A-line

I promised I’d get to a sewing tutorial and well….I’m not sure how long ago I mentioned it here on the blog but I just recently mentioned it on Facebook so that way it would force me to complete it. I started to take series of photos to making 4 different kinds of skirts. I figured I’d start with the easiest of the bunch and then move on to the next one.

Zippers seem to pose some issues for people, but beyond that, I think the A-line skirt is one of the easiest to draft your own pattern so we’re starting there. Get an A-line skirt that fits you. I could give you a bunch of measurements and tell you to get different tools together and draft a pattern from scratch but I think it’s easiest to make a pattern out of something you know fits you.

Go to your closet or go to Goodwill and find one that fits. If you find one without darts it will be easier to make a pattern from. I’m not going to show darts in this. There are times when I want to throw together a skirt in a few minutes and darts is not a part of that process. This is one of the easiest skirts I make myself but you’ll see that i have a couple of different variations that you can work in it.

Here’s my skirt.
A-green

It’s one that I made from $2 of cheap clearance material. I don’t know where my original A-line went. After all this time, i just don’t know. All the A-lines in my closet now are all made by me so we’ll be going with that. Since this type of skirt should be symmetrical it’s smarter to cut your piece out on the fold. So here I folded the skirt and laid the fold against a flat side of my paper then loosely traced around the skirt.
A-patternmaking
You’ll see that I added 3/4 inch for a hem at the bottom and 1/4 inch for side hems.
A-pattern-base
A lot of patterns say 5/8 seam but I use a serger and so I only need about 1/4 seam. You make whatever seam allowance you need to. Cut out your pattern and then using that, recreate the top 4 inches of the pattern.
A-pattern-interfacing
This is for the interfacing and the cloth that needs to go on the inside:
A-batik-intdetail
You can see in this photo, the interfaced piece is already attached to the skirt.

Make sure to mark your patterns – Hem, seam, where the fold is, how many piece of cloth you need, and what item it’s for. Something descriptive so that you will remember. You remember now but if you put this away for 2 years and want to make another one exactly the same, it’s helpful to have notes so you don’t have to guess or start all over.

I put one side of the skirt together and one side of the interfaced inside piece together and then I put that together at the waistline
A-batik-withoutzipper
I’ve left open one full side. It’s because I cheat when I add the zipper. You’ll see that I serged that side to keep the edges from fraying (Did you know that you can use a zigzag stitch if you don’t have a serger?). Here we are with a skirt needing a zipper and closure. Most pro patterns tell you a zipper and a button or a zipper and a hook closure. I will admit to sometimes skipping the secondary closure and just using a zipper. In fact, that’s all that green skirt has.
A-nothing
I’m not going to call you on it if that’s all you use. I often wear my t-shirts outside my skirts so it hides an little bit that may look a little unfinished. If you want it fully finished, the least you need is a hook and eye. Alternative finishes would be a button and loop, or a button and flap, or some kind of a tie. You can see the tie I did on the batik skirt a little lower down.

Here’s how I do the zipper make it easier for myself. It’s my own short cut and it may not come out exactly as you would but it’s my shortcut and I loathe doing it the pro pattern way anymore. Here, I fold in the edges and iron only what I will need for my zipper.
A-zip-iron

I insert my hand dandy ties (velvet ribbon) and the zipper. Pin.
A-zipper-pinning
Never can have too many pins.
A-zipperpinned
You can see how the zipper will be hidden for the most part. It’s not a “hidden zipper”. I’ve never really liked those. Sure they work well if you’re doing fancy schmancy dresses. I have a couple but for a plain skirt, I prefer this type of zipper. You can choose whatever zipper will work for you of course.

I set my sewing machine to sew to one side and go for it.
A-zip-sew

Then I finish the rest of the edge and the hem.
A-zipperdone

Voila!
A-batik

I think these skirts are nice but not entirely warm and I have a ton of cotton. No really….if you have any idea what my yarn and fiber stash is like, the cloth isn’t far behind it if at all behind it. I wanted to use more of it up so I came up with a 2 layered skirt using the same A-line pattern. One piece is shorter (almost too short for my comfort) and one about 8 inches longer. Coordinating fabrics. I used the interfacing guide to cut the interfacing and just ironed that onto the right side of the bottom layer.
A-toplayer
Putting it together is much the same. You just need to remember that your putting wrong sides or right and wrong sides together to make this one work out right.
A-bottomlayer
But when it’s done, it’ll be super cute!
A-layered

I’ll have to see if I can get some modeled shots of these skirts. As the weather warms, I’m wearing these skirts more.

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2 Responses to A-line

  1. random Cindy says:

    I’m loving getting out my summer skirts too. Funny, I’m the opposite about pins, the less the better IMO. And I love me an invisible zipper. Iron, no pins, no need for an extra closure if you don’t want it, and it just disappears. I use them for everything. Unless I actually want to see the zipper. And then I like those old heavy ones with the big brass teeth.

  2. margaret says:

    I like the way you did the zipper. I tend to be too much of a slave to the written directions on sewing or knitting patterns. I am working toward thinking more about what makes sense and not being afraid to try a different way.

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