Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer and mom of two little ones. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I believe you can love your home just the way it is, AND have the power to design and make big changes to make it better.
I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!

Simple gathered-to-waistband skirt tutorial!

This weekend I put together a quick and simple skirt inspired by all the short, gathered skirts with waistbands I've seen around this year and last year.  I'd love if it would work for the office, but I'll see how it goes...

Here are some inspirations:

The J.Crew "bungalow skirt":
And this one from Anthro:
I'm sure you've seen skirts like this around, too.  I had some nice textured nylon/rayon-ey stuff my mom had leftover from a project, and it's even similar to the ModCloth and Anthro skirts.  I like print skirts, but thought a solid color would be more professional...

So here are the instructions!

  • Start by cutting your rectangle.  I wanted mine to be 16.5" long (I the J.Crew skirt description for the length measurement, which was helpful), so when I cut I added .5" at the top and 1.5" at the bottom for the hem.  Depending on how full you want your skirt to be, will probably use one full panel of fabric (45-60" wide, depending on the width of the fabric).
  • Cut or tear your waistband.  Measure your waist, add .5" for wearing ease, and add .5" on each side for seam allowance at the zipper (so, your waist measurement plus 1.5" long).  I cut mine about 4" wide, since I'll lose .5" on each long side as well and I wanted my band to be about 1.5" wide.
  • Sew up your center back seam, leaving 7-9" open at the top for the zipper.
  • Press seam open.
  • At the bottom of the skirt, press under .5", then turn under again and pin.
  • Sew in your hem (you can use a blind hem stitch if you like, of course, but I just did the quick and simple way).
  • Run a long stitch with a tight tension to gather the top of the skirt (start .5" or so from each edge that will become the center back zipper seam).
  • Carefully pull the top thread to gather the seam.
  • Matching center fronts, pin your skirt to your waistband.
  • Press the seam toward the waistband.
  • Press under .5" the top of the waistband.
  • Fold the waistband over and pin.  Make the waistband overlap itself so 1/8th or so of it hangs over into the gathers.
  • From the top, stitch in the ditch between the gathers and the waistband.
  • Press waistband flat.
  •  Put your zipper in at the center back seam.
Would be great with a wide belt!

I am all for pairing the gathered skirt with more sophisticated top pieces and tights.  I love seeing these around in finer fabrics worn with heels!  Hopefully I can make it work for the office.  Any outfit ideas with it?


  1. Hi Suzannah.
    What a great tutorial - so quick and easy and looks so gorgeous!
    I'm new to all of this (and by this, I mean sewing and blogging) so I'm enjoying picking up all the hints I can from other bloggers...
    Good luck in your new job - it's no doubt scary but if you enjoy what you're doing, I'm sure you'll be great!
    Plus, you'll have some fabulous clothes to show up in!
    Donna x


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  3. Great tutorial! I made a similar skirt recently, and I love it as it's such a comfortable style to wear, yet looks so pretty. The fabric you used is beautiful and would look lovely with both cardigans or jackets.

  4. Cute! I love the fabric!

    I think you could totally make this a work outfit with tights, heels, a simple shirt and a chunky belt.

  5. What a great tutorial! Easy to follow...can't wait to try this one!

  6. Love this fabric and your tutorial is so easily understood. Fantastic skirt!
    Kristina J.

  7. sigh... i love all your work! you are amazing! I'm totally attempting this after the, ahem, baby weight is gone. :) Newest Follower!

  8. That is so beautiful! I love the fabric. It looks adorable on you too.

  9. I love your skirt! I made mine (http://kellysknack.blogspot.com/2010/07/gathered-skirt.html) with a purple knit fabric. It didn't take very long at all because you don't have to hem knit fabric.

  10. I love this! Thanks for sharing. Good luck with the new job!

  11. This is a gorgeous skirt, plus looks nice and easy to make, my fave kind of sewing! :)

  12. Oh snap! I love your blog!

  13. Girl, thank you so much. I've never sewn a skirt before and I did this first try! It was about $2 total! God bless!

  14. Hi- very nice tutorial! I was wondering if you put any kind of hook or anything at the top of the waistband (about the zipper) or if you need a particular kind of zipper to close close enough to the top.

  15. Natasha7/11/2011

    Thanks for the tutorial - easy to follow!

  16. Glad you like it, everyone! It is super fast, easy, and fun to wear.

    @Christine, you could put a hook at the top of the zipper but I never feel like it so I always put my zippers at the very top of the zipping part, flush with the top of the skirt, so there's no room for/need for a hook and eye. It's up to you!

  17. You look so adorable in it! Thank you for the tutorial, this is a fantastically flattering pattern on so many body types. Can't wait to try it out!! =]



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