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No Pattern Required Tiered Skirt 7 February, 2008

Filed under: Craft,knitting,Weekly useful stuff,Yarn reviews — makeityourown @ 12:43 pm

It feels like a hundred years since I posted here. Sorry to all my loyal fans who have been checking regularly…(actually I don’t know how many loyal fans I have; probably just my Auntie and my Dad).

Today I’m going to give you instructions on how to sew a tiered skirt without a pattern. All you need is fabric and a sewing machine! Since I reached 25000 visitors recently, I’ve got a little competition and to keep all the knitters happy, I’ve got a yarn review. Lets start with the yarn review…


Selby’s yarn picks

Biggan Design DK Merino First Cross. 50g/105 metres. Made in Australia. $8.95 each.

Biggan Wool

Biggan Design colour chart

Merino wool is renowned for its softness and Border Leicester wool for its durability. A Merino sheep crossed with a Border Leicester sheep will theoretically give a very soft but durable yarn. The people at Biggan Design have done just that and indeed created a yarn that is incredibly fine and smooth but will last a very long time. This yarn is smooth enough to wear next to your skin and smooth enough for babies’ garments but it also has plenty of bounce and elasticity. I’ve knitted a few swatches with this yarn lately and it feels lovely through my fingers and creates a very smooth fabric because of its high twist. At $8.95 a ball it seems more expensive than other solid colour DK weight (8ply) wool yarns but the quality of the yarn makes the cost worth it. You’ll have a garment that will last a very long time and will feel great. The machine washability (gentle cycle) is also worth paying a little extra for. Aside from the fineness and quality of this yarn, my favourite thing about it is the colour range. It is available in 64 colours that harmonise with each other, making it perfect for picture knitting, stripes and Fair Isle knitting. Biggan Design also claim that the same colour range will still be available well into the future. I hate it when companies change their colour ranges (especially when I’ve just designed something in a particular colour that gets discontinued; I have to then change my colour scheme and usually have to change yarns). If what they say is true, I’ll be a very satisfied customer. The Biggan Design website is easy to navigate and you can buy their yarn and patterns there. I recommend this yarn for all kinds of garments and comfy socks. I’m about to start knitting a design I’ve been working on in the Denim colour and I’m looking forward to the experience. Visit Biggan Design at


Tiered skirt

Here’s a “recipe” for a skirt you can sew without a pattern. I made this one for myself from some fabric I bought in Penang, that’s been sitting in my fabric stash for the last 9 years (gulp, is it really 9 years since we went to Penang? Matthew and I got engaged not long after that). All it is is four strips of fabric, each one longer than the last and gathered together to fit the one above. It’s pretty easy but you’ll probably need a little bit of sewing experience.

What you need: fabric, a sewing machine and thread, scissors, pins, calculator, tape measure, 3mm wide elastic for waist, iron.

Here’s what to do…

First measure yourself (or the person who the skirt is for) at your widest point, the part that is euphemistically called the hips. Add 15cm to that measurement and write that number on a piece of paper. Your first piece of fabric at the top of the skirt needs to be that long and about 25cm wide. (My top piece was 120 x 25cm). Sew the ends of the piece together with a 1cm seam allowance. Sew a wide hem at the top of the piece, wide enough to just fit the elastic through, leaving a hole big enough to thread the elastic through. I like to iron down the hem and then sew it.I also like to press all my seams before continuing on the next step.

The next strip of fabric needs to be 1.3 times longer than the first so multiply the number you wrote down by 1.3. Cut you next piece of fabric that long and 17cm wide. Sew the ends together. Run two rows of gathering stitches 8mm apart around the top of the second piece and then pull up the threads so that the second piece is the same size as the first, making sure the gathers are evenly spread over the fabric strip. Pin the second piece to the first and sew together between the gathering threads.

Do the same thing with the 3rd and 4th pieces but make the 4th piece 20cm wide. Each strip should be 1.3 times longer than the previous. You’ll probably need to join pieces together to make the strips long enough. Sew a wide hem on the bottom of the skirt. Remove the visible gathering threads. Run elastic through the casing and pull up so that it fits your waist but is long enough to stretch over your hips. Iron the whole thing and trim any loose threads. My mum always said that your sewing project is not finished until it’s been ironed.


Just the other day I noticed that I’ve had 25, 000 visitors to my blog since I started in April 2007. Amazing huh? I can thank Knitting Pattern Central for a huge chunk of them, people searching for instructions on how to make felt, make curtains, make tea cosies, people searching for yarn reviews, and friends and family who keep coming back regularly. Thanks to everyone who leaves comments. I appreciate them greatly.

The prize this time is your choice of yarn from my Hand Dyed yarns up to a value of $15. You can see them all by clicking on the Hand Dyed Yarn For Sale tab at the top of the page.

All you need to do is leave a comment telling us about your favourite knitting or craft book or mag and why it’s your favourite. I’ll publish the list of the books and mags you like in a future post so that we can all find out what the best publications are. This competition is open to anyone anywhere in the world (except my extended family, sorry guys). I’ll pick a commenter at random to win. My usual method of choosing a winner is to write down all the names on pieces of paper, put them all in a bowl and let Matthew choose one. Last day for entries is 21st Feb.

Looking forward to hearing from you…

Have a good week, Sarah.


22 Responses to “No Pattern Required Tiered Skirt”

  1. Lou Says:

    My Favourite mag = Yarn magazine. I love the educational articles, the book reviews, the patterns that are so well written and the fact that the garments are well suited to so many different bodyshapes and not displayed on size 6 models.

  2. Nicole Says:

    It’s tough to choose, but I think my favourite knitting book is “Knitting Rules!” by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee. It was the first knitting book I got (although I learned the basics from pamphlets), and I like the idea of having recipes rather than strict patterns.

  3. Melinda Says:

    I just went and scrutinised my bookshelf and I think my fave book would still have to be the first knitting book I ever acquired – Last Minute Knitted Gifts, by Joelle Hoverson. It’s packed with great patterns and no matter how often I have thumbed through it before, I always find something I would like to knit.

  4. diane Says:

    couldn’t have just one. yarn magazine for its australianess and originaltity – every issue is a joy . and interweve knits because its patterns are simply amazing and wearable. so sorry i would have to take both to a desert island .knitting on a desert island ?

  5. dreadlordvellan Says:

    My favourite craft book/mag would have to be Yarn Magazine.

    It is Australian, referencing Australian measurements and seasons, and Australian places and advertisers. It speaks of places I have been and people I know. It makes me feel like an insider rather than an outsider, which elevates it above foreign magazines.

  6. kozmic Says:

    My favourite knitting book has to be Morehouse Farm Merino Knits. This book is simply a classic. Good, solid, well-written patterns that you can add your own personal touchs to. I think I’ve knitted over half of the patterns twice or more. And the patterns easily translate to NZ and Australian wools.
    My favourite magazine has to be Interweave Knits esp. now that Eunny Jung is editor. Good, inovative patterns, I love to browse the adverts, and I find I read and reread each issue time and time again.

  7. jp Says:

    My favourite books (I can’t split them…i’ve tried) are Sensational Knitted Socks and Big Girl Knits. They are my favourites as they have patterns and technique instructions that relate to fitting things. They have proved invaluable in the construction of many many items.

    They are constantly being referred to even when I am knitting other things. Due to the hints and tips about how to fit or change things.

  8. tinkingbell Says:

    Favourite Books? A dead heat between Stephanie Pearl McPhee’s ‘Knitting Rules’ and Elizabeth Zimmermann’s ‘Knitting Without Tears’. Both of these were discovered when I returned to knitting after an enormous break, both changed my attitude to knitting with their humour and willingness to break rules I thought were unbreakable. Both fuelled a latent knitting obsession! Mags have to be Yarn (discovered at the same time) and Interweave Knits (which I won a copy of) and all thes helped me realise that knitting could be so much MORE!

  9. milkberry Says:

    Thank you for the easy instructions! Yeay! I will try to make my own skirt next week! Thanks again!

  10. Eyvonne Says:

    Thanks for your instructions.. ( now I need to convert to US inches.)

  11. Raelene Says:

    Thank you for these instructions, just what I was after. Very clear and easy to understand. I am inspired to go and make one right now.
    Ta Raelene

  12. untombult Says:

    I highly enjoyed reading this article, keep on making such interesting posts!

  13. Marg Says:

    Thanks for the picture and directions for the skirt. Exactly what I’m looking for…I’ll just change the directions to U.S. measurements, and be ready to make costume skirts for a ballet recital. A bonus for me…I’ve found a knitting site. Thanks for your help!!

  14. Rebecca Says:

    Thank you, your is very pretty. I want to give it a go…

  15. Marissa Says:

    That’s for the skirt pattern. That was awesome. I’m going to try it.

  16. leza harriman Says:

    Thank you so much for the easy instructions, I’ve been looking all over the net for a pattern for a tiered skirt for my 6 year old daughter. Going to give it a go now.

    Thanks from New Zealand

  17. Cat Says:

    I love this “pattern”. Easy and quick. You are a genius! Thank you!

  18. Rebecca Says:

    Thank you SO MUCH for posting instructions for the tiered skirt! I have been looking all over the internet to find a pattern or even one to investigate so I can figure out how to make one for Easter, but no one seemed to have them anymore. I am going to make mine a bit longer though because I think long skirts are fun. : )

  19. Lisa Says:

    I am so excited to try this super simple project. I have been looking for an easy tiered skirt and this is just perfect. I am headed to the fabric store tomorrow to get my colors!! Thanks so much!!

  20. Sarah Says:

    I have modified this skirt pattern to make a skirt for my two year old- thank you SO MUCH for it, its enable me to make the kind of $50 skirt I was admiring in stores for next to nothing! I have posted some photos on my blog and credited you with the tutorial, thanks again!

  21. Suzanne Says:

    You’re my hero! I need a tiered skirt for my 4 year old daughter’s Halloween costume, and couldn’t find one anywhere! I’m not a very good seamstress, but I think I can manage this. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

  22. pandora ring Says:

    My brother recommended I might like this web site. He was once entirely right. This post actually made my day. You cann’t consider simply how so much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!

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