Saturday, September 10, 2011

Skirtember

I love skirts,and dresses. I only own one pair of jeans and a pair of running trousers, so wear skirts and dresses most days. I find them so much more practical than jeans...no soggy hems after school runs in the rain for one thing.
So when I heard about Skirtember I knew I was going to have to join in,(though not on facebook, my piccies are on flickr) and so far I've had fun. I do wear skirts every day, but it's nice to think a little bit more about what I'm going to wear each day and maybe even to push myself out of my comfort zone a little too. I've realised I wear an awful lot of plain black v neck t shirts with my skirts and I think I need to consider some alternatives.
I've also realised I probably need to accessorize a bit more than I currently do.
Mostly though, this little bit of frivolous fun with clothes is a nice break for my tired brain, and it's good for me too I'm sure.

To celebrate Skirtember, and to enable a few of you reading I thought I'd share my favourite way of drafting a simple A line skirt. Skirts are so easy to make, and once you've tried this simple method for drafting your own A line skirt, it's so easy to adjust your pattern to make other skirts, maybe a wrap, maybe a pleated skirt, or maybe just experiment with fabrics and applique and trims.



I would say these instructions are probably suitable for someone who has a little sewing experience, but if you get stuck mail me, and I'll try my best to help you out.
I should point out that this method is not exactly the "correct" method, but it works well for me, and rules are there to be broken anyway!


Making The Pattern

Materials Needed:
Dressmakers graph paper
Tracing paper
HB pencil
Ruler
Tape measure
French curve or flexible curve (optional)

Take your measurements:
a) skirt length, length you want your skirt to be
b) waist measurement .
c) hip measurement
d) waist to hip , distance vertically between waist measurement and hip measurement.

I round up any measurements just to be sure the skirt will fit, I'd rather have a skirt that's too big and needs taking in, than a skirt that's too small.

Drawing the pattern:
Using a sharp pencil and ruler transfer your measurements onto the graph paper as follows:
a skirt length
b waist measurement plus 4 cms ease, and then divided by 4 (eg: 84cm waist will become 88cm,divided becomes 22cm)
c hip plus 4cms ease divided by 4
d waist to hip

 skirt diagrams


Join all measurements together.

Using your french curve/flexible ruler, or just by eye curve up the hem as shown on the diagram (e)

Again using your curve or by eye curve down the waist, (f) this is your back cutting line. Mark a further
curve approx 2.5 cms below this (g), this is your front waist cutting line.

At this point trace the pattern piece into two, (one front piece and one back piece.)
Don't forget this pattern piece does not at this point include any seam or hem allowances. You can either
add these on now, or at the cutting stage.
(1.5 cm seam allowance , 2.5cm hem allowance )

You should now have two pattern pieces that look something like this:

a line skirt

NB Before cutting into your best piece of fabric to make your skirt, try out your pattern with some fabric you are not in love with. Even an old bedsheet will work, just in case you need to add a few cms here and there.

Making The Skirt

Materials Needed:

Approx 2 metres of your chosen fabric (for an average size 10-12)
Matching sewing thread
invisible skirt zip
bias binding
hook and eye

Cutting Out :

Press your fabric with selvedges together, and place your pattern pieces with the centre front/centre back on the fold.
Pin in place, and cut out carefully.(remember if you haven't already add your seam allowances.)

You should now have two pieces, one front and one back.

Making Up:

Neaten the raw seams of each side of the skirt pieces using your preferred method.



Insert the invisible zip in the left hand side seam . This you tube video explains very clearly how to do this. (and saves me the bother!)



Work the side seams



Press.

With the skirt inside out, try it on and work out where you need to add darts. Two at the front, and two at the back. You may need to get a friend to help you with this bit.You may have measured so accurately that you find you don't need darts, or perhaps just at the back of the skirt. Don't worry if this is the case, your skirt will be finished all the sooner!







Once happy with the position of the darts, work those and press to the centre.



With right sides together sew the bias binding to the waist edge, and press, tucking in the raw edges at either end.






Stitch binding in place.
Press



Add hook and eye fastening.

Work hem. Press

Your skirt is now complete, but why not add some detail? Maybe a patch pocket, applique or trim. Use your imagination and have fun!

15 comments:

  1. Jeanette you are wonderful! I recently bought some Amy Butler fabric with a view to making a blind but I can really see it as a skirt...I'd been pondering how to go about it so this is just great. I will give it a go next weekend x

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  2. Your skirt is so cute! I keep trying to teach myself how to sew, and how to use a sewing machine, but it's not going so well. (sew well?)

    Anyway--I need to practice. Thanks for the post and the inspiration :)

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  3. This is so tempting, I'd love to make myself one, if I see some pretty material I will take it as a sign that I'm meant to :)

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  4. Love the fabric and tutorial! I love skirts and dresses too...though everyone out here in rural america wears jeans. But I'm stickin wih my style! You've been a big encouragement. Can't wait to see what else you come up with :)

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  5. I love your skirts. However I'm an 100% trousers woman. Can't be doing with the draughts!!! :P

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  6. Fabulous - thank you...I MUST find time to make this.
    I love skirts but rarely if ever wear them as I hate shopping for clothes so stick with black trousers or jeans...BORING

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  7. Hi Jeanette, I didn't know you were doing skirtember - I would have loved seeing your photos everday. Mines are amateur in comparison. I agree it is making me rethink my black tshirt/patterend skirt combo.
    Cheers for tutorial
    Clare

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  8. Going to have a go at this Jeanette, your tutorial makes it look doable. I'm a jeans/trouser wearer but would love to wear skirts and dresses more often, the problem is finding any that suit me.Going to scour the charity shops this week for some and some footwear to go with them.
    Have to say I've been looking at your skirtember photos and you make skirtwearing an artform.
    :-)

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  9. This looks very do-able. I don't wear skirts any more and I don't know why. It is so hard to find ones I like. Maybe this is the answer! Very envious of your overlocker though!

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  10. Love Skirtember! That is beautiful.

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  11. As a result of you looking so fab and groovy, I've been inspired to buy some fabric for an a-line skirt! I was gobsmacked at the price of material though!!

    Where do you by your fabric? Thanks for the you tube link, it is very hopeful... will let you know how i get on!

    Hugs San xx

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  12. This is gorgeous!!! I definitely am going to try this! :) I just have to find the perfect fabric first lol

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  13. Hi Jeanette, thank you so much for posting this tutorial I cant wait to give it a go. Just one question though, how do I work out how wide to make the skirt at the bottom at the hem ?
    Thanks

    Kerry

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  14. Kerry when you initially draw out your pattern draw a line horizontally from the bottom of the length measurement, then using a long ruler join the end of your waist measurement diagoonally down to tht line.
    This is your original width, but it's up to you if you move that in a bit or not, which is simply a case of trying on and seeing which looks best on you.
    I hope thatmakes sense.
    x

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  15. Hi Jeanette,
    Is size 10-12 US size? I live in Australia and I purchased a fabric 1.5 M which I thought should be enough to make a skirt. I am new to sewing hence need your advice.
    Your skirt is lovely, I hope I too can sew something like this !!!

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