The "quick to make" project in the July 2006 issue of Threads magazine was a two-hour gypsy skirt. The author estimated 30 minutes to draft the pattern, 30 minutes to cut the fabric and 60 minutes to sew and finish the skirt.
I've been thinking I should make one of these tiered skirts at least before the trend is over. I loved, loved, loved them the last time around and that may have led to my reluctance to sew another one. However, the promise of a tiered skirt in two hours was too tempting to resist.
The first thing I did was to measure my hips and decide how much ease I wanted, how many tiers I wanted and the length of each one. I sketched out the four panels in a notebook, marking the width, height and seam allowance needed. I made a rough sketch of a fabric layout, noted how many would fit on a piece of 45" fabric, added the length of each panel together and divided by 36" (one yard) to determine how much fabric I needed. In this case it ended up to be 2-1/4 yards of 45" fabric.
Perfect! I had just picked up a lightweight piece of fabric from the local JoAnn's when they had their summer fabric clearance. It was from the India collection - a lightweight black cotton with fushia, purple, white and orange machine embroidered vertical lines. It had only been in my stash for two weeks and was just begging to be made into a tiered skirt.
With the fabric folded in half, I measured out the length of each panel and drew a chalk line indicating the cutting lines.
I marked each panel A,B,C and D with a different colored label so I wouldn't mix them up while sewing.
After sewing each of the tiers together forming a ring, I finished the long raw edges with a serger, since I wanted to have the seams exposed when the skirt was done. Using the longest stitch on my machine, I sewed two lines of gathering stitches along the top edge of each tier.
I then gathered each one and pinned it on top of the tier above it.
Tier B was gathered and pinned on top of tier A, tier C was gathered and pinned on top of tier b, and tier D was gathered and pinned on top of tier C. To assist with placement, I measured 1" from the bottom of each tier and marked it. I then sewed on the right side of the skirt, through all layers of fabric, securing the two tiers together.
Next, I pressed the casing edge 1/4" and then folded and pressed at 1". This finished the raw edge of the casing giving me a 1" casing.
I cut a piece of 3/4" piece of elastic to fit snugly around my waist and inserted it into the casings. I butted the edges of the elastic together and secured them by stitching them together with a piece of ribbon.
Since I had previously serged the bottom edge of all of the tiers, the skirt was now done. And yes, it can be completed in two hours or less!