Wednesday, September 12, 2012

A-line #2 (Playing Fabric Chicken)

I'm not sure if its evident in what I make or not, but I usually wear solid colours.  I'm not really into patterns or text on clothing.  Not sure why.  It surprised me then, that last year I was attracted enough to some large floral fabric to order it from the States with no particular end-product in mind.  I wear a lot of red and black, and also white, and with the days getting warmer over the last few weeks, I decided to break out and turn it into another A-line skirt.  There was only a yard (90cm) of the fabric, and the pattern calls for 2m, so figuring out how to cut it out and the length of the finished product took at least as long as the actual construction process.  Here's my finished product:

The pockets are both for practicality, and also allowed me to overlap the pieces more on the fabric, meaning that I could keep this length without adding a contrast bottom at the hem.  They're from the Aztec skirt in the Autumn/Winter 2012 Ottobre Design magazine.

To save fabric I also needed to ignore the direction of the print!  The back it cut upside down, and as you can see I haven't made any attempt to match the pattern.  I also cut separate 5.5cm wide hem facings for the bottom (cut at 90 degrees to the rest of the skirt) to maximise the length of the finished product.

Here's the complete details:

Pattern:  Nicole Mallalieu's A-line skirt
Size:      12 

  • I shortened the pattern by 23cm, and cut separate hem facings.  This allowed me to make a skirt that is around 20cm shorter than the pattern from my miniscule amount of fabric. 
  • As with the Butterfly Skirt, I trimmed the yoke by 1" at the waist.
  • I cut the waistband from a contrast fabric (again, saving my floral fabric).  I'm not sure if I like the look of it or not, but the reality is that most of the time my top will hide it, as you can see in this dodgy self-taken shot.
  • I added pockets, using white for the underpocket piece, so that the red wouldn't show through the floral fabric:
I used a 5mm seam, and then under-sewed the allowance to the white fabric.

I then attached the red pocket piece to this (pinning across the top and the pocket opening and then sewing all round the outside of the pocket):

From there I treated the whole as if it were a single bit of material, and made up the skirt as usual.

90cm of 'Artful Home' quilting cotton by Heather Mulder Peterson; and
'Jester' red cotton from the stash, but originally from Spotlight (I think I should have bought a bolt of this, I love the colour so much)

  • I didn't use the blind hemming foot to stitch in the ditch this time, and wished that I had.  I also hand-hemmed it, and found that I would have been just as happy with the finished product if I had machine hemmed it like last time.
  • Making this skirt reminded me of this post over at Made by Rae.  She lists the length of material she buys if she doesn't have a project in mind.  Also, LiEr gives a good rule of thumb over here.


  1. Love the fabric... looks great with the contrasting red! A lovely skirt.

  2. The fabric is gorgeous! I love your skirt.


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