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Drape Gather Skirt - Sewing Instructions

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

At last some sewing patterns are making it onto the website!  The first in the 'Off-The-Rails' series is the Drape Gather skirt.  This is a design from many years ago that has been a favourite in m y wardrobe ever since.  It's also the first skirt my students cut in my Drape Skirt Patterns workshop.  It has a straight grain centre front panel with a joined side front and back skirt panel that's cut on the bias.  Included in the back seam is a fishtail flare and an invisible zip.  The wait finish is a strap waistband and included in the zip opening is a zip guard for a quality skirt.Drape Gather Skirt sewing Instructions

I've added a post that shows many options for your lay plans depending on fabric width.  This sample was cut from a fabulous bright check, in a blend fabric of wool/polyester.  There are four main pattern pieces for the skirt shell: Centre Front panel, Side/Back Skirt, waistband and zip guard.  I'll deal with the lining patterns in a separate post.  The seam and hem allowances for the whole pattern are:

  • Front Panel Seams - 1cm (⅜")
  • Centre Back Seam - 1.25cm (½")
  • Waistband and waistline - 1cm (⅜")
  • Hem Allowance - 2cm (¾")

Drape Gather

I always start sewing this skirt by dealing with the centre back seam first.  Because it's a zip seam, I overlock the edges of the fabric separately so I can have an open seam (1.25cm/ ½").  If you're looking for a tutorial for inserting invisible zips then Ann, at 1 Puddle Lane Pattern Studio has a great tutorial that uses exactly the same method I use to make the best of a tricky job.

Drape Gather

Insert the invisible zip in the seam before finishing the rest of the centre back seam.  In this case matching the checks along this seam is very important for the overall appearance of the skirt.  I use both a regular zipper foot (to secure the zip tape in place) and the invisible zipper foot (to finish) to sew my invisible zips.

Drape Gather

This time I was fortunate because the checks match across the zip and through the rest of the centre back seam.  A happy moment. :)

Drape Gather

To finish off the zip opening I like to add a lined zip guard.  Place the zip guard and the zip guard lining, right sides together and stitch at 7mm (¼") along the curved side.  Turn the zip guard through and secure the straight side with a stay stitch.  Then attach the zip guard to the right side of the zip opening.

Drape Gather

The  next step is to prepare the gather drape seam for sewing.  Run two rows of gathering stitch, along the gather seam on the side/back panel, between the notches for both side/back skirt pieces.

Drape Gather

Tie off the gather thread ends at one end only and pull the other gather threads up until the notches on the side/back skirt match the centre front panel.

Drape Gather

Once you have the gathers evenly distributed for the front panel seams, stitch the seam at 1cm and overlock together.  Press the front panel seams toward the centre front and stay stitch the waistline before adding the waist band.

Drape Gather

Stitch one side of the waistband to the skirt waistline, including the top of the zip guard.  This should leave 1 cm (⅜") free at each end of the waistband for turnings.  Fold the waistband back on itself at the half way mark to secure these ends.  Turn them through to final off the waistband.  The inside edge of the waistband can either be turned under to finish the inside of the skirt waistband.  Or it can be finished with a decorative bind.  Stitch through from the outside of the skirt, along the waist seam, sinking the stitch into the seam and securing the waistband to finish.

Drape Gather

One of my favourite hem finishes is to use bias binding (often contrasting) as a clean and decorative trim.  The advantages of this method is that the bias binding can be used to control the most curved and difficult parts of the hem turning.  By simply stretching the bias bind as your stitch it to the hem curve you'll shorten the hem curve and make it sit easily as you press it into place.

Drape Gather Skirt

For a tailored finish I'll hand stitch the hem in place.  If I find I like the fit of this skirt sample I may consider adding lining later.  If you unpick the last row of stitching on the waistband a ling can be included easily.  I'll deal with the sewing and inclusion of the lining in a separate post.

Drape Gather Skirt

This is one of my few sewing photo tutorials, so I'd welcome any feedback you have for improving my instructions.

If you have any questions about this pattern or the sewing process, don't hesitate to use the comments section below. :)  If you'd like to share your photos of this skirt you can join my Facebook group, or Instagram.  To be sure I see the posts please use my handle @studiofaro or the hashtag #DrapeGatherSkirt.

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Anonymous commented on 01-Jun-2020 03:02 AM
Great tuto, a photo of finished result tho please.😁
Anita - Studio Faro commented on 01-Jun-2020 10:40 AM
Done! Thanks for the prompt...

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All images, designs, photos and layouts on this blog are created and owned by Anita McAdam© of Studio Faro. They are available for HOME AND PERSONAL USE ONLY.  If you would like to use my content for teaching or commercial purposes please ask.  I have some amazing resources for teachers and manufacturers. ;) enquiries@studiofaro.com

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The challenging patterns, the exciting new design trends and the impossible drapes; that's what I live for.  Disclaimer: These new ideas are offered here for testing and are offered without guarantee.  Allow yourself time and space to truly test and perfect the patterns for all your new ideas.  And please don't give yourself a hard time if the first toile is less than perfect.  It's simply part of a process. Enjoy :)

Using my content

All images, designs, photos and layouts on this blog are created and owned by Anita McAdam© of Studio Faro. They are available FOR HOME AND PERSONAL USE ONLY.  If you would like to use our content for teaching or commercial purposes please ask.  I have some amazing resources for teachers and manufacturers. ;) enquiries@studiofaro.com

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