Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Sew Me Something: Gathered Skirt from Silk Sari Cloth

01.10.12 Sari Skirt edited pics
Gathered skirt from sari
A friend gave me her mum's old silk sari cloth to play with. Yesterday, after hours of idea-hunting, I decided to turn it into a gathered skirt. The gathered skirt is a step up from elastic-gathered skirt. Time to move away from Beginner's Skirts, I say.

I have no waist (the back of the mannequin was pin-tucked), so I wonder what a gathered skirt will look on me. Hopefully not like a pumpkin...

The motivation behind this gathered skirt was from Gertie's New Blog for Better Sewing: Part 1 and Part 2. Along with Gertie's tutorials, I tried out a mind-blowing gathering technique, as well as some hand-stitching.

Here's what went on:
01.10.12 Sari material
Sari cloth ~6 metres long. Spotted some stains at intervals.
The silk sari material is really soft and see-through, so this skirt is double layered.
01.10.12 Sari material
Folded and pressed -- the stains were the fold line.
Making gathers using a cord / string was so easy, I am never going to try another method, ever.
This was how I did it:
01.10.12 Making gathers
Gathering with cord ¦ Sewing zigzags over the cord.
01.10.12 Making gathers
Gathering with cord ¦ Pull cord to create gathers. My mind was blown.
The most time-consuming part was basting (hand stitching) the gathered bottom to the waistband... Also, a little detour from Gertie's method: I unpicked the side seams of the waistband as I wanted the zipper to be 'buried' in the waistband.
01.10.12 Gathered Skirt from Sari
Basting waistband to gathered skirt bottom.
01.10.12 Sari Skirt edited pics
Hand-stitched inner waistband to zipper.
I am generally pleased with the outcome!
01.10.12 Gathered Skirt from Sari
Bottom hems. 
01.10.12 Sari Skirt edited pics
Gathered skirt: The Good
01.10.12 Sari Skirt edited pics
Gathered skirt: The Bad
I'm glad this was knee-length. Any longer and it'd scream Oktoberfest.

Additional notes:
  • This skirt took me close to 4 hours, excluding idea-scouting time.
  • Hand basting was worth it.
  • The next time I make one, it will have fuller gathers and proper measuring. This was Waist x2. Waistband was eyeballed.
  • Silk kept slipping and sliding -- it made measuring and cutting nerve-wrecking. May need to stiffen soft material.


  1. Love that fabric. Can imagine how soft it is.

  2. Pretty! Oh, how I now wish I had paid more attention to my mom when she was trying to teach me how to sew. Le sigh.

  3. It looks lovely, Juanita! I'm sure it's going to look great on you... waist or no-waist... ;)

  4. such pretty fabric! I love the gold on it.


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