LEARN HOW TO MAKE A TIERED SKIRT IN A FEW SIMPLE STEPS.
Today, I’m going to show you how to make a tiered skirt. I made this one for my 6 year old daughter, but you can use the same calculation technique for teens or adults as well. This is a nice and simple sewing project. You can make this with woven or knit fabrics.
Are you ready to make your own? Let’s get started! This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience (which means if you make a purchase after clicking a link I will earn a small commission but it won’t cost you a penny more)! Read my full disclosure policy.
Material needed to make a Tiered Skirt
- Woven or Knit Fabrics
- Matching Thread
- 1″ Elastic
- Flexible Measuring Tape
- Seam Ripper
- Rotary cutter and ruler for cutting your strips
- Wonder Clips or Pins
- Sewing Machine or Serger
How to make a Tiered Skirt
Step 1. Take measurements
The first thing we need to do is measure the waist of the person that is going to wear the skirt. This is going to be the measurement we use to calculate all the rest of the measurements so we know how much fabric we need.
Once you have your waist measurement, also measure how long you want the finished skirt to be. My daughter’s waist was 22″ and I wanted the skirt to be 25″ long. Now, we need to determine how many tiers we want and how tall they are going to be. I wanted 3 tiers, so I divided 25″ by 3 and got 8.3″. I rounded down to 8″ per tier. For the top and bottom tiers I added 1.5″ to account for seam allowance, elastic casing, and hemming at the bottom. So my top and bottom tiers need to both be cut at 9.5″ tall. My middle tier, I added 1″ for seam allowance, so I cut that one at 9″ tall.
Next we need to know the width of the tiers. Take the waist measurement, and for the top tier, multiply it by 1.5. 22″ x 1.5 = 33 inches wide. I then want to divide that in half because I want two pieces for the top tier. The front and the back and two side seams. 33″ divided by 2 is 16.5″. I then added .5″ for seam allowance. So i needed to cut two pieces for my top tier, each measuring 9.5″ tall x 17″ wide.
For the second tier, multiply the waist measurement by 2. So in my case, 22″ x 2=44″. 44″ divided by 2 (for two pieces, front and back)= 22″. 22″ + .5″ for seam allowance = 22.5″ wide for each middle tier section. And per my calculations earlier, they are going to be 9″ tall.
The last tier will follow the same calculations, but the waist measurement will be multiplied by 2.5. So my bottom tier will be cut at 9.5″ tall by 28″ wide.
If you are adding more than three tiers, continue to multiply your waist measurement by one half more than the previous measurement. Fourth tier would be multiplied by 3, fifth tier would be multiplied by 3.5, etc.
When cutting out your strips for the tiers, if you are using knit fabric, make sure your stretch is going horizontally with your width measurement.
Step 2. Create the bottom tier
For this skirt, we are going to start at the bottom and work our way up. Start by laying your fabric, right sides together and sewing the side seams. Do this for each of your tiers.
Then, take your bottom layer and sew your hem. Do this by folding the hem up 3/4″, pressing, and clipping in place. Sew your hem with a sewing machine or coverstitch. If using a sewing machine, I recommend using a twin needle to get the same effect as a cover stitch, or sewing two straight stitched parallel to each other.
Next, we are going to sew two basting stitches at the top of the bottom tier. I sewed separate basting stitches for the front and back. That way I could gather from either of the side seams. Here is what two basting stitches looks like.
Step 3. Join two tiers
Once you have your basting stitches, place the middle tier into the bottom tier. The bottom tier should be inside out, and the middle tier should be right side out. Then place the middle tier inside the bottom tier and line up the raw edges that are going to be sewn together. In the picture below, the hem of the bottom tier is at the top of the picture, and the raw edges I’m going to sew together are at the bottom of the picture.
Line up the side seams of these tiers and pin them together.
Then, hold onto the loose threads at the side seam of the bottom tier (gray fabric) and gather your fabric along the thread until it is the same width as the middle tier (which is my blue fabric).
Once the widths of the two fabrics match up on that one side, between the two side seams, even out the gathers and then clip the two raw edges together.
Repeat on the other side and then sew your raw edges together with a sewing machine or serger with a 1/4″ seam allowance.
After sewing your seam, rip out your basting stitch with a seam ripper. I cut the thread every few inches and pull it out.
Step 4. Add next tier
Repeat the same steps for attaching the middle tier to the top tier. Sew basting stitches.
Place top tier inside of middle tier and line up side seams.
Gather middle tier along basting stitch until the width lines up with the width of the top tier. Sew raw edges.
Take out the basting stitch.
Step 5. Add Elastic
The last step is to add the elastic. Cut your elastic 1″ shorter than the waist measurement. If you are using a sewing machine, make a casing for your elastic by folding the top edge of the top tier, a 1/4″ farther down than the width of your elastic. If you are using 1″ elastic, fold your fabric down 1 1/4″ and clip in place. Sew the casing shut, leaving an opening to feed your elastic through. Once your elastic is fed through, sew the ends together, and then sew the casing closed.
I am using a serger, so I did it a little differently. I started by sewing my binding into a circle.
Then I folded my elastic and skirt into fourths to find the quarter markings around both the elastic and skirt.
Then I matched the quarter markings of the elastic with the quarter markings of the skirt and clipped them together.
I then used my serger to sew them together. Since my elastic is smaller than my skirt, I stretched the elastic as I sewed, so the elastic and skirt lined up while I was sewing.
Here it is serged together.
I then folded it over once and sewed a straight stitch at the bottom of the elastic to encase the elastic.
Here it is all done, being showcased by my daughter.