How I Construct my Gamurre Skirts

Over the years I have tweaked something each time I’ve made a gamurra, but one thing that hasn’t changed is my basic skirt construction.

We don’t have archaeological examples to go by so I follow what looks right, archaeological evidence from other times/eras and thinking about what would have worked for their fabric widths and ‘wast not want not’.

I tend to use this with wide fabric, as I don’t bother cutting my fabric narrower, but it works for narrower, you just need more panels.

Firstly I think about if I want single or double pleats. Then I look at how many ‘drops’ I have for my skirt. Then I work out ‘Z’. Z is the measurement of my bodice waist, multiplied by 3 (or 5 for double pleats) divided by twice as many ‘drops’ as I have for the skirt. I then cut each skirt drop as per the below diagram.

skirt pattern

It is important that ‘Z’ is smaller than the side market ‘hem’. If it is not then the skirt won’t flow. I had this problem only once and my solution was to switch from double pleats to single pleats.

You may notice I don’t add any seam allowance. I include hemming allowance in working how long to cut each drop (120cm for me) but when I hem the top of the skirt (the side at the bodice edge) it makes the length of this edge longer and it all just works out.

I cut my panels into the trapezoid shape, I usually use string and a ruller as a guide.

I then sew them straight edge to slanted


I mark the hem with string and pins (I pin straight into the carpet to anchor my pins).

Picture 22.jpg

I then cut the hem straight. Sometimes I cut by eye without marking first. The skirt is now ready to hem.


You will notice I don’t allow my skirts to hang. Using the selvage edge on every seam, even though it’s just one edge per seam, I think helps. It means I can hem my own dresses and have a look at the below image—my hem is very even.


Click here to go back to the finished gamurre page.


5 thoughts on “How I Construct my Gamurre Skirts

  1. Pingback: Gamurre | Cathelina di Alessandri

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  4. Pingback: To Make a Yellow Gamurra | Cathelina di Alessandri

  5. Pingback: Gamurra construction notes | 15th Century Sewing

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