My good friend Rena showed me how to make this multi tiered skirt and now I will attempt to share it with you. You sew this skirt out flat, once all of your tiers are done you put one seam up the back of the skirt.
Disclaimer: I am not a seamstress; I am a quilter who occasionally makes clothes. I will do my best to explain.
Fabric (How much depend on how big the person is you are making the skirt for.)
My 9 years olds skirt uses about 3 total yards
My 6 year olds skirt uses about 1.5 total yards
1 inch elastic
For these skirts I actually use every working machine in my house,
A machine with a gathering foot and
A machine that will do a straight stitch and a zig zag.
Can you do it with one machine? Sure.
Measure the waist of the person you are making your skirt for, then measure the length they want their skirt.
Add 9 inches minimum to the waist measurement
34 + 9 = 43 New Waist
Add 4 - 6 inches to the length
22 + 6 = 28 New Length
This skirt has 3 tiers and a 4th tier I use as a hem.
28-2 (tier 4)=26
Tier one = 9 inches x Waist 43 inches
Tier 2 = 8 inches x (2xs the first tier) 86 inches
Tier 3 = 9 inches x (2xs the second tier)172
Tier 4 (which is actually how I hem the skirt = 4 inches x 172
These are just an estimate of what I need. I double the length for every tier. If you don't have a lot of fabric you could tweak the length. If you gather by hand or by machine you will have more control over your fabric consumption BUT the more you gather the better the SWIRL.
Since most fabric is only 40 inches wide, you will sew multiple strips of fabric together to create the length for each tier. A long tape measure helps measure the length. You can be very scrappy or you can just put the same fabrics together. Each seam you sew should be finished with a serger or a zig zag stitch. Unfinished seams, especially in garments will fray and eventually fall apart after a few washings.
Short Video on how to finish a seam with a zig zag.
How to gather fabric by machine.
Tier 1 - No Gather
Tier 2 - Gather
Tier 3 - Gather
Tier 4 - No gather
Gather the top of tier 2
RST Sew the gathered edge of 2 to tier 1
Finish the seam with a zig zag or a serger.
More info on top stitching.
Gather the top of tier 3.
RST Sew the gathered top of tier 3 to the tiers 1& 2
Finish the seam with a zig zag or a serger.
Finished hem (tier 4)
Tier 4 is 4 inches x 172 inches
Fold in half lengthwise to 2 inches and press down the length
RST Sew the raw edge of tier 4 to the bottom of tier 3 (Tier 4 is not usually gathered, if it was it would be about 344 inches x 4, a lot of fabric).
Your skirt is not quite a skirt yet. Lay the skirt tiers RST. Line up tier one and put in a pin, tier 2 ,etc. Sew the back seam of the skirt, finish the back seam.
Last thing to do: Waistline Elastic
Finish the top edge of the skirt.
The elastic should be a few inches shorter than the waist measurement, so for Julia, 30 inches works, If your child is very slight, measure the elastic on them, give a gentle tug to tighten it, then cut it (write this number down so you don't need to wake your model up at 2 in the morning to finish their next skirt).
Sew elastic into a loop. Overlap the elastic about ¾ of an inch; sew a square with an X to secure the elastic loop.
Mark the elastic in quarters.
You should have 4 marks on the elastic equal distant apart.
Mark the top of the skirt in quarters.
You should have 4 marks on the skirt equal distant apart.
Pin the overlapped elastic seam into the back seam Wrong side of the fabric to elastic.
Pin elastic & skirt top at the other 3 marks.
Switch your machine to a zig zag.
Carefully pull the elastic so that it aligns to the top edge of the fabric.
Zig Zag along the top edge of the fabric and the elastic. Move slowly, you need to keep tension on the elastic and keep the top edge of the skirt and the top edge of the elastic aligned. Sew around the entire top of the skirt.
Fold the elastic / top of the skirt over.
Switch your machine to a straight stitch.
Tug the elastic and skirt and sew around the bottom edge of the elastic and fabric.
Your elastic waist band is done.
Oh yeah! so is your skirt.
Get your model; take a picture.
I know lots of folks would like me to add pictures. I may.
Here are a bunch MORE Tutorial, some of which have great pictures.
7 Layer Studio "Twirly Skirt"
Hopscotch Skirt This tutorial is EXCELLENT. She does her elastic the exact way I do (but better cause there are pictures).
Kuky Ideas Tiered Skirt Tutorial