Sunday, 4 April 2010

Making a Flared Skirt

As you can see from previous blog entries I have been busy making home decor items. These have given me the confidence to tackle clothes-making again.
After learning the basic principles and putting my new sewing knowledge to some good use, I have decided to make a flared skirt from a pattern I have made myself with guidance from How to Make an Easy Skirt from Love to Sew.

Equipment Needed:
  • Lycra Fabric
  • Elastic
  • Scissors
  • Iron
  • Pressing Cloth
  • Sewing Machine (needle used, ball point)
  • Tape Measure
  • Tailors Chalk or Fabric Markers
  • Pins
  • Rotary Cutter, Cutting Mat & Ruler (Optional)
  • Dress Making form (Optional)
Techniques: Pattern-making, casings, elastic, seams, hemming, zigzag stitch, straight stitch and top-stitching.
Time Taken: 1 Day

Making the Pattern

Love to Sew has brilliant instructions on making the pattern, please visit their website to find out how to make your own flared skirt pattern.

Cutting the Fabric

Fold the fabric in half , place the pattern onto the fold and cut out the shape. As two pieces are required, repeat this step to make the front and back of the skirt. An optional step:  use a rotary cutter and ruler to straighten up the edges as required.

Pin the Seams

Place the right sides of the fabric together and measure  5/8” down each side, use tailors chalk to make marks for the seam-allowance. Place the pins on the outside of the line, this will protect the main fabric of the skirt from pin holes.

Sew the Seams

Use a straight stitch and sew both the seams that have been marked up in the previous step.

Pressing the Seams

Press open and use an iron to flatten the seams - use a pressing cloth to protect the fabric.

Finishing the Seams


Finish off the seams by using a zigzag stitch on the raw edges of the fabric.
Measure and mark a 1/4” at the top of the skirt. Fold and press this over to protect the raw edges of the fabric from fraying. This fold will be used as a casing for the elastic.

Elastic Preparation

Measure your waistline with a flexible tape measure and cut the elastic to this size. Place the elastic on the top of the skirt and make a mark of the thickness of the elastic. Measure the same distance around the rest of the skirt top. Fold the waistline to the line and press with the iron.

Creating the Elastic Casing

Pin around the waistline and stick two pins vertically as a reminder for the elastic to go in – this serves as a useful reminder not to sew here. Once pinned, use the free arm on a sewing machine and sew a straight stitch around the waistline.

Inserting the Elastic

Insert a safety pin into each end of the elastic or use elastic guides and push it all the way through the casing. Try on the skirt to make sure it is tight enough but also easy to get off, before sewing the elastic together. There is no need to worry about gathering the skirt at this stage, that can be done later.

Stitching the Elastic

Overlap the elastic and use a zigzag stitch to attach them together, repeat to strengthen the join. Once the elastic is inserted sew up the hole.

Hemming the Skirt

Try on the skirt with the shoes you want to wear it with. Ask someone to help you put a mark on the bottom of the skirt where you would like the hem to be.  Fold the hem 1/4” and fold again to the desired length. Use a top-stitch and sew all around the bottom of the skirt. Try on the skirt one last time and arrange the gathers as preferred.
Let me know how you get on making this skirt. I would love to read your views or ideas. If you have tips to share on making this skirt easier write below.

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