3. Button/hook or any other closure
Rather than drafting an A-line skirt from scratch, I began with my trusty McCalls 3830 Pencil skirt pattern and turned it into an A line skirt with a waistband. I used Winifred Aldrich's excellent reference book "Metric Pattern Cutting for Women's Wear" to do this.
I traced my pattern pieces for the pencil skirt and started making changes. For the front piece, I cut a vertical line through the center of the front dart down to the hem. I then rotated the piece closing up the dart. This swings the hemline outward. I then added 1" to the width of the lower edge of the pattern piece and drew a straight line from that point at the hem up to the hip.
For the back piece, there was one 1" wide back dart. I am very curvy in the back and did not want to remove the back darts entirely. Instead I turned the 1" dart into a 1/2" wide dart, using the same cut and rotate method as for the front piece. I added 1" to the width of the lower edge of the pattern piece as well.
Contest or no, if I make something, I want to wear it, not have it languish in my closet. This A-line skirt needed to be a staple that would get a lot of wear. An A-line skirt can be a great item for a capsule wardrobe. I decided on a brown corduroy that I purchased in India and have had for several years. In fact, all of the fabric and notions for this project came from my stash. The lining is a brown and pink houndstooth charmeuse satin from Fabric.com. I previously used this lining fabric on my second Simplicity 2057 jacket, and there is still some left.
McCall's 3830 does not have a waistband, so I needed to make one myself. I cut a straight waistband 3" wide and a few inches longer than my waist measurement. I used 1/2" seam allowances so the finished waistband would be 1" wide. I like to make my waistbands extra long so that I can sew them to the precise length after the skirt is assembled and fitted. I shifted the original center back zipper to the left side an inserted a lapped zipper.
|Machine sewn lining at zipper|
The trickiest part of an A-line skirt is hemming it. To eliminate bulk at the hem, I serged the raw edge rather than turning the raw edge over. I put the skirt on my dressform, pulled out my handy laser level and marked the hem.
|Marking the hem|
Once the hem was folded up and pinned, I hand basted it in place along the fold. Then I hand sewed the hem, easing in the fullness.
|Hem: basted and hand sewn|
|Lining hem: Eased fullness prior to sewing|
I am very pleased with this finished skirt. I really took my time to do a nice job finishing the lining and hem. This will be a great skirt to wear this winter with tights and boots.