Today I’m sharing about this skirt that I made over the last few months….yup, that’s right, its taken me a few months to make this! This was mostly because other priorities got in the way – children growing out of everything and needing whole new wardrobes really quickly being the main reason. But, this was also a bit more involved that a regular a-line skirt – its quilted! By me!!
This is an a-line skirt pattern from “Gertie Sew Vintage Casual”, this is one of the variations on the “Flared Skirt” pattern. If you’re not familiar with Gertie, I suggest having a look through her blog, she has a huge amount of tutorials and interesting sewing knowledge there! My previously made Lemon Dress and Floral Rockabilly Dress were also made from her patterns.
I followed this pattern pretty closely, using a poplin for the main, and a flannelette for the lining. The basic pattern is pretty simple, nothing really complicated about it, however, I do find that Gertie’s books tend to do a lot of cross-referencing to the techniques rather than have them in the same place as the pattern, so I end up with a lot of little adhesive flags marking the pages with instructions for the different elements. I am quite comfortable with this though, and it does work quite well, especially because if I make extra notes, they are there for me the next time I look it up!
This pattern used a lapped zipper – which is funny because I used to avoid them like the plague, now they are totally in my comfort zone, so this was a quick and easy part of the project. A self-drafted waistband was required, which was quite well explained in the techniques section of the book (now marked with one of those little adhesive flags!), and I had no trouble at all with this, although I think it could have benefited from some interfacing to add a bit more structure to it, even though it is quite narrow.
I didn’t alter the length of the skirt, so it is quite a bit longer on me than it is on Gertie in her pictures in the book. I think that I would like to make this skirt again, in one or more of the other variations, but take a few inches off so that it hits on the knee, it really is a great basic skirt pattern.
I only made one small change – I added an inseam pocket to the side without the zipper. I used the pocket piece from “Gertie’s Ultimate Dress Book”, mostly because I had recently used it, and knew where the pattern piece was, but any in-seam pocket would do, they tend to be much the same. I used some plain black batiste for the pocket, thinking that it would be hidden, but in hindsight, it doesn’t really work, because the pocket opening gapes ever-so-slightly, so it would probably have been more hidden if I had made in the main fabric!
The main fabric is a cotton poplin from the “Gertie by Gretchen Hirsch” range at Spotlight. I fell in love with this print as soon as I saw it! Originally I was going to make a jacket from it, but obviously I changed my mind. For the lining I used the suggested fabric, a flannelette. Almost all of the flannelette at Spotlight was a children’s bedtime print, except for this one, which is grey with polka dots – a perfect coordinate for the main fabric.
The quilting does give the skirt some structure, and it certainly is warm! I’ve been wearing this skirt quite a bit lately, I normally just wear pants at this time of year because it is too cold, but I’ve been just fine and comfortable in this skirt.
As I’m not normally a quilter, the quilting was a slow process. After cutting the front and back skirt pieces in both the main and the lining, they are basted together, and then quilted together. Fortunately I already have a long quilting ruler (bought when I was making my wedding dress), otherwise the task of marking the quilting lines would have taken a lot longer. Also handy, is a special white fabric marker for dark colours. The one in the picture was especially good because the magic ink disappears with a blast of steam from the iron. Unfortunately it ran out during this project and the replacement one I found needs to actually be washed out.
Also essential, pins. Lots of pins. These ones were particularly good – they’re extra long, and the heads are flat, so they will go under the sewing machine presser foot – the sewing machine will also stitch right through them if you’re not careful, there’s no need to ask me how I know this, just use your imagination!
As well as my special white fabric marker dying during this project, my beloved workhorse Brother My Star 3 sewing machine also died! I bought that machine with my first ever tax return, and its been used pretty regularly ever since. It wasn’t computerised, but it had a one-step button hole, stretch straight stitch and a couple of fancy ones, and I never, ever had any problems with it. Until I made this skirt, as I was stitching the long rows that I had previously marked, it started to go slower and slower, until it eventually stopped. Devastating. So, the skirt was finished on a different machine, the stitching is just a tiny bit different, although I am probably the only one who will notice that.
The skirt sat, half-made for a couple of months. I got distracted by a few different things, but when I went back to it, it all came together really quickly. For the hem I used ready-made bias binding. I just stitched the binding the hem, right sides together, stretching the binding just a tad, then, trimmed the raw edges, flipped it all to the inside and hand-stitched it to the lining. A very nice, neat hem, which does give me a warm, fuzzy feeling! Also warm and fuzzy is the finished skirt, equally good for the office, or casual. Definitely a new favourite!
Thanks for reading!