Catch the spring breeze in a tiered peasant skirt made from eyelet, cotton and gauze. A serger makes gathering the tiers simple and quick.
Add as many tiers as desired to complete your custom skirt. Choose the tier widths depending on the desired number of tiers and the chosen skirt length. Do you want your skirt short and flirty? Construct a two-tiered skirt with 10” – wide tiers. Or do you want your skirt long and romantic? Construct a six-tiered skirt with varying tier widths (as shown).The featured skirt has six tiers ranging from 5” to 8” wide.
By Milinda Jay Stephenson, Sew News
- 1 yard of white cotton batiste
- 3 yards of white cotton gauze
- 51⁄2 yards of white cotton eyelet (Use less fabric if tiers are pieced together.)
- 1 yard of 1”-wide elastic (more or less depending on waist measurement)
- White all-purpose thread
- For the waistband tier length, measure your hips at the widest point and add 3”. The featured skirt’s waistband tier measures 5”x 40”. From the batiste, piece together fabric as needed to cut the waistband tier to the determined dimensions.
- For the second tier length, multiply the waistband tier length by 1.5.The featured skirt’s second tier measures 6”x 60”. From the eyelet, piece together fabric or cut the second tier to the determined dimensions.
- For the third tier length, multiply the second tier length by 1.5.The featured skirt’s third tier measures 8”x 90”. From the gauze, piece together fabric or cut the third tier to the determined dimensions.
- For the fourth tier length, multiply the third tier length by 1.5. The featured skirt’s fourth tier measures 6”x 135”.
- From the eyelet, piece together fabric or cut the fourth tier to the determined dimensions.
- For the fifth and sixth tier lengths, multiply the fourth tier length by 1.5. The featured skirt’s fifth and sixth tier lengths both measure 7”x 203”. From the eyelet, piece together fabric or cut the fifth and sixth tier lengths to the determined dimensions. Eliminate the need for hemming the skirt lower edge by using an eyelet with a finished edge for the sixth tier (as featured).
- Before measuring the elastic, determine where you want the waistband to rest. The waistband rests a couple inches below the waist on the featured skirt. Cut the elastic to the desired measurement.
- Set your serger for gathering by adjusting the differential feed to its highest setting and the stitch length to its longest stitch (4 mm on most sergers). Increase the needle tension to 6. The upper and lower loopers should remain on a neutral or balanced setting. (Refer to the machine’s manual for assistance if needed.) Set aside the waistband tier and gather each remaining tier upper edge independently.
- Serge the tiers together by setting the serger for a four-thread safety or overlock stitch. Right sides facing, center the waistband tier lower edge over the gathered second tier upper edge; pin and serge, removing the pins as you sew. Repeat to serge each tier to the one above it. Each tier will extend slightly past the tier above it.
Place the skirt on a large flat surface. Use a yardstick to trim the tiers diagonally on either side (1).
- Fold the skirt lengthwise with right sides together, and match the raw edges; pin. Serge the raw edges together.
- Serge-finish the skirt upper edge. To create an elastic casing, fold the skirt upper edge 1ó” to the wrong side and press. Straight stitch close to the serged edge, leaving a 2” opening for inserting the elastic.
- Guide the elastic through the casing. Anchor the elastic loose end with a pin so it doesn’t disappear inside the casing as you feed the elastic. Make sure the elastic isn’t twisted, and overlap the elastic ends. Zigzag through both elastic layers several times to secure the ends. To evenly distribute the elastic, place your hands inside the waistband and stretch it. Straight stitch the casing opening closed.
- If you don’t use a finished eyelet for the lowest tier, serge-finish the skirt lower edge. Fold the edge to the wrong side and straight stitch close to the serged edge.