Shirt: Dorothy Perkins
A few weeks ago I went to Spotlight to buy some fleece to make myself an oversized dressing-gown for the LebowskiBash costume party (BTW, I totally won) and came away with this amazing elephant print corduroy.
It was simply crying out to be made into an a-line skirt, so I decided to do a really easy pattern-free DIY using my well-fitting Kelda Leigh skirt as a template.
Step 1. Lay your fabric down, single layer and lay the skirt down on top and pin up down.
Step 2. Making sure you leave enough on the edges for a seam allowance, cut around the skirt. You now have your skirt front.
Step 3. You’ll need two pieces for the back so that you can insert the zipper, and if you’re using a bold print like this one you might want to match the pattern. Start by folding the skirt in half lengthways and lie it flat on the fabric. Pin and cut as you did before.
Step 4. Where the centre seam at the back of the skirt will fall fold the seam allowance away and give it a press with the iron so you have a good knife edge.
Step 5. With both pieces of fabric right-side up,match that edge up on the remaining fabric, making sure you have enough fabric to unfold the skirt piece and cut a second identical skirt panel.
Step 6. Pin the seam allowance on the skirt piece to the remaining fabric, and unfold the skirt piece so the two pieces of fabric are right side together. Pin the two together, and cut the second skirt panel.
You now have a skirt front, and two back panels
Step 7. I found that the fabric was fraying quite quickly, so I finished the edges with a zig zag stitch
Step 8. Right sides together, sew the front panel along the side seam to a back panel, then repeat for the second piece.
Step 9. Taking a careful moment to match the patterns on the back seam, pin in place then sew up to where you’ll insert the zipper.
Step 10. Insert your zipper! I never seem to be able to do this without making a bit of a dog’s breakfast out of it, and everyone’s sewing machine seems to come with different instructions anyway. I suppose you could use velcro or buttons if you were zipper-phobic.
Step 11. Time for the waistband! My Kelda Leigh skirt has a bias-binding waistband in a contrasting colour, and I quite liked that, so I used bright red for mine (it’s hidden inside the skirt, so no-one but me knows). I have no idea if I’m using bias-binding correctly, but it worked, so that’s OK. I unfold the strip and after pinning it into place on the right side of the fabric I sewed it on.
Step 12. Then I fold the bias-binding back up and around so the strip was on the INSIDE of the skirt. Another pin, a quick press, and sewing carefully along the folded bottom strip of the bias binding I finished the waistband.
Step 13. Taking a few minutes to pay attention to the cat who was expressing her displeasure at being ignored by sitting on the Kelda Leigh skirt with her back to me…
Step 14. And finally, hem the skirt to your preferred length:
And we’re done! One cute a-line skirt for nothing more than the cost of the fabric, a zipper, and an hour or so.