Drafting and making a well-fitted A line skirt is so easy that if I hereby manage to make it sound complicated, do email me with your preferred choice of how you’d like me to die and I’ll do the decent thing….
The fabric: Michael Miller “Groovy Guitar”. Can you spot the graphics mismatch in the Centre Back Zip and Seam? What if you look really closely?
If anyone tries this in real life, I might just turn and give them a slap
You will need
a) some big paper, e.g. newspaper or wrapping
b) 1m approx of muslin
c) Your Basic Skirt Block
If you haven’t a BSB, follow Steps 1 and 2 of my tutorial to create a Back and a Front .
Step 1 Draw a Line
On the BSB, draw a line from the point of each Dart to the Hem. The line should be parallel to the Centre Back and Centre Front and at a right angle to the Hem.
Step 2 Slash ‘n’ Spread
Cut along the line then cut out the Dart. Close Dart. Do the same for Skirt Front.
Step 3 Complete the Pattern
a) Pin or stick to paper and trace around. Ensure that the point D (where the Skirt Side meets the Hem) is a right angle. Fill in the gap in the Hem. Drop the Centre Waist by 1.5cm and join to the Side Waist in a smooth curve.
b) Add instructions: Cut on fold for the Skirt Front, Cut 2 for the Back.
c) Add seam allowances. Mine are 1.5cm all around because I’m hemming with bias tape (tutorial below). If you want a normal hem, 2.5cm is a good typical allowance.
Making a Muslin
Do if you can. There are no darts so it’s super quick: mine took 10 minutes to cut and sew and I discovered that the back fit perfectly but the front could be narrowed by 2cm which was easy and made a big difference to the final fit.
Make the Facing
I haven’t made a separate pattern for the facing. Follow this shortcut instead:
a) Pin the pattern to your facing fabric (on fold for Skirt Front). Cut along the top and the sides for about 10cm.
b) Using a sewing gauge or a ruler, measure to the depth of 8cm from the Waist and cut. Do the same to cut the interfacing (if using).
3. Apply interfacing to facing pieces, sew the side seams then edge finish the lower edge (press under 1cm then zigzag).
Making up the A-Line Skirt
Sew the Sides, the invisible Zip (mine was 8″ but 9″/23cm is better) and Centre Back seam. Finish edges: I like to press the seam allowance under and zigzag.
Add facing. If you’re not sure how to sew the facing to the zip and waistline, follow the instructions in Step 4 of attaching the lining to Julie’s Dress.
Then understitch the facing to the seam allowance. You may topstitch if you prefer. Handstitch the lining to the zip tape.
Which just leaves the Hem.
Since the Hem seam allowance is wider than the seam, hemming an A-Line can be a pain. But you can get round it by:
a) Sewing gathering stitches half-way down the seam allowance and easing. Recommended for jersey fabrics.
b) Making folds in the seam allowance.
c) Hemming with bias binding.
Hemming with Bias Tape Tutorial
For my width of skirt, I’ve used 1.3m of bias made from a 5cm-wide strip folded to a finished width of 2.5cm.
Step 1 With right sides together, unfold bias tape and pin edge to edge to the hem, starting with 1cm of tape folded back. Sew to the hem using the bias fold as your seam mark.
Step 2 Overlap the fold from the other side
Step 3 Trim seam and turn skirt wrong side out. Roll the outside edge inward so that the fashion fabric shows slightly over the bias tape. Pin and press.
Step 4 Stitch, enclosing the top fold of the bias tape.
Looks better worn with the top untucked, I think, and perfect for a Saturday afternoon. Which is what it took to make….