- 3 yards of cotton fabric 36” wide or more
- A pencil or chalk
- 1 yard of3/4″ elastic
- 2 large safety pins
- A needle and thread or Thread and Sewing Machine
- 2yds of ribbon
- Scissors or snips
Instructions continued below
Click here for a printable 4 page PDF of these instructions for an “Easy Gathered Rehearsal Skirt with Pictures” as shown above
- Take your 3 yards of fabric and sew the two ends of the wrong side of the fabric together in a big tube with a straight stitch going parallel to the raw edges by 3/8″ and going from one selvedge to 2.5″ below the other selvedge.
2.Press open the seam, then press it into a fold with the raw edge inside, and the seam stitching on the edge.
3. Sew the seam again, this time right side together with a line of stitching 5/8″ parallel to the first seam. You have just made a French Seam which is very strong, even if you sewed it by hand with 3/16″ stitches!
4. Press the little 2.5″ bit of fabric at top of the seam open, and tuck the seam allowance under itself and stitch the seam allowances so they will stay open.
5. Fold the top selvedge over by 1.5″ with wrong sides together, and press flat. Sew this flap into a 1″ waistband tube for elastic and ribbon.
6. Measure the distance from your natural waist to the floor and subtract the amount you want it raised from the floor (like 2” or 4″) this is your Waist to Hem
Waist to Floor – Distance off floor = Waist to Hem
7. Apply the Waist to Hem measure number to the skirt. Measure from the bottom of the waistband casing down towards the selvedge, mark with chalk or pencil every 6 inches or so. Fold the hem in on that line and press.
8. Sew this hem up by hand or machine with a large (and easy to remove) stitch that can be altered for future wearers
9. Cut the two yards of ribbon into two 1-yard sections. Depending on desired size, cut 24″ of the elastic for a small woman, 30″ for a medium woman, or 36 for a large woman, you can use larger amounts for XXL folks, and smaller ones for children, generally 3-5″ less than the waist measure is a good amount.
10. Sew the two pieces of ribbon to the two ends of the elastic.
11. Attach the two safety pins to the two far ends of ribbon. Fasten one pin to the French seam allowance at top, and push the other end through the waistband tube at the top of the skirt till you have ribbon coming out at both sides of the tube.
12. Get the center of the elastic to stick in the center of the waistband tube, and do a little bit of hand stitching to fix it there at the center. Pull more of the ribbon out at both ends and try it on.
13. Remove the safety pins and cut the ends of the ribbon at a sharp pointed angle to reduce unraveling. Tie the ribbons into a bow to adjust the snugness of the waist.
That’s it. It’s done!