Separates project: A-line skirt, inside and out

The first item in my Separates project is complete, and this wearable muslin turned out to be the flattering basic I had hoped. Here’s the finished project:

This incorporates everything I wanted in a skirt, but now I’m wondering why I picked such a dreary fabric for my wearable muslin.

I like to line all my skirts. Isn’t it pretty on the inside?

Here’s what I wanted out of a classic skirt pattern:

  • A contour waistband, the better to flatter my not-so-hourglass shape.
  • Pockets. These days, a girl needs to take her cell phone everywhere.
  • A flattering sweep and length. A full circle would be way too much on me, and the 1940s skirt I made wasn’t quite long or wide enough to be well proportioned on me. This skirt is 30 inches long and has a width of 108 inches. (I don’t know why the patterns refer to it width. It’s actually the circumference at the hem.)

With a little redrafting, McCall’s 6438 fits the bill. I’m really happy with the fit and length. Now that I’ve found the perfect basic skirt pattern, I have lots of variations in mind:

  • I have a navy poly-wool crepe ready to be made into a skirt to go with the Sencha silk top.
  • I’d like to sew it up 2 inches shorter at some point.
  • I’d like to construct it with an inverted center pleat. The four gores are cut on the bias, so I’m not quite sure how I’ll work that out.
  • Speaking of bias, it cries out to be done in a stripe.
  • I also want to make a version in navy with red or white buttons on the pockets and matching topstitching.

Here are closeups of the details:

Here’s the invisible zipper and waistband from the inside.

This is my new favorite finish for a lining hem. The hem is overcast and turned back, then sewn down with a decorative stitch. I lucked out. This stitch matches the main fabric motif pretty well. (Please ignore the fact that I forgot to do a final pressing of the hem before I took the photos!)

Detail on the inside of the contour skirt. I hand sewed the facing with a variation of a fell stitch. I pulled the waistband facing to the inside a little bit along the top seam, so it ended up too long at the bottom. I think next time, I’ll trim the facing a little all the way around.

Pockets, so handy for a cell phone and whatnot.

Confession time: I always like to share what went wrong on projects. There wasn’t that much on this straightforward skirt, but here they are nonetheless:

  • I got so excited about trying out my drafted-by-hand pockets that I completely forgot my plan to edge them in a self-fabric piping. Lame!
  • I followed the zipper instructions exactly with regard to placement of the zipper stop and thus ended up with the dreaded hole between the zipper and the waistband. Gaaah! I HATE that. I’ll know better next time. At least the invisible zipper is invisible this time. That’s progress.
  • Pins and needles are sharp! I ended up with a couple smudges of blood on the waistband facing as I hand sewed it closed. Oops!
  • The pockets fit a cell phone, but I need to make them a little more generous in width so my hand fits comfortably.
  • The lining is a smidge too short. The stitching on the skirt hem shows under the lining hem in some places. I’m still not sure how that happened. Once the skirt and lining were basted together at the top, I trimmed the lining 5/8 inch and used the same hem allowance on both. Next time I’ll finish the hem on the skirt before doing anything with the lining.

Minor annoyances, really.

Now that the redrafted skirt pattern has passed the test, I suppose I should make it in the navy crepe so my Sencha navy silk top will have a friend to go out with, but I have enough of this fabric to make a wearable muslin of a matching top, and I’m excited about Simplicity 2151 view B, so I’m moving on to that next.

Views A and B would both make great vintage looks, and a well-fitting princess-seamed top would lend itself to lots of variations.

Is anything more motivating than a successful project?

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2 thoughts on “Separates project: A-line skirt, inside and out

  1. Corinne June 25, 2012 at 9:11 am Reply

    Very nice. We all need to find a skirt so versatile, fabric wise, and timeless. It is lovely and I don’t think that the muslin fabric is dreary at all. Even a little white t shirt would look great. I like that you so clearly critique your projects. It becomes a road-map for growth and a great reminder for the rest of us! Thanks! (particularly about the zipper gap, how many times have I done that?)


    • Jeanne Marie June 25, 2012 at 7:14 pm Reply

      Thanks, Corinne! I think the fabric strikes me as dreary now because I’ve seen so many pretty candy-colored frocks since I bought it.


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