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Conversational Threads

Circle versus Gored Skirts

Cherrypops | Posted in Gather For A Chat on

Do you prefer Circle Skirts of Gored Skirts?

How many gores in your skirt?

What do you wear now?

What did you wear growing up?

What is your favourite skirt pattern?

Do you draft your own skirt pattern?

Do your skirts have elastic waists or waistbands?

Curiously Cp



  1. katina | | #1

    Cp, you always ask such interesting questions. I'll try to answer, in order:

    I like both, but fabric choice determines which style; softer, lighter fabrics are better (for me) in a circle skirt

    Number of gores depends on width of the gore, but usually 6

    What I wear now? anything that fits!

    Growing up? Mostly in school uniform; then as student, the very latest styles

    a 4-piece A-line skirt


    Both; in last few years I'm liking elasticised back waistband, smooth front band

    I still have the pattern for the first skirt I made. It was a two-piece shirtwaister - really difficult, I realise now. I made the 3/4 sleeve shirt/blouse and did all the embroidery also. Got on the bus, went to town, found the pattern and the fabric and went straight home to cut it out. I was so ignorant and yet, with my minimal knowledge, and the household scissors (!) I did a lot. I think I have less confidence now in spite of all my fabulous equipment.

    Sorry to ramble on so.


  2. moira | | #2

    Whatever I wore in the past, I've recently bought a black skirt that has twenty two gores, and is the most gorgeous skirt to wear as well as being flattering to my middle aged figure. I've been considering adapting a pattern to make myself another. The cutting would have to be very precise. In the bought one, the lining gives the skirt firmness and keeps its shape; the flare at the hem gives a lovely sense of weight and it swishes when I walk!

  3. User avater
    ThreadKoe | | #3

    Hi Cherrypops, What got you thinking about this?
    I love the swish of a full circle skirt in a flowing fabric, and I make them without a pattern.
    I prefer a 4 gore skirt, because I have an ancient pattern that I have fitted to a T. Original now long lost. And the lines are more flattering.
    I prefer an A line for the same reasons.
    In my teens, and early 20's I wore my mother's and grandmothers pleated wool skirts(2 handmade, 2 purchased) from the 50's. There were 4 I could wear, 2 were always too small.:( I still have them.
    Skirts have to have a waistband. Elastic just does not work with my thick waist. I have a couple for the summer, broomstick skirts, but do not wear them as often.
    Just purchased a few new ones to try with different shaped hems, gotta look up the numbers, will get back on that.
    Given the choice, I prefer to wear a skirt over pants. More comfortable. Always been that way. Cathy

  4. User avater
    Becky-book | | #4

    Some very good questions here!!I have several "favorite" skirts! My favorite circle, my favorite 6 gore, my favorite 'broomstick' (gathered layers), but no favorite straight skirt!my circle skirt is not a complete circle, front is 1/4 circle, back the same. One side seam is on the cross grain, the other side seam is on the lengthwise grain and the center is on the bias. (made that one up myself!)This skirt does have my most favorite waist, just a little elastic inside the waistband so it does not need a zipper.Growing up... which decade?... I wore what ever my mom and grandmom made for me, no complaints allowed. High school in the 60's; bluejeans were finally allowed in school so everyone wore them (even me, sometimes!)Becky

    1. User avater
      Thimblefingers | | #5

      I love the look of the full skirts.  Alas, I am 5 feet tall, and even though I am slim, if I am not careful, a full skirt can make me look positively chumpy and sloppy.  However, I have one favourite skirt pattern that I have had for years (1986) and used many times, although I rarely ever do a pattern more than once (so many styles - so little time!).  My 3 favourite versions were the first out of a heavy black wool, just below the knee; a mid-calf one of a beautiful poly knit with snakeskin print "laminated" to it with awesome drape and looks like the real thing; and my latest version which was my wedding dress out of blue silk jaquard, floor-length with a centre back godet added with a train and the side seams and CB ruched a bit just above hip level. (I posted a picture sometime last fall on this site somewhere.)  The reasons I love this pattern:

      1.  the skirt is fitted from the waist down to above the fullest part of the hip.  This takes away the frumpy chumpy look because it keeps the slim line going down below the waist and doesn't cut me off at the waist.

      2.  it starts flaring out above the fullest part of the hips which disguises the "thunder thighs" under the lovely drape, enhancing the illusion of slimness from the waist down.

      3.  it has this lovely drape and fullness that is not excessive but moves beautifully when you walk.  It "works" in every fabric I have made it from whether heavy wool or filmy sheer.

      4.  I have made it in several lengths from just below knee to floor and it looks "right" in every one of them.

      5.  every skirt I have made from this pattern has garnered numerous compliments - how can you beat that?

      I am attaching a scan of the pattern - View E is the one I use.  The drawing doesn't nearly do it justice!  The fit and flare are exquisite!

      Circle or gored?  Circle skirts are fun but I pick gored over circle because I can fit the waist and hips then have the fullnes flow out from the hips,  so I can have my fullness and the slimness, too.  Also, the  vertical seams in the gored skirts help to elongate my short little body.


      1. damascusannie | | #6

        What a great pattern, I liked them all! What really appeals is that most of them lie smoothly over the hips, to minimize that, but then, like you say flare out to hide the dreaded thunder thighs. I'm going to have to see if I can find one of these! Thanks for sharing.

      2. sewelegant | | #7

        That is a wonderful pattern.  Unfortunately it is not in my stash.  I just read something the other day about being able to order any pattern the company made for a short time - coming soon and I can't remember where I saw that!  Did anyone else read that?  I vaguely think it was Butterick.  It would have to have been in the ASG newsletter or even the local one or the Threads magazine because those are the only sewing publications I have read recently.

        1. migrit | | #23

          Did you ever find where we can order out-of-print patterns?  That Vogue looks like a great pattern - I like all of the views!

  5. Teaf5 | | #8

    Gored rather than circle skirts, which make me look like a patio table.

    Sometimes just three gores in the front or back.

    A-lines, gored, or long, lightweight gathered.

    Mostly pleated or A-line until mini's came in; then straighter and longer as I aged.

    Most of my skirt patterns are very similar, so no particular favorites.

    I have drafted skirts for special costumes or occasions.

    Depending on the fabric, some have waistbands, some faced waists, some are gathered, and some have flat front/gathered back waistbands.


    1. sewfar | | #9

      I have found that more and more of my skirts have the waistband technique described by Connie Long in this month's issue of Threads. My mother is French and I remember that almost all of her skirts and her sister's were finished in this manner. I was a teen with an actual waist when I visited them and I thought surely I would always have a waist and forever wear my tops tucked in to show it off and I would never wear that. Well that was the day and this has been the finish for me for a few decades. Works on gored, straight and slacks and I can breathe on a daily basis as my waist ebbs and flows away. And as the author she says they are truly No Nonsense and flexible.
      I prefer 6 gore skirts or a straight skirt just under my knee

  6. DONNAKAYE | | #10

    What pattern do you have that has 20 gores?

    1. Cherrypops | | #11

      Donna, I had wondered about a pattern for a 20 gore skirt after reading post 3 above by Moira who purchased one RTW with 22. I don't own such a pattern, one would have to draft their own....?

      Edited 7/27/2008 7:17 pm by Cherrypops

      1. starzoe | | #12

        A word to slip in here, about gored skirts. I have a pattern that has 12 gores, it is called The Travel Skirt, "this unique travel skirt pleats up neatly onto its own self belt. It easily rolls up for packing". It is a privately printed pattern, 1997, don't know if it is currently available but I have the contact name if anyone is interested.

        1. Cherrypops | | #13

          Starzoe, you are great!, I've been trying to think of the name of that one all day. I knew it had someting to do with Travel...but i didn't make the connection. I have seen the pattern online ages ago.

          Please post the name and if possible website for the pattern..since you have it.



          1. GailAnn | | #15

            I think it is available in the U.S.A. from Clotilde, a sewing notions catalogue.  Gail

        2. katina | | #14

          Yes, PLEASE post the info.


  7. GailAnn | | #16

    Love gored skirts, until recently 8 - 10 gores have been my favorite. 

    Sooooo happy to see ladies wearing skirts on the street again! 

    Tired and bored with jeans and slacks.

    As a child, in the 50's and 60's I lived in Michigan, where the Winters are very cold and snowy and Summer lasts barely 9 weeks.  I went to public school.  I wore jumpers, skirts and matching sweaters (my favorite), dresses, skirts and blouses, and during our Junior and Senior years in high-school, suits on Fridays.  We were allowed to wear 'tights' under our dresses, but NO PANTS on girls, not on the school grounds, or at any school sponsored activity. 

    Seems like Mars, doesn't it?  Gail

    Edited 7/28/2008 11:25 am ET by GailAnn

    1. MarshaK | | #17

      The Travel Skirt is designed by Kathryn Brenne, I believe her website may be http://www.finesewing.com


      1. starzoe | | #18

        Yes, you are right, that is the skirt. I did make the skirt but had to completely re-design the shape of the gores which was a pain. The largest size is for a 46.5" hip and a 32.5" waist. The hip meas. was fine but I needed a lot more than 32.5" at the waistline. I think the fabric I used, a lightweight linen, was too light and the skirt did not accordian itself as it should have.However, the idea has merit, but I think it would look best on someone whose measurements closely match the sizing information. I gave the skirt away to an appreciative relative and designed a five-gore skirt for myself which allows a refined fit. Since then (and it has been almost a decade) I have sewn many 5-gored skirts from the same pattern and they invariably fit without fussing so take little time to sew.I must say it is neat to be in contact with people with like interests. I never expected to find out that someone else knew about this travel skirt, and the same thing happened when I was telling everyone of my knitting friends about a great hoodie pattern I had found on the internet, the Central Park Hoodie, only to find that almost everyone had already found it. Good news travels....fast.

        Edited 7/28/2008 1:04 pm ET by starzoe

      2. Cherrypops | | #21

        Thank you all for adding your comments. Once again the answers have been varied which is great!


        MarshaK;  Thank you for posting the website link for "The Travel Skirt".


    2. sewingkmulkey | | #19

      You took me down memory lane as I, too, grew up in the 50's and 60's wearing pleated and A-line skirts with matching sweaters and blouses with peter pan collars. Villager was the popular brand but it was expensive. I'd save up my babysitting money and buy a sweater then find wool fabric to sew the matching skirt. The only time I remember wearing slacks (not jeans) at school was at a Saturday play rehearsal.At this stage of my life I enjoy skirts with 6 gores that are somewhat fitted through the tummy area. I don't need the extra bulk added by circle skirts in that section of my body.Karen

      1. GailAnn | | #20

        Ah, yes, the "Good old days"..................Still, even today, I think the ladylike look of skirt and matching sweater, with a pretty blouse, is appropriate for many, if not most, occasions.  O.K., maybe not your daughter's wedding, or your grandchild's baptism, but almost everything else I really do in my life.  Gail

  8. User avater
    maer | | #22

    Do you prefer Circle Skirts of Gored Skirts? - goredHow many gores in your skirt? - eight or tenWhat do you wear now? - various types, and they are all longWhat did you wear growing up? - I don't rememberWhat is your favourite skirt pattern? - my own, followed by Butterick 5047Do you draft your own skirt pattern? - yesDo your skirts have elastic waists or waistbands? - elastic waists

  9. Sewfeline | | #24

    I like both types.

    Usually 6 gores.

    I have gored skirts right now.

    I don't have a pattern favorite right now.

    I have drafted my own patterns.

    I like elastic with sewn on self-tie belts to hide them, otherwise I prefer wide waistbands.

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