On my Instagram recently, I posted two photos with the a-line skirt I’ve been obsessed with making! First was a cheetah print satin charmeuse skirt, which I first drafted this pattern for. Second, I transformed a curtain panel into an adorable, beachy skirt and added some trim.
I used the same pattern for both skirts, and today I’m going to show you how I made them!
- Fabric for skirt (I used a satin charmeuse for one, and a woven cotton curtain panel for the other!)
- Lining fabric (I used an old bed sheet!)
- Tassel Trim (optional)
- Invisible zipper (or decorative)
- Pins, fabric scissors, and other general sewing supplies
This pattern is a heavily hacked Butterick B6453, so if you prefer commercial patterns then you can find the pattern from a store like JoAnn’s or Hobby Lobby (if you’re in the United States), or HERE on Amazon.
On to the tutorial!
Cut your pieces! Using my pattern, I cut one of the front, one of the back left, and one of the back right- first in the self fabric (the curtain panel), and then in the lining fabric. I also cut my waist band pieces, but instead of doing 1 set in the lining and 1 set in the self, I cut both in the self fabric.
During this step, I also copied my marks for the darts on my pattern
Pin your darts in both your self pieces and lining pieces.
Sew the darts! I’m newer to using sewing elements like darts, so if I’m doing this incorrectly then please comment and let me know! I’d love some resources and tips on learning this properly, since I’ve done few projects outside of swimwear and activewear!
Next, we’ll construct the skirt together. You’ll do the same thing in the self fabric as you do for the lining!
Lay down your front piece, then line up your back pieces on top, making sure right sides are together. You’ll want to pin each of the sides in order to attach the back pieces to the front.
Sew a straight stitch to attach the sides. Repeat this same step with the lining piece.
Time to construct the waist band, then attach it to our skirt body. You’re going to do the same steps for both waist bands you cut, for the self as well as for the lining body.
To start, lay the back left and right waist band pieces onto the main front piece, with right sides together. Pin along the sides, then sew a straight stitch to make one continuous waistband piece.
Now, lay the waist band on the of the skirt body, with right sides together. Double check to make sure that when flipped up, the waist band will indeed be correctly sewn. Once you’re sure, pin the waistband down and sew it to the skirt body. You’ll do these same steps both with the lining and the self fabrics!
That completes the skirt bodies! Now we’re going to close up the back and later attach our invisible zipper. But first, we’ll measure our zipper and mark where it will end on the center back. Do this for both the self piece and the lining.
Once you’ve marked where the zipper ends, you’re going to sew the rest of the center back, starting down at the bottom edge and then sewing all the way until you hit your zipper marker.
As usual, make sure that the center back has right sides facing together when pinning and then sewing. Do this for both the self piece and lining piece. After this step, you should have two skirt bodies, each with a slit for the zipper!
Before we complete the zipper, we’re going to attach the lining and self pieces. To do this, flip one of them to the right side, and leave one on the wrong side. Take the piece on the wrong side and slide it over the right side piece. This makes both pieces right sides together! Pin just along the top waistbands.
You’ll then sew the waistbands together, which will successfully attach your self piece to the lining piece.
Now we finally do the zipper! I won’t go too far into details since there are lots of invisible zipper tutorials out there. However, I will mention that I sewed the zipper in the lining and self layers all at the same time so that the seams are hidden. To do this, while right side out, I put the zipper in between the two layers of fabric, with the teeth facing inward.
I sewed one side at a time, and I had to do a lot of flipping in and out in order to correctly install the zipper. This video tutorial breaks the process down nice and slow.
What’s left is a zipper that looks clean on the outside and clean on the inside!
Step 8 (Final Touches)
Everything is complete except for our final details- namely, hemming and adding trim! Again, I won’t go too far into detail since these are well-known techniques with plenty of resources out there.
One thing I did do is add a top stitch to the bottom of the waistband in order to prevent it from sliding.
I hemmed the skirt by flipping it twice to cover the raw edges, then after I hemmed it I went back and pinned down the trim.
Finally, I top stitched the trim down with my machine, completing the skirt!
I’m SO happy with how this skirt turned out. I’ve been very intimidated trying to make garments outside of swimwear, but intermediate projects like this have really helped me improve.
I’ve noticed that my sewing skills have gotten a lot better since I’ve branched out. I’m also a lot more patient and more focused on perfection- which I never used to care about!
I will note that when sewing the center back seam, I didn’t leave any sort of selvage, which ultimately caused the seam to unravel! I went back and fixed it, but it wasn’t fun to learn that lesson the hard way! I’m so used to using knits I didn’t think twice when making this from woven fabric.
Overall, I’m very happy with this skirt and I can’t wait to share some more written tutorials on this blog!
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