Three-Tiered Skirt | Commercially Alternative

Monday, October 31, 2011

Three-Tiered Skirt

For my first Lolita skirt, I decided to make a three-tiered skirt instead of a simple rectangle skirt. I used this tutorial by tian_shi on livejournal for the measurements of the tiers. My skirt measures a little over 23" long. It took a long time with all of the gathering, but the ratios seem to be spot on and it is super full! I really suggest everyone use these ratios for their own skirt. My only complaint is my waistband. I didn't want an elastic waistband like the tutorial. Therefore, I was going to use the waistband of a renaissance skirt I had made, as I knew it would fit well, and a zipper. However, I couldn’t locate it the pattern piece and used the waistband from another skirt pattern. As a result, my waistband is a tad too large. Next time I will do a test fit after I baste the gathers to the waistband and before I sew everything up. Luckily, I have since found the waistband for my renaissance skirt. It had decided to run away from me and hide in the bottom of my sewing box. 

Anyway, please tell me what you think! I would love to hear everyone's opinion's and suggestions. You can see the color better in the previous post.
Without a petticoat

With a petticoat


  1. I love it! :O I also really love the color you chose; burgundy is one of my favorite colors.

    I've never made a three-tiered skirt before; I usually will do variations of rectangle skirts, like adding scallops or ruffles.

    Since it took you a long time to gather it, does that mean you gathered it all by hand? :O It's really impressive! :O I don't have a ruffler, so I've been avoiding doing something like a three-tiered skirt because I don't want to do *that* much ruffling by hand, but your skirt is very reassuring for me. XD

  2. I'm glad you like it. ^_^ Burgundy is one of my favorite colors too! The vast majority of my saved lolita pics are in a Burgundy colorway.

    Yup, all done by hand. I don't have a ruffle foot either. I didn't mind the gathering so much. As long as you do two rows of gathering stitches everything should go well. My biggest hardship was sewing the gathers. I have the hardest time sewing it so that I don't make a whole bunch of little pleats or it would bunch up in a couple of places. It got very frustrating at times. :/

  3. Also, thank you so much for your comments, Alyssa. You have no idea how much I appreciate them.

  4. Yay, burgundy! :D I have a few lolita pictures of people in burgundy colorways, too -- we should trade pictures sometime! :D

    Bleeeeh, I know what you know about little pleats, totally. :/ I have this blue rabbit-print skirt that I refuse to finish until I get a ruffler foot; when I was trying to gather the bottom ruffle by hand, I started turning the ruffles into pleats before I even got it underneath the foot of my sewing machine! XD Other than that, I find it helpful to set the... hmmm, what would I call it? :O I don't know if it's the height of the foot or... the foot pressure? I set the foot so it doesn't hold the fabric down as hard, and that can be helpful.

    And I'm so happy you like reading my comments! :D I really like reading your blog, and I always feel like I have something to say to you. ^_^

  5. Hi~! I really like your skirt, and I agree that your waistband looks much better than the elastic, especially since you tucked your shirt in and all. I was curious, since I would like to have I final piece with a waistband like yours, how and where you hid the zipper and how you came up with the waistband...? Please and thank you~!

    1. I'm so glad you like it! Sorry for not getting to your comment sooner. The blog has been pretty inactive.

      The zipper is just a basic centered zipper hidden in the side seam. This waistband was a pattern piece from another skirt pattern I bought from McCall's or Butterick. However, this turned out too large.

      I've found the best fitting waistband is one I drafted myself which is a basic rectangle. The width should be how wide you want the band (I like 1 inch) plus 2*5/8 inch. So 1 + 1 + 5/8 + 5/8 = 3.25 inches. The length should be your waist measurement plus 2*5/8 inches plus 1 1/2 inches. So mine was 28 + 5/8 + 5/8 + 1 + 1/2 = 30.75.

      You can find tutorials for zippers and waistbands all over the internet. I find tutorials from are really useful.