Wednesday, 12 June 2013

A-line Skirt

Following on from last weeks jumper post I thought I'd tell you about another foray I've had recently into the world of making my own clothes. On a few occasions Joe has made things for me to wear, including a couple of very pretty dresses. We often keep an eye out for fabric bargains to make use of, and earlier this year we came across this purple velvet at £2.50 a metre and for a bargain like that decided to get a couple of metres for skirt making. It got shelved for a rainy weekend.

The twist in this tale is that I've decided that maybe it's time I made my own skirt, rather than waiting for Joe to do it for me (he's building a table after all). I've used sewing machines before - mostly for patchwork quilting - so making a skirt should be a simple enough process, surely?

To Google! I went hunting for patterns and instead found lots of blogs detailing how to make your own. For an a-line skirt all you need is your waist measurement, your hip measurement, the distance between the two and the length of your skirt. There are plenty of these out there, but I ended up following this one.

Once I'd sorted out the basic pattern I cut out two pieces - front and back - and then also cut out a waistband. For this I used the length of top of the pattern piece, plus 5cm to create overlap for a button as per this design.

After this it was just a case of assembly.

First I sewed the right hand side seam together - simple running stitch and then overlock the edges.

Then I added a couple of darts to the back piece. This was to help the side seams run straight up and down - basically taking into account that my waist measurement from hip to hip is larger across my tummy than it is across my back!

Next I sewed in the invisible zip using this very handy tutorial. I'm really pleased with how well this turned out.

And then finished off the left hand seam. It was suddenly starting to look like a skirt!

 Next I had to attach the waistband. First I folded it in half - wrong sides together, ironed it flat, and then sewed up the ends that weren't going to be attached to the body of the skirt. Then I turned it the right way round and ironed it again.

Then I sewed it to the top of the skirt, wrong sides together.

After ironing this seam so that from the outside the skirt looked finished I tucked in the raw edge along the back of the skirt and sewed along it through all the layers of fabric.

Next I made a button hole and attached a button.

Finally I finished off the hem.

Ta da - one finished skirt. I'm quite chuffed with this as a first attempt. What do you think?


  1. I think it looks pretty good even if it wasn't your first attempt! Are you going to line it?

    Alas, my body shape doesn't lend itself to A-line skirts.

    1. I decided not to line it on this occasion as the material was quite weighty for skirt making to start with (I think it was probably designed for upholstery!).

      I'm still trying to work out what my body shape lends itself to - but tend to find things that are about knee length work well :)

      (If anyone from is reading - what would you recommend for a cello shape? - at least I think I'm a cello shape?!?!)

    2. I like knee-length too. I really don't like the mid-calf thing that's going on at the moment.

      Actually, I'm not sure about A-line skirts. I was thinking of pencil skirts. I'm a vase shape. A cello sounds classy.


We love reading your comments, so feel free to leave lots of them!