The girl next door: An A-line skirt tutorial

Happy launch day! If you’ve been following me then you know that this is something that I’ve been building up to for some time. If you’re just catching up, then welcome to my blog! While here you’re going to find tutorials, Etsy and business advice, pattern reviews and free stuff!

Regardless of where you are – I hope that you will enjoy my blog. I’ll be posting at least once a week. With each post you’ll learn a little bit more about me, my style and my Etsy shop.

Feel free to click on the other posts, but if you’re here for the tutorial then let’s get started!

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Supplies:

2 yards of striped fabric

Ruler

Hip curve ruler

Trace paper

Commercial skirt pattern (I use Simplicity 8388)

9-12 inch zipper

Thread

Pencil

Highlighter

Scissors and/or rotary cutter

Drafting your pattern. An A-line skirt is fairly easy to draft. I did not have an A-line commercial pattern to use, but I pattern hacked Simplicity 8388. I used pattern pieces 1 and 2 (the yoke) as the foundation for my skirt. And I also used “Skirt-A-Day Sewing: Create 28 Skirts for a Unique Look Everyday” to help me draft the A-line pattern.

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Measuring yourself. Measure your waist and the largest part of your hip. Your waist is the smallest part of your torso. Your hip is the largest part around your bum. Your hip measurement is usually 7 inches below your waist.

Measuring the flat pattern. Once you have your waist measurement divide it by 4 and measure the top of the waist of the flat pattern.

  • My waist is a 32 divided by 4= 8 inches
  • +1 inch (for seam allowance) = 9 inches

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You will complete the same steps for your hip. Measure 7 inches down from your waist. Take your hip measurement and divide it by 4. Add 1 inch for seam allowance.

Once I identified my size, I highlighted the lines from the original pattern piece. I placed the trace paper on top of the pattern. Using my hip curve and straight ruler I traced the pattern onto the tracing paper. Be sure to identify and label which ones are the back and front pieces.

Now that you traced out your pattern pieces, you will cut them out and it should look like this. Take another piece of tracing paper and retrace the pattern piece -but this time you are going to extend your lines. img_4929

I wanted my skirt to be mini, so I measured my desired length plus 2 inches (for the hem). From the top of the waist I measured down 19 inches and drew a line at the 19 inch mark.

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Then I retraced the pattern piece onto the trace paper with green highlighter and extended the lines to the bottom of the hem. You should have a straight skirt pattern at this point.

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Measure out 1 1/2 inches from the edge of the hem line.

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Using your straight ruler connect the new line to the skirt. Now you should have a 60 degree angle for the edge of your skirt pieces. You will need to do this for both the front and back.

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This is how it should look when you’re done. Cut the pattern piece out.

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Find the middle of your new pattern pieces at the top of the waistline. Draw a line all the way down the middle of your pattern for the front and back pieces. It should look like this.

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Now take your scissors or rotary cutter and cut the line all the way up to the top of the waistline creating a hinge. You don’t want to completely slice the paper in the half.

Once you have created a hinge it should look like the picture below. The bottom of the hinge should be a 1 inch opening. Complete these steps for the front and back piece.

*If you wish to make a wider, fuller skirt then you can add another hinge and/or make this current hinge wider. If you decide to add a hinge you should make it 2 inches away from the first one on either side of the middle hinge. Again, you’ll want to make sure that the opening of all hinges are equal and symmetrical.

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If you’re using solids then you may proceed to cut your fabric on the fold for the front and on a single layer for the back.

If you’re using stripes, you have to be intentional about which way you will like for your stripes to lay on your garment. As you lay your pattern piece on top make sure that the pattern piece is symmetrical and precise so that your vertical stripes are straight up and down. For the horizontal side make sure that the stripes are lined up symmetrically to the waist band and the bottom hem.

ALWAYS DO: Cut on a single layer making sure all of the stripes are straight up and down.

DON’T: Cut on the fold or cut 2 layers at the same time.

You’re going to make 2 front pieces like this and 2 back pieces like this. I use washi tape to identify which pieces are for the front. There are 2 methods that I use to match my stripes. In my stripe tutorial I discuss how to make lines on your pattern pieces.

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For horizontal stripes and verticle stripes like you can place your pieces side by side to match them together. When you place your pieces together it should look like a cohesive puzzle piece.

Next, you’ll want to make your waist band. You’ll want your waist band to at least be your waist in inches + 1 inch. I have a muslin of my waistband. The width is 6 inches. When cutting your waistband cut on the horizontal stripes for better continuity in your skirt.

 

Once you cut all of your pieces, serge or finish your center front and center back seams of your skirt.

And add interfacing to your waist band.

With right sides together, sew the center front using a 1/2 inch seam allowance. Press the seams to one side.

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Sew together the center back seam with a 1/2 inch seam allowance leaving a space at the top for your zipper, roughly 9-12 inches. Press the seams open.

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Pinning the right sides facing each other, sew along the side seams of your skirt.

img_4981.jpgSerge/finish the edges of your side seams and the bottom of your skirt.

Serge the sides and top part of your waistband as shown below. Pin then sew your waistband to the top of your skirt. Serge the unfinished edge of the waistband and your skirt together.

Baste your waistband and center back opening. Press open your seams. Make sure that your stripes are seamless like the picture below.

On the wrong side of the skirt, pin your zipper face down on the seam allowance only. Be sure to pin your zipper 3 inches from the top of your waistband.

Hand baste your zipper in place on the seam allowances only. Then using your zipper foot, sew your zipper in place. Make sure you start at the top of the skirt and pivot at the bottom of the zipper as you turn corners.

Once the zipper is complete, take your seam ripper and remove the baste stitch from the center back and the zipper.

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Fold down the top of your waistband and top stitch it to your skirt.

 

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Hem 2 inches of the bottom of your skirt. Be sure to ease into it.

Now your skirt is complete! Don’t forget to subscribe! XO

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6 thoughts on “The girl next door: An A-line skirt tutorial

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