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Draft and Sew an Ombré Scalloped Skirt

Put an ombré spin on a gored pattern
Threads #217, Spring 2022
Draft and sew radiating scallops to create a charming ombré effect on a gored skirt. Pattern: Sew Chic #LN1000 Starter Skirt, view B, 12 gores. Fabric: lightweight cottons, the author’s stash.

Ombré is the term to describe the transition of a single hue from light to dark. The results can be stunning while adding exciting perspective to color. This project simulates an ombré effect with five strategically chosen solid colors on a gored skirt. You’ll redraft the gore panel pattern into five graduated “scoops.” When the panels are sewn together, the skirt features scallops to enhance the color gradient effect. The patternwork is easy, plus I’ll share tips for sewing the curved seams joining one color to the next within each gore panel.

Pattern choice

To create this look, start with a pattern that has identical gores, based on one symmetrical pattern piece. The more gore panels included in the finished skirt, the better to show off the scallops to advantage. The Sew Chic #LN1000 Starter Skirt Pattern has 8-gore or 12-gore options with one panel for each size and view, which makes this pattern an ideal starting point.

Fabric selection

Planning the colors is the key to achieving an ombré look. Gradating hues in a spectrum are easy to find, but I’ve found the middle color can be tricky, as it must bridge the gap between dark and light hues and set the sequence.

Colors that might seem “off” frequently look better together than you might imagine, so experiment with swatches first, if possible. In general, a distinct difference is better than not enough difference. It may be helpful to coordinate colors between manufacturers, but be aware that fabric weight and quality may vary.

Whether shopping online or in person, collect images or take photographs of your fabric options, and arrange them before finalizing the color lineup. The color progression can be reversed, but the darker color at the waist moving to a lighter and brighter hue…

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