Monday, July 6, 2009

Summer Skirts 3 - The Gathered Panel Skirt

Continuing with the gathered skirts theme,
here is the gathered panel skirt.

Same shape, same style as the previous classic
gathered skirt and the tiered skirt, this has its
fabric pieces in vertical panels, joined together to
make the main rectangular body of the skirt.

There are so many ways to put together the combination
of panels! For instance, you could use different fabrics
for all the panels. Or as few as just two, and alternate
them, like I did. A gentle caution: mayhap a good idea to
avoid fabrics that are too contrasting? Unless you don't
mind looking a bit um... hot-air-balloonish. I'm just sayin'.

You all know by now that I am not a big fan of printed
cotton. I don't have designer fabrics in my stash. I don't
even know who the Big Names are in fabric design.
Except maybe Orla. I quite like Orla but I can't actually
find her fabric, so I end up hacking into her tablelinen.
From Target, no less. Does IKEA count? I buy some of my
fabric from Walmart. And I am not ashamed. I would
be totally happy to have just solids in my stash and then
dress them up, like with the princess tent that you all
said such nice, kind things about.

But textured fabric! Now that I have a weakness for.
The two blue panel fabrics aren't true solids because
they have little bits of design woven into them. The
one is another ikat! Love ikat.

The horizontal band is an old, old IKEA upholstery
fabric, and it is printed.

OK, enough rambling about fabric.
Here's the photo-less tutorial for this panel skirt:

Step 1
  • As with the earlier two skirts, measure the waist of the wearer and call it A.
  • Decide on the length of the skirt you want and call it H.
The final rectangular piece of fabric that will become your skirt will have dimensions:
-Length 2A+1" seam allowance
-Height H+ 2 " seam allowance.

So for Emily's 21.5" waist, her 12" long skirt would be from a final rectangle 44" x 14".

Step 2
  • Decide how many panels you want. I am often constrained by the dimensions of my scraps. But maybe you will make your skirt from a lovely, new, huge piece of fabric. For this blue skirt, I used 10 panels. If you are alternating two fabrics for the panels, pick an even number of panels.

Step 3
  • Divide 2A by the number of panels to give you the width of each panel.
  • Add 1" seam allowance to that to give you the width of panel to cut.
With Emily's skirt, each panel was then about 5.5" x 14".

Step 4
  • Cut the 10 panels out of the fabric(s).

Step 5
  • Using 1/2" seam allowance, lay panels right sides facing, and join the long edges
  • Zigzag the raw edges. With a serger, this can be done in one step.
  • Join all 10 panels to make a large rectangle (like the one in the second picture).

Step 6
  • Add other details, like a horizontal band of a different fabric, if you like.

Step 7

I think that of all the gathered skirts I'd made for
the girls, this one is my favorite. All blue, textured
fabric, ikat.... all the things I love. If I had big
enough scraps, I'd make one for me!

And thus ends the Gathered Skirts Trilogy.
Essentially, they are the same skirt, only the fabric pieces
are assembled in different ways - a solid piece for the
classic gathered skirt, horizontally for the tiered skirt, and
vertically for the paneled skirt. If you want to combine
all of this, you can do a patchwork skirt like the gorgeous
one in blueprints. Perfect way to use up square scraps,
of which I have none.

We'll continue with the paneled skirt idea in the next post -
but no gathers! So un-tall, un-willowy, people older than
5 years old and who prefer a tailored
lower-body sillhouette have hope!


  1. I don't know if it's just me hon, but haven't been able to see any of your pix in your skirt posts!!!

    Just thought I'd best let you know, incase it's not just me!!!

    Tia xxx

  2. Loving the skirt tutorials. I have a pile of thrifted fabric that I've set aside to make skirts for Eleanor out of. I must carve out some time soon.


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