Things You'll Need
- Measuring tape
- Kraft paper
- Straight pins
- Matching thread
- Sewing machine
- Iron and ironing board
- 3/4-inch elastic
- Safety pin
While many skirt patterns consist of one or two pieces of fabric sewn together, an 8-gore skirt is made of eight separate pieces of fabric. An 8-gore skirt drapes gently across the hips and can provide a flattering silhouette. Depending on the amount of flare you want, you can make a skirt that twirls when you spin or that gently hugs your curves. Use a lightweight satin or cotton fabric with a lot of drape for a spring or summer skirt and wool for a winter skirt.
Make the Pattern
Measure around your waist and hips and the length from your waist to your knees. If you want a longer skirt, measure from your waist to your calves or your waist to your ankles. Record the measurements.
Divide your waist measurement by 8. For example, if your waist measures 36 inches around, you get a measurement of 4 1/2 when you divide it by 8. Add 1/2-inch to that measurement. Also divide your hip measurement by 8 and add 1/2-inch.
Draw a horizontal line that measures 1/8 of your waist measurement plus 1/2-inch on the kraft paper. For a 36-inch waist, draw a 5-inch line. Measure 8 inches down from the horizontal line and draw another line that measures 1/8-inch of your hip measurement plus 1/2 inch. For example, if your hips measure 48 inches, draw a 6 1/2-inch line. Center the hip line under the waist line.
Draw a vertical line from the center of the waist line. The vertical line should measure the length from your waist to knees plus 2 1/2 inches for the hem.
At the bottom of the vertical line, draw another horizontal line that is slightly bigger than the hip line for the bottom edge of the skirt. The longer you make this line, the more flare your skirt will have.
Measure down 1/4 inch from the center of the waist line and draw a curved line between the ends of the waist line. Measure up 1/4 inch from the center of the bottom line and draw a curved line between the ends of the line on the bottom.
Connect the ends of the waist line with the ends of the bottom line by drawing two sloping lines. You should have a 4-sided trapezoid shape. Cut it out.
Make the Skirt
Fold the fabric in half, with the right-sides together. Pin the skirt pattern to the fabric and cut out two pieces. Repeat, cutting out a total of eight fabric pieces.
Place two fabric pieces on top of each other, right-sides facing. Repeat with the remaining six pieces of fabric, so that you have four pairs. Pin the pieces together along one long side.
Sew the fabric pairs together along the long side with a 1/4-inch seam allowance.
Unfold the fabric pairs and press the seams open and flat.
Lay one sewn two-panel piece of fabric on a flat surface and place another on top of it, right-sides facing. Pin the pieces of fabric together along one long edge. Repeat with the remaining two panel pieces of fabric.
Sew the fabric panels together along one long edge using a 1/4-inch seam allowance. Press the seams open.
Lay one four-piece fabric panel flat and place the other four-piece panel on top of it. Pin together along the two long sides, then sew the sides together with a 1/4-inch seam allowance.
Fold the top and bottom edges of the skirt down 1/4-inch and press. Fold the top and bottom edges down another inch, then press and pin. Sew along the bottom edge to hem.
Sew along the top edge of the skirt, leaving a 2-inch gap to make a casing to thread through the elastic.
Cut a length of elastic that is 2 to 3 inches shorter than your waist measurement. Push a safety pin through the end of the elastic, then carefully thread it into the casing on the skirt. When the end of the elastic enters the casing, pin it in place. After you've thread the elastic all the way around the waist, pin the safety-pinned end to the skirt. Sew the elastic in place. Sew the gap in the casing closed. Try on the skirt.
Based in Pennsylvania, Emily Weller has been writing professionally since 2007, when she began writing theater reviews Off-Off Broadway productions. Since then, she has written for TheNest, ModernMom and Rhode Island Home and Design magazine, among others. Weller attended CUNY/Brooklyn college and Temple University.