Sewing a Child’s Gathered Skirt – no pattern required

SEWING CHILD’S GATHERED SKIRT  (size 4-5) – no pattern required

Here’s a quick way to make a gathered skirt using 1/2 yard of fabric for your special little girl.


  • 1/2 yard fabric – light weight denim, corduroy, cotton
  • 3/4″ wide elastic – enough for waist measurement
  • thread and scissors

First, determine the length necessary to fit your child measuring from the top of the waist to where you would like the finished length to be.  Then you will need to add 1″ for hem (double 1/2″ hem) and 1 and 1/2″ for casing for elastic:

15″ for skirt length + 1″ for hem + 1  1/2″ for casing  =  17  1/2″ cut length of fabric

You will use one full width of your fabric (44″ or 60″ wide), cutting it to the determined cut length.  Once you have your fabric cut, fold with right sides together and stitch a 1/2″ seam.  Press your seam open.

Now, fold down the top edge 1 1/2″ and turn under the raw edge by 1/2″ forming your finished casing for the elastic.  Sew close to the turned under edge leaving an opening about 2″ to feed the elastic through.  Next, you will want to run your elastic through the casing.  A simple method is to attach a safety-pin to one end of your elastic and use that as your guide for feeding through your casing.  Be sure to leave a tail of elastic at the opening for sewing your elastic together.

Once you have threaded your elastic through the casing, you will now sew the two ends of elastic together.  I like to overlap the elastic about 1/2″ on each side and zigzag back and forth several times for a secure seam.  Slightly stretch the casing area so the elastic seam slides up into the casing and stitch the casing opening closed.

TIP:  Determining the cut size of the elastic for a comfy fit – I measure the waist, add 1/2″ to that measurement and that is how long I cut my elastic.  Once sewn, it will be a little smaller than the actual waist measurement but makes for a nice, secure fit that shouldn’t slide down.

All that is left is the hem.  I  like to use a double 1/2″ hem that  is machine stitched in place.  Here is a simple way to insure that your hem is even.  On the right side of your skirt, sew a stitching line 1″ from the raw edge where you will be folding for the hem.  Now, press that 1″ hem up onto the wrong side of the skirt along that stitching line making sure that the stitched line is just inside of the wrong side of the skirt.  Fold down the raw edge by 1/2″ to the inside of your hem.  Press and stitch in place.

This is the simplest skirt to make and you have lots and lots of options to be creative here:

  • Add a ruffle to the bottom edge of your skirt using a contrasting fabric
  • Sew a decorative ribbon or trim onto the right side of your skirt covering  your finished hem stitching line or use a decorative machine stitch to secure your finished hem
  • Make a pocket for the front of the skirt trimming it with cute buttons or ribbons

Hope you enjoy making this skirt.  It is an easy pattern too if you want to make it in a larger size, just calculate your finished length and sew two widths together instead of one.  You can then determine how much fabric you will need to purchase.

EXAMPLE:  Your determined cut length will be 27″ using two widths of fabric

27″ + 27″ = 54″     divide 54″ by 36″     =     1   1/2″ yards of fabric required




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One thought on “Sewing a Child’s Gathered Skirt – no pattern required

  1. Pingback: Sewing a Child’s Gathered Skirt with Lace Ruffle | Stitch4eveR

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