• Londa

EZ 3 or 5 Tier Skirt


Tiered skirts will never go out of style.  At least that’s my opinion.  And since my lily white legs not only refuse to tan, but are full of brown age spots, and hose are 'out', when I wear a skirt these days, it is likely LONG like this one! Though I've included it in my Blog in the past, I want to RE-Post it so that newer readers can benefit as well.


This is a skirt made long ago, but it still hangs in my wardrobe and gets worn. It is L-O-N-G, but with these directions you can configure your skirt exactly as you desire!  Number of Tiers – Depth of each Tier…  Quite ‘Bohemian’ in current fashion lingo.

Print off the directions and give it a whirl!



5 Tiers – each progressively deeper

1.  Determine the DEPTH of Each Tier

Divide your total finished  length by 3 (for 3 tiers).  For a 5 Tiered Skirt – divide by 5.

To the Upper Tier, add 2 times the width of your elastic.  To each tier, add 1” to allow for  two ½” seam allowances.

Example:  for a 3 Tiered Skirt that is 30” finished length using 1” elastic:

30” divided by 3 = 10”Upper Tier:  10” + 2” (2 times 1” elastic width) + 1” (two ½” seam allowances) – 13” deep for Upper TierMiddle Tier:  10” + 1” = 11”Lower Tier:  10” + 1” = 11”

2. Determine LENGTH of Each Tier (How FULL each tier is) 

Upper Tier:  hip (or largest girth measurement)  plus 6” wearing ease = A

Middle Tier:  A times 1.5 (for heavier fabrics) or times 2 (for lighter weight fabrics) = B

Lower Tier:  B times 1.5 or 2 (see above concerning fabric weight) = C

For a 5 Tier Skirt – work it somewhat similarly, increasing the length of each Tier.

Example:  for 44” hips

Upper Tier: 44 + 6” = 50” = AMiddle Tier:  A (50”) times 2 (for light weight fabric) = 100” = BLower Tier:  C (100”) times 2 (light weight fabric) = 200” = C

3.  Determine the Width of Fabric you are using

Reason:  I need how many widths of my fabric (full or partial – it doesn’t matter) to get the length for each tier as figured above in Step 2.

Example:  for 45” fabric

4. Determine the Yardage Needed

Take the information from Step 3 for each Tier times the Depth of each Tier to give you the inches of fabric required in yardage to purchase (for each Tier if mixing fabrics) – or add all together for yardage needed of one fabric.




Upper Tier needs 26” – so buy ¾ yard

Middle Tier needs 33” – so buy 1 yard

Lower  Tier needs 55” – so buy 1 ½ yard  Actually 1 yard, 19” – but 1.5 is close enough!)

All of one fabric:  3.25 yards  will give you ample yardage.

Stitching Directions:

1.  Cut Tiers as you have configured.

2.  Press each tier into fourths crosswise to provide you with ‘keying’ up marks when joining the tiers

3.  With contrasting thread, machine baste down each pressed mark, through the single layer of fabric

4.  You need to ‘gather’ the top edge of Tier 2 and Tier 3.  The easiest way to do this is with your serger.  Use 2 needles.  Tighten the needle tensions quite high, increase the stitch length, and increase differential feed to the highest number.

This is important:  serge a LONG chain – I’d say 20” or so of length before you start on the fabric, then chain another LONG chain once you are off the fabric.  Do not cut off much if any fabric as you serge – as you’ve only allowed for ½” seams anyway.