Make a simple & easy { ELASTIC WAIST SKIRT } -Tutorial

Flared  elastic waist gathered skirt pattern

elastic waist gathered skirt

This is a very simple tutorial to sew an elastic waist skirt which has minimum gathers around the waist unlike other gathered elastic skirts but with great flair , all made with just one and a half metre of cloth.

I sew this simple and easy skirt pattern in less than half an hour. Even an absolute beginner can confidently start this skirt and finish it to perfection. Checkout this post for sewing tips and techniques if you are learning to sew

Infact it is the EASIEST SKIRT EVER. SKirts with elastic waists are also very comfortable to wear as it gives enough ease at the waist and with the A line shape given by the flair it is flattering to all types of figures as well.

how to make a simple skirt

Steps to sew a simple gathered skirt

Step 1 - Take Body measurements

For making a skirt, unlike any other garment, you do not have a hundred measurement details to take care of. You just need three measurements

Length needed 
If I was making this skirt for myself, I would hold the tape at my waist and drop it down to the length I need. 

Add 1/2 inches to the length needed, for  waistband seam allowance and 1/2 inch for rolled edge hem.
Measurements needed

Body  round. At the bust level take the measure around the body over the arms ( This may surprise you because everywhere else you have been taking measures at the hip. But this works because you will be putting on this skirt through the head. This will make a skirt with little gathers.)

Waist round ( where you will keep your waistband of the skirt) This is for measuring the elastic

Length Length needed for the skirt.

To make the pattern fold the fabric ( 1.5 yards ) by half crosswise.Mark the above measures . A- B is the number you got marked from the corner. Make several dots. Then join these dots - along B's - to form the waistline . Then Mark C from B - the length of the skirt with seam allownce of waist and hem allowance added

A-B = ( measure around the body at bust level over arms + 10 inch (more if you have a tummy )/ 6.28

B-C = Length you need for the skirt.

easy to sew skirt

Fabric choice for this simple skirt
You have so many options to sew this skirt. Make it in a beautiful lace fabric or a flowy chiffon or a plaid fabric - make it in all the fabric you have in your stash as I really want to. You just need to have one and a half meters of fabric with at 44 inch width to make a skirt of the length I have sewn.

What are the things you need to make this simple skirt
Sewing machine
elastic 3/4 inch or 1 inch ( Length - your waist measurement)
Safety pin
Marking tool
measuring tape
matching thread

I have taken pictures at every step so that you will not be confused at any stage. It also helps that this is a very easy skirt to sew with very few steps.

easy skirt pattern

Step 2.  Cut the fabric into the pattern piece 

how to sew an easy skirt

Check out the Perfect way to cut fabric you want more information on how to cut fabric  before sewing.

Step 3. Align the slevedges of the piece and sew together

Keeping the selvedges together right sides together, sew them together with a seam allowance of atleast 1/2 inch. Skirt is almost ready. Cutting the pattern is the most difficult part in this skirt 

The seams has to be pressed open with an  iron, so that there is no bulk in the waistband or hems when you sew them.

simple skirt pattern

Step 4. Sew the skirt waistband for elastic

I cut a 1.5  inch Bias strip of the same material and made a facing for the waistband. Stitched it to the waistband rightsides togethr and turned the tape to the wrong side and press. Then turn 1/4 inch inside, and stitch a casing for a 3/4 inch elastic. Sew along the fold edge from inside. Donot forget to Leave a 1 inch opening unstitched in the waistband to insert elastic

sew an easy skirt

Step 5. Insert elastic in the waistband

Cut out elastic. The measurement I follow is waist round ( where I will rest the waistband) minus 1 inch + 1/2 inch for seam allowance, for a snug fit.  Try it on your waist for ease . Insert this elastic through the 1" opening in the waistband. 

Step 6. Stitch elastic ends together

Stitch them securely together with zig zag stitches preferably.Several lines of stitching is needed. Straight stitches are also ok. Make sure that elastic has not twisted anywhere. Close the opening after elastic is inserted and secured. 

Step 7. Stitch in the ditch elastic to the skirt

Make sure that the gathers are evenly distributed around the waistband. Now Stitch in the ditch between the seam lines at the waist band. This is done for securing the waistband and elastic together, and to prevent gathers coming and bunching up to one side . That is it. Your skirt is ready. 

Step 8. Hem the skirt

You may want to hang them for a day or two to correct the hang of the fabric. THen mark the hem properly and finish. Checkout the different types of machine hems and hand hemming stitches you could use for hemming the skirt. I have simply made a rolled edge with a rolled edge hemmer foot. It has a lettuce edge effect which I love. 

stitch a skirt simple

You can even hand sew this skirt. It may take a little bit more than using a sewing machine ofcourse but the satisfaction of making a garment with your hand is something else. Checkout the basic hand stitches you should know before attempting to hand sew this project. A back stitch is the best stitch for sewing seams.

A similar skirt with a lot of flare can be made with an elastic waistband -check out this tutorial for a full reversible skirt with an elastic waistband.

A pattern for pleated elastic waist skirt

This one has a separate waistband and a pleated skirt.

You can change the skirt portion to gathered type but then gathered skirts can look awkward on women because they add to the waist area - so pleating or making tucks works better with the fullness of the skirt

elastic skirt pattern

Step 1 Cut out the pattern pieces

2 Waistband pieces

Width = Hip round measure divided by 2 plus 1 inch

Length = 6 inch

2 Skirt pieces

Width = (Hip round measure divided by 2 + 2.5 inches) * 2

Length = SKirt length needed minus the waistband length plus 2 inch seam allowance.

elastic waist skirt pattern

Step 2 Cut out elastic and make waistband

Measure the waist with a 3/4 inch elastic fitting snugly - cut it out. Join the ends to form a tube

Join the 2 waistband pieces at the short edges to form the waistband tube. Fold it by the middle

elastic waist skirt pattern

Insert the elastic band inside the waistband middle. 

elastic waist skirt pattern

Stitch the elastic by sewing along the edge, making a casing for the elastic as you sew - you will have to adjust the elastic by pulling it forward as you sew

elastic waist skirt pattern

Step 3 Sew the waistband to the skirt

First join the 2 skirt pieces at the sides to form a tube. You have to pleat the skirt tube to fit the waistband - make the kind of pleats you want or make tucks - the top edge has to be lesser than your waistband - that is the only condition but enough to fit over your hips

elastic waist skirt pattern

elastic waist skirt pattern

Insert the skirt edge inside the waistband rightsides together. Stitch them together.

elastic waist skirt pattern




Comments 7

  1. my name is Jill Smith and before I jjoin this club and pay I want to know will I be able to print directons and patterns from your site?

    1. Post
  2. Hi great skirt with clear instructions. I have some cotton fabric which is just waiting for this project. In order for the pattern to fit on 45” fabric can you please let me know the length you made your skirt.

  3. Hi, your explanation was simple and you mentioned that there are pics for better understanding. I cannot view the pics.

  4. Hi there. Having a bit of trouble figuring out your pattern for easy elastic skirt. If my shoulder measurement is 54 in plus 10 equals 64in for waist do I divide that in 1/2 when do theI the measurement for A_B

    1. Post

      Hi Erika
      You divide the measure you get ( by determining the measure around your bust over the arms + 10 inches ) by 6.28. It is basically a half circle skirt which is just a little big enough for an elastic waist . Hope it is clear.

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