How To Gather A Skirt On A Sewing Machine

Sewing is a craft that many people enjoy, as it can be quite therapeutic in its own way. Gather a skirt is one of the easier projects for people who are just beginning to learn this craft. The goal here is not simply to gather fabric, but also to make sure that the skirt stays gathered even when you move around or dance. To begin this project, you will need some basic sewing supplies, including the following:

  • Fabric
  • Thread
  • Measuring Tape
  • Pins
  • Sewing Machine

Once you have these supplies in hand, you can start to gather your skirt. Begin by cutting the fabric into two pieces, one for the waistband and one for the skirt. Use the measuring tape to measure the waistline of the skirt, and then cut the fabric to the desired size. Sew the waistband and skirt pieces together, making sure to leave a gap for the waistband ties. Then, set up your sewing machine with a gathering stitch.

A gathering stitch is an easy stitch to use for this type of project, as it creates small knots in the thread. This makes it easy to gather the fabric and create some interesting texture in your skirt. Start gathering the skirt by sewing close to the edge of the fabric with your gathering stitch. Once you’ve sewn along one side, turn the fabric over and sew along the other side. When you’re finished, the fabric should be gathered.

The next step is to sew the waistband onto the gathered skirt. Begin by folding the waistband in half and pinning it onto the waistline of the skirt. Sew the waistband in place using a straight stitch, making sure to leave a small gap at the back of the waistband for the ties. Once you’re finished sewing, turn the skirt over and cut any loose thread.

Finally, you can add the ties to the waistband. Cut two strips of ribbon that are the same length. Sew them onto the inside of the waistband, making sure to leave some extra fabric for the ties to hang. Finally, knot the ties at the back of the waistband and you’re all done!

Tips to get the best results

While gathering your skirt may seem like a simple task, there are some tips and tricks to help you get the best results. For starters, make sure to use a sharp needle when sewing your gathering stitch. This will help you create clean and even gathers that look nice and neat. You should also make sure to use the correct tension on your sewing machine. Too loose and your gathers won’t stay in place, but too tight and you’ll have a difficult time sewing.

When gathering the skirt, take your time and make sure that the gathers are even. It’s helpful to measure the gathers from time to time to make sure that they’re all the same length. Once you’re finished, you should use a pressing cloth when pressing the gathered skirt. This will help you keep the fabric from getting too hot or burning.

Finally, make sure to use high-quality thread when sewing the waistband. This will help ensure that the waistband will stay in place and not come apart after a few wears. Taking these extra steps will help you create a beautiful gathered skirt that you’ll be proud to wear.

Types of Gathers

When gathering your skirt, you should keep in mind the different types of gathers that you can create. For a more subtle look, go for regular or loose gathers. These are usually created with a short stitch length and no extra thread between the stitches. If you want a more dramatic look, use more thread and a longer stitch length to create a fuller gather. You can also create pleats or gathering pleats for added texture and interest.

No matter which type of gathers you choose, make sure to keep the fabric taut as you sew. This will help you avoid puckering or uneven gathers. Once you’ve chosen the right type of gather for your skirt, take your time to ensure that the gathers are even and the fabric is taut.

Adding Embellishments

Once you’ve gathered your skirt, you can add any embellishments that you like. Embellishments can add color and texture to your skirt, and are a great way to make it stand out. Some embellishments that you can add include ribbon, ric-rac, sequins, or beads. These can be sewn onto the skirt with a running stitch or you can glue them on with fabric glue.

Be creative and don’t be afraid to experiment. You can also add trims to the hemline for an extra special touch. Embroidery is another great way to add a unique look to your skirt. No matter what embellishments you choose, make sure that they’re securely attached and won’t come off when you wear the skirt.

Variations of the Gathering Technique

Gathering isn’t the only way to make a skirt. You can also try other techniques such as pleats, ruffles, shirring, and darts. Pleats are folds of fabric that are stitched down to create a pleated effect. Ruffles are made by gathering fabric along the edge and sewing it into place. Shirring is gathering the fabric in a zig-zag pattern, while darts create a fitted appearance.

No matter which technique you choose, make sure to use the right type of thread and a good pressing cloth. You should also take your time and make sure that the skirt looks neat and tidy. Taking the extra time to perfect your skirt will help it last for many years and bring a lot of joy to its wearer.

How to Finish the Gathered Skirt

Once you’ve gathered your skirt, the next step is to finish it. This involves hemming the bottom of the skirt and adding any closures that you like. For a casual look, you can leave the skirt unfinished and simply leave the ties loose. Alternatively, you can add a zipper or button closure to the back of the skirt.

When hemming the skirt, make sure to use a good pressing cloth, as this will help the hem look neat and tidy. You can also use pinking shears to finish the hem if you like. Once you’re finished, your skirt is ready to wear!


Gathering a skirt is a fun and easy project that anyone can do with the right supplies and a bit of patience. With these tips and tricks, you’ll be able to create a beautiful gathered skirt that looks professional and wears well. So, get your supplies and get started on your next project.

Geoffrey Kirby is an experienced author and sewist who has been creating sewn projects for over 20 years. He has a passion for teaching beginners and inspiring more advanced sewists both online and through his writings. Outside of writing about sewing, Geoffrey loves to explore new techniques and styles of sewing that incorporate upcycling fabric remnants into sweet items with personality.

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