Learn to Make an 8 Gore Skirt with Rhonda Buss!

We are happy to host Rhonda Buss as a guest blogger! She has put together a fabulous eight gore skirt tutorial that is sure to complement any wardrobe. Be sure to pop over to Rhonda’s Creative Life to see what else she is up to these days.

The 8 Gore Skirt

Picture 5 225x300 Learn to Make an 8 Gore Skirt with Rhonda Buss!

A few examples of the 8-gore skirt. This grey skirt is made from a knit fabric. The seams were serged with wrong sides together. Rather than drawing a straight line for the hem, angles were drawn in and serged rather than hemmed. Easy!

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This cow print skirt has pockets and a raised waistline. You can find the instructions for this skirt by visiting Rhonda’s Creative Life.

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This black skirt was made from suede. Every other seam has lace applied and the seams were cut out from behind, which allows the wearer to wear bright slips underneath. You can read more about this skirt here.



As you can see, the 8-gore skirt is a wonderful skirt to have in your wardrobe. It’s easy to wear and always stylish. The best part of the skirt is how easy it is to draft; only 3 measurements are needed.

1. Waist Circumference

2. Hip Circumference

3. Desired Length

You will need to add 2″ to your waist measurement as well as your hip measurement for ease, otherwise the skirt will be skin tight! As an example, if your waist measurement is 30″ and your hip measurement is 46″, add 2″ to each of these measurements and the results will be 32″ and 48″. Now divide both the waist and hip measurement by 8. We are dividing by 8 as we will have 8 panels in our skirt.

Waist: 32 divided by 8 = 4

Hip:  48 divided by 8 = 6

Picture 1 224x300 Learn to Make an 8 Gore Skirt with Rhonda Buss!

To begin, draw a vertical line on your drafting paper a little longer than the desired length of your skirt. This is a guideline and it will also become the grainline. Draw a horizontal line at the top of your guideline. This will be the waistline. Measure down 9″ from the waistline and draw another horizontal line. This will be the hip line.

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Divide the previous waist and hip measurements by 2. In the example, the divided waist measurement was 4″ and the divided hip measurement was 6″. The new divided measurements will be 2″ and 3″. On either side of the guideline, make a mark at 2″ on the waistline and 3″ on the hip line. Connect those marks with a straight line.

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Measure down from the waistline the desired length of the skirt and draw in another horizontal line. Because our bodies are not perfectly straight or flat, we need to compensate for the roundness of the body. Find the mid point on the waistline between the guideline and the seamline and mark. Do the same at the hem line. At the waistline, measure up 1/8″ from the midpoint to the seamline, at the hem line, measure up 1/4″; mark. The final pattern. Since this is an 8-gore skirt, you will need to cut 8 panels to make the skirt. Remember to add 1/2″ to 5/8″seam allowances to your pattern or your skirt will not fit!

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The final pattern.

If you would like a 6-gore skirt, follow the instructions and divide by 6 rather than 8. If you are making this skirt out of a woven fabric, you will need to insert a zipper into the side seam. If you are making the skirt out of a knit, add an elastic waistband and call it a day!

Picture 8 223x300 Learn to Make an 8 Gore Skirt with Rhonda Buss!

Rhonda Buss is a pilot, writer and sewist extraordinaire! You can read about her creative life on her blog, Rhonda’s Creative Life.

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12 Responses to Learn to Make an 8 Gore Skirt with Rhonda Buss!

  1. Cennetta says:

    Thank you, Rhonda. You make pattern drafting so easy.

  2. Jenny Ebner says:

    Love it. And Congratulations on being a guest at Sew News. Awesome.

  3. Vicki says:

    Hi Rhonda! Great skirt.

  4. Rhonda Buss says:

    Thank you everybody for stopping by and your wonderful support!!!

  5. Rhonda, you make difficult projects so easy. Thanks.

  6. Pingback: Casting Call Contestant Profile: Rhonda Buss | Sew News


    You have made my drafting 8 gore skirt.Easy

  8. Olive says:

    Having read this I believed it was extremely enlightening.
    I appreciate you finding the time and effort to puut this short article together.
    I once again find myself personally spending way too
    much time both reading and posting comments.
    But so what, it was still worthwhile!

  9. Bridgette Busby says:

    Thanks this is great.

  10. Jay says:

    Very clear instructions. Will I need to make a curved waistband to match contours of waistline? If so, how?

  11. Min says:

    This is a nice tutorial :) But I have a question, if I were to make a princess dress (like Cinderella’s dress or Ariel’s) how do I know how many gores to use?
    And how do I make the skirt nice and big?

  12. Jill says:

    Generally, the more gores the bigger, swingy skirt you’ll have. Are you working with a pattern?

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