Sunday, July 26, 2009

A-line skirt #2

Inspired by the success of my pink A-line skirt, but decidedly uninspired by the prospect of more darts and zippers on what was intended to be a super-quickie project, I decided to make the next one with a drawstring waist. This is the front:

And here's the back:

I used my "Sew What! Skirts" A-line pattern, and redrew the "A" angle to be about an inch narrower on each side at the hem. The challenge with a drawstring is that any skirt big enough to pull on over my hips would have way too much fabric bunched up around the waist by the time it's cinched in. So I compromised, drafting the waist to be several inches larger than the finished size for fitted waist, then left about 3" open at the top of the left side seam, with the drawstring ends coming out at that side instead of at the center front (which, conveniently, eliminated any need to make a buttonhole). The side-seam opening makes the skirt pull-on-able, and allows for a narrower waist to keep the gathers manageable.

Because I was working with fabric pieces from the stash (Amy Butler and Michael Miller), I didn't have enough length of the pink print to allow for a folded-down drawstring casing, so I used a separate strip of the green to make that part. Again, I pieced two fabrics together first before cutting the front, then pieced three more and cut the back. Much easier to do that way than to draft, cut, and seam precise pieces that add up to the desired front/back shape.

The drawstring is a long strip -- I think around 1.25" -- pressed lengthwise (wrong side in, raw edges matching), then raw edges folded in to the center and pressed again, (like double-fold bias tape, but not on the bias) edge-stitched to close.

Rather than make the drawstring casing and then thread the drawstring through it, I made the drawstring first. Then, with the casing piece sewn to the waist edge of the skirt, I pressed under about 1/2" of the raw edge. I lay the drawstring in place and folded the casing edge down over it to the inside, and stitched in place with the drawstring inside.

I also topstitched up and down over the casing and drawstring vertically at the right side seam (opposite the opening) to hold the drawstring in place so it won't pull out when I toss the skirt in the wash. I finished the drawstring ends by putting the skirt on and tying the drawstring to fit with a bow, long ends hanging down. Cut off to leave about 6-8" of each end, and tied each end with a knot.

As I wear it, the "waist" actually sits about an inch below my navel, which I find a comfortable fit for a casual skirt. I finished the open edges at the top of the left side seam with a very narrow double-fold edge. Yes, it leaves a couple inches of open slit below the waist at the side, but since I never, ever tuck in a shirt, it's hidden by whatever T, tank-top, or camisole I happen to be wearing on the top half.

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