First Pattern: A-Line Skirt

On my quest to learn to draft patterns for myself (and maybe eventually other people), I’m working my way, albeit slowly, through the book Design it Yourself: Clothes. Patternmaking simplified by Cal Patch. It teaches you in 5 easy projects (with two modifications each) how to to draft basic patterns for skirts, t-shirts, dresses, blouses and trousers.

The first pattern in the book is a simple A-line skirt with front and back darts, made to measure, of course. The only modifications I made to her instructions were adapting the seam allowances to metric (1.5 cm is easier for me to measure than 1/2″), and add a bit more ease around the hips. For this skirt she uses 1″ / 2.5 cm ease for both waist and hips, which I found too little considering my hips “grow” 7.5 cm when I sit down. I took a compromise and used 5 cm ease for the hips, maintaining the 2.5 cm for the waist, since it doesn’t expand as much when sitting down.

A-Line skirt, Pattern Pieces
Pattern pieces before cutting them

To make this skirt I had decided to use one of the fabrics I scored in the Ikea Sales’ Corner, the Cecilia in white / green / black. It is however too thin and see through, so it requires some sort of lining, for which I used another Ikea fabric: Ditte in off-white. I cut one front and one back out of each fabric, then sewed the darts, folded them towards the center on the outside fabric, and towards the seam on the lining, then pinned them wrong sides together and sewed them together on all sides. From here on I treated this pieces as if they were made out of just one fabric. Inserted a 20 cm YKK coil zipper on the left seam, then sewed both side seams. To finish the seams I pinked since they were already straight stitched.

I’ve finished the waist and the hem with green cotton bias tape. Then fold the waist down and stitch in place, and fold up the hem and stitch. I didn’t do the double fold hem because it felt the double fabric was too stiff. The bias tape does add some structure to the hem without making it too heavy looking.

Skirt, frontskirt, back skirt, front insideskirt, inside back
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