Sunday 2 February 2014

Free skirt pattern - Gathered front back elastic - phus phus skirt

Full Gathered skirt with flat waistband in the front and an elastic waistband in the back for a no bulk look.

This is first ever attempt at generalizing my sewing ideas and maths to make a pattern.
This is a skirt which is both gathered and elasticised to create a no bulk and full skirt.
How?? It is not fully elasticised on the back giving a neat look.  Its a combination.

UPDATE: I now have a mini tutorial available for those second time sewers or those who do not want the full tutorial. So, here it is -  

phus phus gathered skirt mini tutorial.

Free gathered skirt tutorial pattern - flat half front waistband back elastic

What you will be making is:
Free gathered skirt dress tutorial
Step by step tutorial with calculator - gathered skirt
Skirt characteristics:

Length - Above knee.
Front - Fully gathered front with flat waistband for a no lumpy bumpy look.
Back - Gathered and elasticised back for a no lumpy bumpy look.
Age/height/waist - Any. Can be used for adults and children.
Fabric - Any (Use medium weight for heavily gathered and heavy weight for lightly gathered look)


Step 1: Calculate the pattern pieces Clever online calculator to calculate your pattern pieces.
Step 2: Fabric shopping and thread shopping For 12-18 months you'll need 1/2 meter fabric and for 18m-5yrs you will need 3/4th meter. I generally take 1/4th meter extra just in case. 
Step 3:Wash and iron your fabric Don't forget this step as fabric shrinks a lot.
Step 4: Prepare to sew:

4.a: Wind the bobbin
4.b: Thread the machine and practice to sew straight line. - I don't have a tutorial practicing to sew, will soon be making one
Step 5: Cut fabricShows how to place your pattern on fabric
Step 6: Sew 6.a: Form tubes
6.b: Get those perfect gathers
6.c: Finish waistband and attach elastic
6.d: Hem and admire
Step 7: Dress up Ways you can dress up your phus phus skirt
Part 2 - dressing up phus phus skirt

The tutorial is for dummies really(I'm myself one) - complete beginners with almost no knowledge on sewing. It starts from showing you how I thread the machine to have a beautiful skirt. I've only started to sew so I'm no expert but I can give you a complete beginner insight into my learning, my struggles and emphasize on points that were not obvious to me when I did my failed attempts.  This is how I made the skirt, if you find any mistakes or anything that shouldn't be done the way I have recorded here please let me know. I'll so be happy to hear from you.
I really love the finish of the skirt. The below is assuming you have or have bought a sewing machine.
Some of my previous not so great attempts and also some lovely ones are here:

Flat front back elastic skirt
First dress Flat front back elastic skirt heavily gathered gathered skirt with hidden elastic waist tutorial Free gathered skirt pattern with half elastic back
I've come up with this pattern based on
-  my learning from sewing up the above skirts
- a number of window shopping trips looking under the clothes I admire at the shops
- and my son's school trousers. My son had an accident at school and he was sent home wearing a spare trouser from school. This was after I had sewn 3 no so great skirts. I added my other learnings to this and came up with this pattern.

I've looked up many online tutorials but had not much luck and had a failed attempt which I'll post soon.
There were 2 things I found online (without linking because I didn't find them useful for me)
1. Some tutorials stitched the waistband first from the front of the skirt and then inside which meant the sewing had to be really neat as it would show outside. Neither is my cutting neat nor is my sewing.I either do not have the right tools or I'm too clumsy. :)
2. Some sew the elastic first at both ends of the waistband and then finish the waistband on the inside by pulling the elastic as its sewn - just the thought of it is really difficult for me.

I've thought plenty on this, made several drawing to get this right in my head and the outcome is this pattern. I hope you will like it. Last week I was at the visa office and phones were not allowed inside. during my 4 hours wait time I had a pen and paper and I was working out the maths. Some of the experienced may be thinking its after all a simple skirt. :)

Near future I'll add to this pattern:
1. Suspenders like I did for the blue bee skirt.
2. Pockets to the skirt.

Photos in flickr

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  1. Lovely skirt! I love the polka dots fabric. And thank you for the tutorial! I am already planning to make several for my girls. :)

    1. Thanks so much Sara. My first ever comment. You made my day :). I'm all smiles today.

    2. How fun is that I followed a link here today and found out that I had commented before and that it was your blog's first comment! :) Wishing you a wonderful Holidays season!

  2. Marie Danneels8 April 2014 at 01:04

    Dear Madam,

    thank you so much for this tutorial !
    Marie from Belgium - Europe

    1. Thanks so much Marie. Glad you found it useful.

  3. such a cute skirt. I love the fabric and the great waistband! I just want wanted to let you know that I've put together a post called 20+ free sewing patterns for kids and this is part of it!! I've spread the word all around and I hope you will see some extra visits ;o) Emily

    1. Million thanks Emily. I'm so happy you liked it. Thanks for sharing. :)

  4. Hi Preethi

    Thank you so much for sharing all your knowledge and tips. I appreciate all the effort you put into the drawings and videos. I enjoy reading your blog and find your tutorials helpful as i am also a beginner sewer. I will be a frequent visitor to your site for sure!

    Shikin from Singapore

  5. Hi I made this skirt from your instructions and it turned out fantastic! Thank you! Could you please tell me how I could make it in a larger size as my grand has now grown and is thicker in the waist. She has a 29.5" waist and I don't know how to make one to fit her now. Thank you so much!

  6. Me encanta lo intentaré a ver si m sale tan bonita

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