Next up for Protea is the tiered skirt! In the last post, we went over the single skirt with pockets or upper tier, if you are doing the tiered version. Today, we will talk about adding that second tier (and maybe even a third!).
So we left off here – with making the skirt with pockets with 2 skirt panels, and sewing the gathering stitches along the top edge. We are going to now refer to this piece as the “top tier”.
Along the bottom raw edge of the top tier, the opposite end of the gathering stitches divided the top tier into 3 equal sections.
I like to start with the first marking at centre back, and the other two markings will be between the side seams and centre front.
Now to make the second tier, you will need 3 skirt panels.
With right sides together, align the short edges of your 3 skirt panel pieces and sew them together 5/8″ (1.5 cm) from the raw edges, into a loop. Finish the raw edges by your preferred method and press either open or to one side.
Set your sewing machine to the longest stitch length.
Sew 3 sets of basting stitches for each panel, seam to seam, 5/8″ from the raw edge along the top edge.
Do not backstitch and ensure that you leave long threads at each end.
For more controlled gathers consider sewing a second line of basting stitches roughly 3/8″ (1cm) from the
Here you can see how each section of basting stitching ends at the seam.
To gather simply hold the tier stationary and pull one of the threads from each panel to gather up the tier.
Gather until the second tier is roughly the same width as the top tier.
Place the first skirt tier with pockets inside the second gathered tier with right sides together and so that the top edge of the second tier is aligned with the bottom edge of the first tier.
Match up the three seams of the second tier with the 3 equal markings you made on the top tier.
Ease your gathers into the first tier, adjusting the gathers using the loose threads to fit and to be evenly spread around the skirt. Pin in place.
Sew the two tiers together 5/8″ (1.5 cm) from the raw edge.
Finish the raw edges using your preferred method and press the seam upwards towards the first tier.
Bonus: Adding a Third Tier
I really wanted a maxi-length Protea dress! There are many ways you can do it – you could simply lengthen the top tier or second tier until its floor length. There are many ways to play with proportion. Or you could add a third tier for some real fullness!
You will still have to play with the length of the three tiers to do this. If you want all three tiers the same length, the first two will have to be shortened. Or you could do what I did – keep the first and second tier as-is, and just add a short third tier. You still use the same skirt panel pattern piece, just shortened.
So for the top tier, you use two skirt panels.
For the second tier, you use three skirt panels.
For the third tier, I used 5 skirt panels. Same skirt panels, same width, just shortened to what I needed for my height.
With right sides together, align the short edges of your 5 skirt panel pieces and sew them together 5/8″ (1.5 cm) from the raw edges, into a veeeeery long loop. Finish the raw edges by your preferred method and press either open or to one side.
Just like with the other tiers (it’s the same steps as above, so I’m abbreviating here with fewer photos), set your sewing machine to the longest stitch length and sew basting stitches for each panel, seam to seam, 5/8″ from the raw edge along the top edge. So 5 sets of basting stitches.
Mark the bottom of your second tier into 5 equal sections.
Gather your third tier to be the same width as the bottom of the second tier. Pin together, right sides together, matching up the 5 seams of the third tier with the 5 marks on the bottom of the second tier, and sew.
Be warned – it’s a lot of fabric, and a lot of gathering, to add a third tier. But it produces the best swishy, full skirt!
LOOKING FOR MORE PROTEA POSTS?
- How to choose between Protea & Protea Curve
- Protea Inspiration & Ideas
- Protea Tester Round Up & Protea Curve Tester Round Up
- Hacks for the Protea Capsule Wardrobe
- Protea Maker Round Up
- Sewalong: Staystitching, Darts & Shoulder Seams
- Sewalong: Neckline Facing
- Sewalong: Side Seams & Sleeves
- Bonus Protea Hack: Sleeveless Protea
- Sewalong: Dress Drawstring Channel
- Sewalong: Pockets & Skirt
- Sewalong: Tiered Skirt (this post!)
- Sewalong: Attaching the Skirt to the Bodice
- Sewalong: Dress Drawstring
- Sewalong: Skirt Waistband
- Sewalong: Hem
- Bonus Protea Hack: Elastic Puff Sleeves