Sew a gathered skirt with pockets and elastic waistband (Tutorial)

sew gathered skirt with pockets

This is a sewing tutorial to make a simple gathered skirt with pockets

Sewing tutorial for a gathered skirt with side pockets and elastic waistband

Step 1 Cut fabric

To make this skirt, cut two fabric pieces for the skirt.  Each fabric should measure – The width of each fabric piece should be hip round measurement multiplied by 1.4 and then divided by 2

Height should be what you want as the length of the skirt. 

fabric with width -hip round measurement multiplied by 1.4 and then divided by 2

Cut 4 pieces of fabric of dimension 10 inches long and 8 1/2 inches wide. These are for sewing the pockets. You can use the same cloth as the skirt. I am  using black for a contrast effect.

Pockets for the skirt -4 pieces of fabric of dimension 10 inches long and 8 1/2 inches wide.

You also need a fabric strip of 2 1/2 inches wide and length equaling the top edge of your skirt- for sewing the waistband. You can cut this later.

Step 2 Mark pockets

On two fabric pieces you have to mark as in the picture below.

Mark pockets on the two pieces - curved lines of the pockets

The markings should be made as a mirror image as in the picture below.

Mirror image markings for the pocket

Step 3 Sew the pocket front facing

Keep these fabrics on top of the front skirt piece. Pin in place so that they do not shift. 

Keep the pocket marked fabric on the fabric

Sew along the marks. Cut the extra out.

You have to clip along the seam allowance every half inch or so. 

Clip the seam allowance

Turn the fabric aside and then Under stitch the fabric and the seam allowance together. See the red line in the picture below.

Turn the facing to the inside

Press in place. It will look like this.

Press the pocket edges of the gathered skirt

Step 4 Sew the pocket bag

Keep one of the other rectangular pocket fabric pieces (out of the 2 left) under this and stitch in place. The red lines are the stitching lines.

The other pocket fabric kept under the pocket edge
Place the other pocket fabric below; The sides of the pocket fabric and the skirt fabric should be aligned. Stitch in place

It will look like the picture below from the back of the fabric.


back view of the pocket and the stitching lines
Back of the fabric

Now you have to sew the rest of the pocket edges together – you just have to sew the pocket fabric edges together – it should not be stitched to the front fabric at this point. Just the pocket edges are sewn together. Otherwise you will get stitching lines on the front of your skirt.

Finish the fabric edges of your pocket bags with a zig zag stitch.

sew gathered skirt with pocket
Sew pocket pieces together at the outer edges

The front piece will look like the picture below. 

Sew pocket for the 2 sides
Finish the pocket for both sides

Step 5. Sew the skirt pieces together

Keep the other skirt fabric piece right side down on top of the front piece. Sew the side seams. Finish the edges with a zig zag stitch. 

Sew the front and back together

Turn the skirt right side out.

Step 6. Prepare and sew waistband

You have to cut a fabric strip of width 2 1/2 inches and length that will go around the top edge of the skirt plus 1 inch seam allowance. 

Waistband fabric cut for the gathered skirt

Press the long edge of the fabric strip 1/4 inch to the inside. 

fold the edge of the waistband

Join the edges of the fabric pieces together as in the picture below. 

Sew the edges of the waistband into a tube

Press the seam allowance open. 

Press the seam allowance open

Sew the waistband to the top edge. For this keep the fabric tube you have just made right side down on the skirt edge. Stitch along the 1/4 inch pressing mark you have made. Turn the waistband other edge to the back. You can top stitch or stitch in the ditch.

You have to leave some 2 inches open when sewing the other side – for inserting the elastic through this gap.

Sew the waistband to the top edge

Step 7. Insert elastic

insert the elastic inside your skirt waistband

Measure around your waist snugly with elastic stretching it a little. You can use the waist round measurement minus 3 inches to 5 inches.

Insert elastic . Sew the edges together – use zig zag stitches.

Step 8 Hem your gathered skirt

Do the hem of the skirt. I just turned the bottom edge 1/2 inches twice to the inside and stitched in place. 

Hem the skirt bottom edge Gathered skirt with pocket

You can sew other skirts following the tutorials in here : How to sew skirts – free patterns ; How to sew an A-line skirt ; How to sew a pencil skirt ; How to sew a skirt waistband; How to sew zipper to a skirt waistband; How to sew a basic straight skirt. 

Updated on September 3, 2022 by Sarina Tariq


Hi, I love sewing, fabric, fashion, embroidery, doing easy DIY projects and then writing about them. Hope you have fun learning from sewguide as much as I do. If you find any mistakes here, please point it out in the comments.

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