You are not logged in [Register] [Login] [Help/FAQ] [Search] [Index]

Topic Prairie Skirt? Go to previous topic Go to next topic Go to higher level

By nicegirl512 On 04/29/02  

Hey gals-
I got some cool fabric from WalMart for making a prairie skirt. It's white and linen-looking with a subtle windowpane kind of checkering. Anyway, what are your thoughts on the following topics (or any others that come to mind):
-Will elastic waist look okay? Normally I am solidly opposed to elastic waist, but I think it might work on the prairie skirt. Plus, that way I wouldn't have to use a pattern at all.
-Are the panels gathered at both the top and the bottom? Or just at the top?
-How much bigger should each panel be than the one before it?
-For a mid-calf length skirt, 3 panels or four?

By lumo On 04/29/02  

what's a prairie skirt?
the fabric sounds very nice! :)

By nicegirl512 On 04/30/02  

Lumo, a prairie skirt is basically a tiered skirt. Delia's has a typical example (, but they're site is frames so there's no way to give you a direct link. More info:

By tallulah On 04/29/02  

Just my opinion here. I would just gather the top only of each panel otherwise it will too full and costumey. You want the prairie look but still want it new and modern. And I would do 3 panels. Don't know why, I just prefer odd #s. Elastic waist? Not sure, would probably work, although I prefer flat waistbands

By robotgirl On 04/29/02  

the only way to do elastic is to use the REALLY thin kind. otherwise it looks so...elastic-waistbandy. (so helpful, i know!) i have a swooshy skirt that has a very thin elastic waistband and it looks fine.

By jodysomething On 04/29/02  

I would go with 3 levels. An elastic waist should work as long as you don't get too bulky on the top. Add 4 to 6 inches to your hip measurement to get the lenght of the top level. Each strip should be 50 to 100% longer than the one above it.

By bonnell99 On 04/30/02  

I remember in the 80s my mom and I made a ton of tiered prairie skirts. Loved them.

3 levels (and odd numbers) just look better to the eye. But just be aware of some of the pitfalls of the elastic waist. Make sure you cut your top panel wide enough to go over your hips. Sometimes, depending on your personal proportions, this makes the elastic waist super gathery and super gathery waists tend to be super unflattering.


By nicegirl512 On 04/30/02  

Thanks for the thoughts. I realized that I could put in a zipper and still not need a pattern, so I'll go ahead and do the zipper. I was thinking three panels and you have totally confirmed that, so I guess great minds think alike. The only question left is what kind of top do you wear with a white skirt? Being sensitive about my thighs, I always wear a darker skirt than a top. Wearing all white seems WAY too bridal. I guess I need to find some spriggy flowers on a white background and make a peasant top or something, but maybe a peasant top and prairie skirt is too fashion-victimy and/or Little House on the Prairie. Oooh, I just realized that I need one of those leather whip type belts. That would give it a little edge.

By Prairie Dawn On 04/30/02  

most of the skirts in the shops right now seem to have elasticated waists...

By bonnell99 On 04/30/02  


You can get cute, multicolored calico in the quilting section of most stores. usually it's priced more reasonably than the comparable fabric in the fashion section. And you can't beat the selection.


By moonlady On 04/30/02  

I have a skirt from a shop like that , it has thin elastic on the waist. I'd love to make one in another colour, do you have a pattern?

By nicegirl512 On 04/30/02  

I don't have a pattern, I was just going to use a formula similar to what Vixanne described (first panel about six inches larger than hip measurement, successive panels about half again as big as the previous one). I don't know how your waistband is constructed, but you can either make a casing, or turn down and sew the top of the skirt to finish and then sew the elastic directly onto the waist. My problem with that method is getting the elastic sewn on evenly. I always end up with a wavy line, which defeats the purpose of the finished look of a nice thin elastic. The other problem is that I think the weight of the skirt is going to be such that it would require at least 1/2 wide elastic, I don't think the narrow elastic would cut it. But if you started with a thinner fabric, the narrow elastic might be enough.

By jodysomething On 05/01/02  

ooh! Wear it with a denim shirt with the sleeves cut off. Or a suede vest-bodice type thingy.

I don't think wearing all white is too bridal, as long as you keep it casual... like a white t-shirt or a white men's shirt.

By ChinaDoll On 05/01/02  

My Mom made me a full tiered skirt during high school. I wore it through college until I tore it past repair. I am going to go try to repair it once more... *sigh*

Tiered skirts are great. They are flattering to all and highly cute!

By clarice On 05/04/02  

here's some inspiration..

check out the price!

By jodysomething On 05/05/02  

I just got the J Crew catalog, and a lot of skirts have drawstring waists. So that's another option if you don't like elastic.

gromcocontact infofreelance bbs