Introduction: How to Make DIY Gathered Skirt With Elastic

About: I love making things on a creative budget!

In this project, I'm going to show you how to create a gathered skirt with a elastic. This is one of the most basic sewing tutorials. It's simple and all I used to create this skirt was a bunch of rectangles. You can make the skirt base however you like but I decided to keep it simple.

Make sure to watch the video to get the full understanding of this tutorial.

Feel free to use a circle skirt cut, A-line cut, or any other cuts. This tutorial focuses mostly on how to create the elastic casing.


  • Fabric
  • 1in-2in elastic
  • pins/needles
  • sewing machine
  • scissors
  • thread
  • measuring tape

Step 1: Step 1: Create Your Skirt Base

If you have a specific skirt in mind, make it first before starting the waist band. I decided to use 2 large rectangles for this skirt.

I cut the length I wanted from my waist to my knees. (for me that's 17inches) I cut out two pieces of fabric.

Step 2: Step 2: Now Sew the Skirt Together

Now that you have two pieces of the skirt length, sew them together. Then hem the bottom. For mine I did a simple rolled hem. Make sure to serge or finish the seam of the skirt.

Do NOT fully close the skirt. Sew it all together but leave half of the top open for gathering.

Step 3: Step 3: Gather the Skirt

Because the skirt is very full. Use a hand needle to gather the fabric. It doesn't have to be a lot but it does need to shrink down.

Step 4: Step 4: Create Your Waistband

  • Cut a long rectangle about ten inches bigger than your waist measurement. If you need to cut two pieces, make sure you sew the inside seam edges down. This will help the elastic in a later step.

Make sure to serge entire the perimeter of the waistband.

  • Fold over the waistband and sew it into a tube leaving the edge outward.

This will be the elastic casing.

Step 5: Step 5: Pin and Sew Your Waistband and Skirt Together

Make sure your skirt can fit your waistband. If your skirt is too bunched, relieve some of the gathers so it fits the waistband.

  • Pin your skirt to your waistband.
  • Sew a straight stitch across your waistband and skirt to secure them together.

Step 6: Step 6: Measure and Cut Your Elastic

  • Using the elastic, wrap it around your body to where its comfortable.
  • Hold that measurement with your fingers or a pin, and cut it a bit less than where you have marked it

If the elastic is too big, that's all right but if its too small you'll have to either sew a bit back on or cut a new piece.

Step 7: Step 7: Slide the Elastic Through the Waistband

  • Pierce the elastic twice with the needle end of the large safety pin and close it.
  • Pin the other end of the elastic to the skirt edge.
  • Slowly feed the safety pin with the elastic into the waistband until you reach the other side.

It's extremely difficult to fix the elastic if the safety pin comes undone. This is why I say to pierce it twice so the elastic is secure.

Pinning the other end of the elastic ensures that the elastic won't jump into the skirt and get lost.

Step 8: Step 8: Sew the Elastic and Side Seam Closed

Make sure the elastic is at the edge of both sides.

  • Secure the elastic in place with pins.
  • Line up the skirt side seams so they match
  • Sew the skirt closed with the elastic slightly exposed
  • Move the skirt around the elastic so it's spread more evenly

Step 9: Step 9: WEAR IT!


TA-DA! Wasn't that simple? I hope you've enjoyed this tutorial!