In preparation for tomorrows start of The Great British Sewing Bee on the beeb, I am re-posting my instructions for making a Simple Pattern Free A-Line Skirt. I shall be following this up with construction instructions after the episode tomorrow night after I have chosen some lovely print cotton fabric (1.5m needed)!
I am going to choose one project a week from The Great British Sewing Bee, so watch this space!!
Without using a pattern, you can draft a simple A-Line skirt very easily & with just a few measurements, which will fit you perfectly. You may also use these instructions to make slightly different skirt shapes as you need- like Circular skirts, Maxi skirts etc.
First, you will need 1.5m of fabric, fabric scissors, dressmakers pins, a pencil, a calculator, a tape measure & a ruler. To make the skirt up (which I shall cover at a later date), you will need matching thread, a 20cm zipper and one button.
Step 1. Fold your fabric, right sides together & selvedge to selvedge, and lay flat on your table, or floor. (To find out what the selvedge is click here)
Step 2. Measure your waist & add 10cm. Measure your hips & add 10cm. Mark point ‘a’ anywhere on the fold of the fabric, and close to the top with your pencil. Divide your waist measurement, including the 10cm you added, into four (i.e. 74cm + 10cm = 84cm divided by four = 21cm). Straight out from point ‘a’ mark point ‘b’ with this new measurement. 20cm down from point ‘a’ and on the fold of the fabric mark point ‘c’. Divide your hip measurement as you have your waist and straight out from point ‘c’ mark point ‘d’. With a straight line and your ruler, draw a line connecting points ‘a’, ‘b’ & ‘d’. This is the top of your skirt!
Step 3. From your waist, measure how long you would like your skirt- i.e, to your knee, or just above your knee. Add 5cm to this measurement. Using point ‘a’ as a starting point, measure down the fold of the fabric until you can mark point ‘e’ as your skirt length + the 5cm. Measure this again from ‘b’, through point ‘d’, and down to mark point ‘f’. Follow the natural angle already created from points ‘b’ to ‘d’ all the way down. This will create the A-Line shape, or subtle flair really nicely.
Step 4. From point ‘e’ to point ‘f’ draw a line in a graceful curve. This is the hem of your skirt!
Step 5. Pin and cut the front of your skirt out along the lines you have drawn.
Step 6. Turn the front of the skirt over, still pinned, & lay flat on the fabric, just below where you have cut it out. Make sure the straight edges match, or lie parallel to each other. Pin and cut out, this is the back of your skirt! You will need to cut a waistband also. This is a strip of fabric 10cm deep & 10cm longer than your waist. Cut this from the leftover fabric you have.
How simple is that?! You now have a front (cut on the fold so you wont have an ugly seam running up the front of your skirt), and two back sections. All you need to do now is make it up! I shall be covering this in future blog posts however; if you are raring to go you will need to insert your zipper in to the back seam, sew up the sides then attach your waistband. Finally you will need to make a button hole in the waist band and sew on the button and hem the skirt. With this pattern you have 2cm seam allowance for the back seam, 1cm seam allowance for the side seams and 4cm seam allowance for the hem.
Good luck and happy stitching!