch. We’re only going to sew from the top of the waistband down to where you want your zipper to end. Reinforce the area at the end of where the zipper will be with a reverse stitch.
Use a regular stitch for sewing up the rest of the seam to the bottom of the skirt. At this point, I’m going to sew the plaid and lining fabrics separate from each other so I can keep the bottom of the hems separate.
11. Press the seam open with an iron. Lay the zipper right side down along the seam lining the teeth up with the seam as closely as you can. Use scotch tape to keep your zipper in place.
12. Now it’s time to put on your zipper foot.
Flip it over so it’s right side out and stitch down along the side of the seam just below where the zipper pull starts as close as you can. Pivot at the bottom of the zipper just before the zipper teeth fuse, and sew up along the other side of the seam.
Now remove the scotch tape from the inside of the skirt, and remove the basting stitches along the zipper teeth. A seam ripper would work well for both tasks. Removing the scotch tape is kind of a pain, just a warning. 😉
Unzip it and sew up the tops of each side of the zipper.
13. If you haven’t yet, finish sewing up the inside side seams. Then hem the plaid and lining fabrics. And you are finished 🙂 I hope you enjoyed my Classy Plaid Gathered Skirt Tutorial!