tutorial: easy DIY gathered full skirt with pocket

Last Friday, after we visited our printer for Black Bile, the boyfriend and I found ourselves in Countrymall. It’s one of those malls where you wouldn’t want to be caught dead chilling in. But behind the seemingly ill-maintained structure are fantastic treasures. I am talking about cheap and unique apparel, Sriracha sauce, and fabrics! Oh, the fabrics. So easy on the pockets AND the eyes. I came home with these.

And the dotted one simply had to be turned into this:

 photo dottyskirt4.jpg

The skirt turned out cute that I had to make another. And write a tutorial in the process.

To make a DIY gathered skirt with pocket, you will need the following:

a. fusible interfacing (width: twice the width of your preferred waistline || length: waist measurement with 3 inches add)

b. front and back pieces with 1-inch allowance all around (width of one piece: hip measurement + 8 to 12 inches || length: preferred length or true waist to an inch above the knee)

c. 8-inch zipper

d. waistline (same  as the interfacing dimensions with additional 1/2-inch allowance all around)

e. pockets in fabric that contrasts your skirt, preferably (any seam pocket pattern you can download online will do; you can also construct your own with your hand as size guide)

f. hook and eye (not in photo below)

 photo hooplaskirt1.jpg

Here are my seam pocket pieces. I know these things are usually “curvaceous” in nature. I had to fashion mine with straight edges because I don’t have a serger.

 photo hooplaskirt2.jpg

All right, let’s move on to constructing our DIY gathered full skirt!


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tutorial: how to sew a high-waist tabbed skirt

There’s nothing like waking up very early on a Monday and getting work out of the way before lunchtime. It’s the best feeling in the world, especially if you also happen to be running on strong coffee.

Now that I’ve gotten work out of the way, let’s get some sewing done! I give you here the tutorial for my birthday skirt. This DIY skirt, like I said, is inspired by a Burberry Prorsum piece. Hope you like it!


A – Half of desired width. Mine was 50″ in total. I like full skirts. I stand at 5 feet and has a 34-inch hip.
B – Desired length. Measure from the true waist or where you want your waistline to lie. Measure from the true waist if you want a high-waist tabbed skirt.
A1 = A / B1 = B
C – Hip measurement + 4 inches.
D – Waistline width x 2. Mine was 4 inches in total.
E = D

Your tab can be longer or shorter. The length is up to you. Or your waist measurement.

Note: Do not forget allowances for all pieces. 

You will also need elastic (must fit your desired waistline width), two buttons, & matching thread.



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tutorial: how to sew a garterized paper bag skirt

I know, I know, paper bag skirts are very 2008. And that I can’t possibly look great in them because I am short and I have round-ish hips. But screw that. Today, we squint at the words “dress up for your body type” until they whimper in fear.

Okay, enough squinting. On to sewing!

To make this DIY paper bag skirt, you will need: 1 to 2 meters of fabric (depends on length of your skirt), 1-inch elastic, matching thread


Cut two rectangular pieces. They will make up the front and back part of the skirt. The width should be twice your waist size minus 4 inches. The top part of these pieces should have an allowance of 3 inches. The three other sides will have an allowance of 1 inch each.

You will also need pieces for the waistline straps. Dimensions: 4 inches x your desired length. The length should be enough for you to make a bow by the waistline of your skirt.




1. Normally, you would sew the sides together first before making an elastic piping for your waistline. But you have to attach the waistline straps between the front and back parts, hence, you need to sew the sides AFTER attaching the elastic. Do not worry, the side seams will not be visible by the waistline because of all the “paper bag-ness” going on.

2. You can also tie the straps by wrapping them around your back first and bringing them to the front to make a knot.

3. Use a plain-colored skirt and a waistline strap in another plain color for a bit of color-blocking.

/End of Notes

My DIY paper bag skirt has a pocket but I eyeballed that part and made a lot of mistakes. And by mistakes, I mean sewing a shallow pocket that even a child will find inadequate for her hand. I was able to make it deeper but I figured I should not sully my tutorial with my freestylin’ pocket-sewin’ methods.

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