Friday, June 22, 2007

A-line skirt pattern tips

A few friends had asked for my A-line skirt pattern/directions and so I thought I'd post on my blog (rather than sending out several e-mails) how I make my skirt, so other's may benefit as well! Please note that this will fit roughly someone who would wear a ladies size 12, so if you are a different size, you will want to add/decrease from these measurements.

My main skirt pattern (I don't have a pattern, actually. I just cut as I go.) is 11-1/2" at the top on the fold and the bottom of the skirt is 17" on the fold. I obviously cut out two of these for a front and back skirt. Since it is a A-line/flared skirt, there is some curve up at the top and bottom. The below picture is a rather bad example of this (poor photo angle) but it gives you an idea of how it looks like:

As far as length, just make it how ever long you want it. On this particular skirt, I'll be putting in 5 one-eighth tucks in the skirt (1-1/2" above the edge of the main skirt along with a 5" flounce for the hem, and so I already figured out the math for this.

Here is my waist bands (I cut two of them out) at 23" long and 3-1/2" tall (1-1/4" finished in the front). These are for an elastic waist, but if you wanted to put darts in the front, make the front band shorter:
I won't go through the detail's of putting the skirt together, as I assume alot of my readers know how to sew.
As far as other detail's for the skirt that I mentioned such as tucks and ruffles, the possibilities are endless to spruce up a basic skirt pattern.
In the entry I posted earlier, that had 3 one-fourth inch tucks in it. The tucks/pin-stripes are easy to put in. All you do is make a "big hem" of how many inches you want, sew it, and then iron the tuck towards the hem.
And the ruffle: I must confess my selfishness in not wanting to give out my secrets as to what I do (it's fun to have something of my own...!) but I know that isn't Christ-like, so here is what I do....
It is basically a circular flounce that has no gathers. (If it's easy and I can save time, I like it!) You cut it out in a semi-circle and MUST make sure that the inside circle will match the hem of your skirt. So if the hem of my skirt, on a fold, is 17" then the inside of my circle must 17."
Here is a picture of the inside of my semi-circle cut out to 17." From here, you can determine the length of your flounce. If you want something smaller like this, I cut my ruffle out to 3", so once it's sewn on a 5/8" seam, you have a flounce a little over 2." If you like something bigger in my previous post, and like what I'm cutting this one out to be, cut the ruffle out to 5-5/8." Here I am marking the fabric, taking the measuring tape as I go along to get it right:

This is what it looks like cut out. Since both sides are on a fold, you'll need to cut one of them for your side seam. So you will need a total of 2 of these for the front and back skirt.

And that is it!
As far as yardage, for a 5" or larger flounce you'll need around 3 yards or so. For a smaller flounce, 2-1/2 yards should do.
For fabrics, I have found that I really like linens for the the flounces. They seem to drape really well. This one is a slate blue linen, and in the previous post the skirt was made out of navy linen. However I have done skirts with flounces out of cottons and polyesters, and they all turn out great.
Have fun making skirts, and if you do make skirts like this, would you mind sharing pictures with me? I'd love to see them and other might be inspired too if I were to post them on my blog (hint, hint)! And I guess I'm off to the sewing room to finish up a nightgown (from a 60's pattern with lots of alterations) and start on a new dress and headband (I found this cute pattern here) for Molly before we take our vacation this weekend.


Andrea said...

Thanks for taking the time to do that, Cheri!! I'll look forward to making that sometime, as soon as I get fabric, that is! :-)

Rachel said...

Thanks very much! I was excited to see this post. :) I got some nice black linen-look fabric and I'm looking forward to sewing it into a skirt...

Cheri said...

Figured you'd be excited! =P =)

Can you can me soon, Rachel? I have a rather urgent question for you!

Cheri said...

Ooops, CALL me soon. =)