Learning to Sew—More about skirt styles

A straight skirt is the most figure revealing. It is good for slimmer figures and it can look good on those with fuller hips if worn with an oversized top. A straight skirt with an elasticized waistband is a great beginner’s project.

Gathered skirts are pretty, but make you look larger. When making a gathered skirt on a fitted waistband, you must adjust the gathers evenly before attaching the waistband to the skirt. This can be difficult to do and very frustrating for a beginner. If you are a beginning sewer and you want to make a gathered skirt choose a pattern with an elasticized waistband. These are very simple to make and look good.

A skirt with pleats in front can make you look slimmer by creating a vertical line; however, a skirt with pleats all around can make you look larger, just like gathers do. All around pleats are also difficult to fit. Soft pleats are the best bet for a beginning sewer. Soft pleats require soft fabrics such as silk or jersey.

If you have been sewing for awhile, a pattern with pressed down or sewn down pleats may be a good choice. Pressed down or sewn down pleats are not hard to make once you have acquired some basic sewing skills, particularly careful pattern marking. These types of pleats need crisp fabrics: light gabardine, sill twill, broadcloths.