Tiered Skirts

No Pattern Required

No Pattern Required


With its elastic waist comfort, this skirt is great casual wear when made in cotton gauze. But you can also dress it up with fancy fabric. The choice is yours.

The best thing about this skirt is it can be made without a pattern. This skirt is sized for 36-38 hips but you can alter it to fit you by following the directions below. Before you start, compare the finished length and the finished width of my skirt with the length and width of your favorite skirt.  If your skirt is larger or smaller, you should adjust the measurements.



My finished skirt length is 25 1/2” long.
The raw measurement for each tier is as follows:
Tier one is 15 1/4” long.
Tier two is 6 3/4” long.
Tier three is 6 3/4” long.
Determine your desired skirt length. How much longer or shorter is? If for example, the difference is 3 inches, divide this number by three and adjust each tier by one inch. Mark your new numbers along side mine above.

The finished skirt width is 39”.
The raw measurements for each tier are as follows:
Tier one is 40 1/4” wide.
Tier two is 60” wide.
Tier three is 91 1/2” wide.
Determine your desired skirt width. How much wider or narrower is it than my tier one?  If for example, the difference is 3 inches, adjust the width of each tier by three inches.  Mark your new numbers along side mine above.

step 1 - If you made adjustments to the length or width of our skirt, use your new measurements to cut out the three tiers. Otherwise use mine. You will have to join two or more pieces of fabric to create the width of tier two and three when using 45” wide fabric.

step 2 - Cut out the fabric. Sew the side seams of tier one.  Fold and press a 1 1/2” inch hem on one of the raw edges. Fold 1/4” of the hem under. Sew all but 1 1/2” of the folded edge in place.  This will serve as the casing for your elastic waistband. 

step 3 - Cut a length of 1” wide elastic to fit snugly around your waist.

step 4 - Attach a large safety pin to one end of the elastic and thread it all the way through the casing. Remove the safety pin and sew the elastic ends together.

step 5 - Sew down the opening in the casing.

step 6 - Finish the opposite raw edge of tier one with zigzag stitching or a serger stitch.

step 7 - Join pieces to create the correct width for tier two. Sew the ends together to create one continuous strip.

step 8 - Zigzag or serge the long raw edges.

step 9 - To create 2 rows of basting stitches 1/2” apart on the front and the back of the strip, lay it flat with finished edges matching. Use a disappearing ink pen or painters tape to mark the left folded edge and the right folded edge. These marks will later help you to distribute the gathering evenly for the front and back of the strip. Machine baste 1/4” from the finished edge starting at one mark and ending with the other. Do this again on the remaining strip.  Repeat again, giving you 2 rows, front and back.

step 10 - Pin the strip 5/8” from the bottom of tier one, matching the left and right folded edges to the left and right side seams of tier one. Pull on the basting threads to gather the fabric front and back. Distribute the fullness evenly until it fits. Pin, overlapping the finished gathered edge of tier two onto tier one.


step 11 - Using a double needle or two single rows of stitching, sew between the two rows of basting stitches.  When you’re done, remove all the basting threads.

step 12 - Create tier three in the same way as tier two. Overlap the gathered edge, pin, and sew to the bottom edge of tier two.


While a zigzag stitch or a serged edge is perfectly good for this project, you could also use a rolled hem edge if your serger has the capability, or if your sewing machine has a special attachment for it. The rolled hem creates a finer and cleaner edge. That’s what I used on my skirt tiers.

Tier one should connect with tier two approximately one or two inches below the widest part of your body to minimize the hips, something many of us can appreciate. If you’ve made adjustments to tier one, double check and alter the length if necessary.


At Fabric Shop

  • 2 yards 45” fabric for my size skirt
  • thread
  • sewing notions
  • 1” elastic to fit your waist


Recommended Books

Frist Time Sewing