Saturday, June 04, 2011

The A-Line Skirt

circles skirt collage

For 8 years now I have had a love affair with the a-line skirt. A-line skirts flatter every body and can be made in as little as 1 hour and only require around 1 yard of 60” wide fabric. I don’t think I own a single store-bought skirt anymore. (Well, that’s not true. I can think of two store-bought skirts I own.) For years I have been using McCall’s 3341. And as you can see, it’s time to trace it onto some muslin as the pattern is literally falling apart at the darts.

circles skirt (9)

The only adjustment I make is lengthening the pattern to fit my 5 foot 10 inch frame. You can see above where I slashed the pattern and added 2” inches of length. I am a size 10 but in patterns that means a 14 which is never great for a woman’s self-esteem to have to make a skirt 2 sizes larger than she really is. What would it be like to be petite and cute and not a large amazon woman? I’ve never known. I do like being tall but in terms of sewing, it’s not so fun. I always have to buy more fabric than the pattern specifies so that I can lengthen the skirt.

Actually, one other adjustment I make is that I eliminate the back centere seam as I prefer to have a side zipper instead of a centered back one. Unless I am adding a slit, which I never do with this pattern as I only ever make the knee length version.

And I hate the facings used 99% of the time with patterns. So I usually use 2-inch binding cut on the cross grain (not bias) of the fabric to finish the waist. I will bind any edge on skirts, blouses, t-shirts, and quilts. Binding is sooo fun and lovely looking. (Cutting your binding 2" inches yields a 1/2” binding.) Tutorial for bias binding on Children’s Corner website, click here.

circles skirt (6)

And here you can see how lazy I was and used a cream-colored zipper instead of a gray one since I had no gray invisible zips on hand. But since it is invisible no one will see it, right?

circles skirt (7)

I used these luscious linens from I used the 8oz softened gray and a purple linen for the trim. The circles are from my new embroidery designs simply called “Scribbled Circles”.

circles skirt (15)

And to finish it off I used stitch number 418 on the Bernina 830 to sew the hem. I think I found a new favorite decorative stitch.  It’s not too frilly, ya know? It just adds a shot of the lovely burnt orange color.

circles skirt (5)

circles skirt (3)

circles skirt (12)

Don’t I look goofy happy in my new $10 skirt all ready for church?

circles skirt (19) copy


susanandrews1954 said...

Just discovered you, and I love our designs. I love embellished clothes, but not traditional designs. Yours are perfect!

Michele said...

I use that same pattern! I hate facings too. I line the skirt so that I don't have to hunt down a slip.

Candy said...

1. you look amazing!
2. you are so talented! I need to branch out more and use patterns. I thought I was doing good because I used a pattern to make Sayla's easter dress......better step it up. :)

Stephanie said...

Just found your blog today: love your grey and purple skirt. The copper stitching is a genius touch.

I use quilt-binding technique to finish the waist of all my skirts, too. It's quick, easy, and comfortable. Facings are such a pain, and never lay flat for me the way they are supposed to.

Sewplicity said...

So very lovely...I'm not one for sewing clothing for myself - The few pieces I've tried have turned out to be flops - they never fit right - but this looks so easy....perhaps I shall add it to my to-do list! Thanks for the post!

Mary said...

This post and your cute outfit almost make me want to take up sewing again. Of course, the bill to repair my machine quickly shoots that idea down. I do love reading about and seeing your talent. I would be too scared to sew anything with nice fabric for fear of ruining it, but it's fun to see someone else tackle that.

On the subject of being tall, I agree that height is nice. A friend who I usually see at seated meetings came right up behind me at the library, and her 6-ft-plus frame towered over me. I admit to feeling a little intimidated. I wonder if we taller ladies frequently have that effect on others? You've got me thinking though, the option of sewing my own clothes to control the length is appealing. Maybe I'll have to suck it up and pay for the repair.

Cathy said...

You can fuse your pattern on to interfacing or use that true grid and draw your pattern on to that - I will have to see if that pattern is still current -


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