How to Make a Gored Skirt

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The gored skirt is a type of A-line skirt with many different triangular panels sewn together. Unlike traditional A-line skirts, which are made from only a front and back panel, gored skirts have a softer fit around the hips and create a loose, flowing bell shape at the hem. This style of skirt is flattering on many different body types and is often favored by women who are larger in the hip and thigh areas.

Things You'll Need

  • Measuring tape
  • Pencil and paper
  • Sewing machine
  • Zipper foot
  • Thread
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • 2 to 3 yards of cotton skirt fabric
  • Zipper
  • Fabric pencil

Making the Pattern

  • Take your body measurements for the skirt. Measure your waist, your hips, the distance from your waist to the floor and the distance from your waist to your hips. Write these measurements down.

  • Divide your waist measurement by the number of gores you want. Most gored skirts have four to six panels, but you can make as many panels as you like. On a large sheet of paper, draw a horizontal line the length of the measurement to represent the top of a single gore.

  • Draw a vertical line down from the horizontal line, starting at the center of the line. This will create a "T" shape on your paper. Make sure that the vertical line is as long as your waist to floor measurement.

  • Divide your hip measurement by the number of gores you want and add 1/2 inch for ease. Take your waist to hip measurement from Step 1 and mark it on your paper, so that you have a marking that is that distance from the waist line you have already drawn. At this marking, draw a horizontal line that is equal to the hip measurement you have just calculated. Use the vertical line as a guide for centering the hip line.

  • Connect the waist edges to the hip edges with slanted lines. Determine where you would like the hem of your skirt to fall along the length and draw a horizontal line there. Extend the slanted lines of the waist-to-hip shape to meet the hemline.

  • Trace around the outsides of your skirt gore shape, adding 1/2 inch to the sides and 1 1/4 inches to the top and bottom for seam allowances. Create a shallow convex curve at the hem and a concave curve at the waist. Cut along these outside lines, and use this piece as a pattern piece.

Sewing the Skirt

  • Pin your pattern piece to your skirt fabric and cut around it. Repeat this step for as many gores as you have decided to put into your skirt.

  • Pin two of your gore pieces together at one side seam, right sides together, and stitch them, 1/2 inch from the edge. Press the seam allowances flat. Repeat this step on all of the gore pieces, leaving one seam open. You should then have a line of connected skirt panels.

  • Pin the last seam together, leaving the top 7 inches open. Stitch the seam, then press the seam allowances open. Also press the open edges back 1/2 inch.

  • Fold under the hem and waist edges 1/4 inch and press them flat. Fold both edges under another 1 inch and press them flat, then stitch along the folded edge to create a hem and waistband.

  • Pin the zipper sides to the open edges of the final seam, then stitch them to the fabric along the fold, using the zipper foot attachment. Wear this seam in the back or on the side of your body.

Tips & Warnings

  • Two to 3 yards of fabric will cover most sizes for a short or knee-length skirt. For plus sizes or a longer skirt length, you may need more fabric.

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