Here’s a pattern for a 6-gore wraparound skirt. It has a generous wrap and is very suitable for one-way prints. It would also look good in a plain fabric with topstitched seams.
If you’ve never drafted a pattern before, this is a good one to start with because it’s straight forward and easy-fitting. You’ll need your waist measurement, a ruler, pencil and L-square, and of course paper.
This is a step-by-step, but there’s a summary at the end so scroll down if you want the overview first.
Step 1: Draw a rectangle as shown. My waist is 30″, so my rectangle is 7.5″ wide. Draw in a central grainline (fold the paper to find the perfect centre).
Step 2: Add 5″ to each side and connect to the top corners with a diagonal line.
Step 3: Create pleasing curves at the top and bottom. Mirror them on each side by folding the paper along the central grainline. The sides should measure 60cm.
Step 4: Add whatever seam and hem allowances you prefer (shown are what I did). The curved hemline will not accommodate a hem deeper than 1″. You can also adjust the length now if you want to, keeping the sides on the same plane and extending them with a ruler. You may also increase the amount of flare at the sides, but don’t decrease any or the skirt might be too tight around the hips. This pattern piece is now finished -you’ll cut 4 of them for the skirt.
Step 5: The skirt also needs a differently shaped panel at each end of the wraparound. Trace around the pattern you’ve just made, and add a line parallel to the centre grainline. The line should run through the stitching line at the top corner.
Step 6: Add a hem to the straight line you just drew. Make it the same as the hem allowance on the skirt and you can do a mitre at the corner. Straighten off the lower edge so the corner is 90 degrees. This pattern piece is now finished. You’ll need to cut two as a pair.
Step 7: The last pattern piece you’ll need is a waistband. The part that’s attached to the skirt needs to be 1.5 times your waist measurement. Note that the ties at each end are different lengths. On my skirt, I made the one on the right 21″ long, and the one on the left 33″ long. The buttonhole needed to bring the tie through should be located between panels 3 and 4. Instead of a buttonhole, you can make a join in the waistband with a gap for the tie. BTW, I cut my waistband at 3.25″ (8.2cm) wide, to finish at 1.25″ (3.2cm) wide.
You can probably work out the sewing order from my drawing: 1) join all the panels together 2) do the mitres and hems 3) attach the waistband and make the ties 4) make a buttonhole in the waistband.
I made my skirt using some very old novelty print fabric with peanut-themed print. The pattern pieces barely fitted across its 90cm width. I think it’s cotton, about quilting weight. Anyone got any ideas how old this fabric might be? 1970’s? 1960’s? Even 1950’s? The colours are most accurate in the pictures of me wearing it.
I mitred the corners and sewed the hems with two rows of stitching.
The buttonhole in the waistband. It’s positioned almost between panels 3 and 4.
Originally I had a join in the waistband with a gap, which I positioned in the centre of panel 4, but it wasn’t far around enough so I made a buttonhole further along. If you do decide to have a gap in the waistband, trim back the seam allowance inside the waistband so it doesn’t show through the gap.
Update: This has become by far my most popular post ever. If you’ve made this skirt, please feel free to leave a comment and if possible a link where we can see your great work!
Another update: This skirt can be made with 3 gores. Click here to read how.
Update Aug 2021: Here’s a sketch of the cutting layout – check that your panels fit into the fabric. See here for a zero waste skirt.