i like gathered skirts as much as anyone, but i tend to find the gathered rectangle variety a bit annoying. unless you are using a super thin fabric, they can get very bulky, very quickly. so, if you ever want a nice full gathered skirt with less waistline bulk, here’s how…
your typical full gathered skirt will have a hemline about twice that of your waist measurement. here i’m using a measurement of 30″
i’m drafting one quarter of the skirt, since most likely you will be cutting it on the fold.
step 1: divide your waist measurement by 4. this will be your quarter waist measurement
step 2: take your quarter waist measurement and multiply by 2
step 3: take your quarter waist measurement and multiply by 1.5
step 4: subtract the 1.5 measurement from the 2 times measurement
on your drafting or tracing paper, start by drawing a rectangle as wide as your 2 times measurement (15″) by however long you prefer. don’t bother with SA’s or hem allowances at this point.
with a straightedge, make about five evenly spaced vertical lines. cut along these lines, leaving a tiny bit connected at the bottom for a hinge.
overlap the slashed pieces until you have reduced the top measurement by the amount you figured in step 4 (3.75″–since i made 5 slashes, i will overlap about 0.75″ at each section). this doesn’t have to be absolutely precise, just keep it all as evenly distributed as possible, then tape the sections in place. since this piece is now a bit of a mess, trace the shape onto another piece of paper, rounding off the edges.
once you have retraced, add your side SA, waist SA, hem allowance, and fold markings at CF/CB. if your back piece needs a seam for a closure, just remember to add SA when cutting your fabric, or trace off another pattern piece with a CB SA.
once you have this drafted, you can add it to your favorite waistband and make a skirt or use it for the skirt portion of any dress.
here i made a skirt for my daughter out of chambray. i added yoke front pockets, an elastic waist and belt loops. and sometimes i make my daughter clothes that i really wish i had made for myself…