Women's Clothing: How To Sew A Simple Skirt

This article details how to make a simple

Skirts are a good fashion choice almost anytime, summer or winter. And if a woman can thread a needle, she can probably sew a simple skirt. The process is not a difficult one, if she keeps the concept simple.

The easiest design to sew is probably a simple "A" line skirt. These skirts are easy to fit and can be made in a short period of time. A seamstress can check out the patterns for these kinds of skirts and see that they are usually cut out in two pieces. She can go ahead and buy a pattern, if she is very unsure of her skills, or she can make one. This is a lot easier than it sounds. An "A" line skirt pattern, broken down geometrically, is basically a cone with the point shaved off. Since they are not fitted to the lines of the figure, they are also very error-tolerant.

A good choice for patterns is heavy wrapping paper. This is usually blank on the back, or has helpful grid marks that will give the seamstress an idea of the length and width of the pattern piece. A skirt may only need one pattern piece. The seamstress should draw two lines on the pattern paper at an "A" angle, at the same length, with the space at the top at least 3 inches larger than half the measurement of her waist. Draw a line across the top and bottom of the pattern and cut out the piece of paper. Now, fold it in half lengthwise. Do both sides match? If the discrepancy is small, just trim the pattern piece to match all around.

Fabric should be either a solid or a print that doesn't have to be matched, like a floral. Choose something in either a cotton blend, like a calico-style print, a challis or a poly-cotton knit "" something with some drape and movement. Depending on the size, buy about three yards of material. This should give most seamstresses plenty to work with.

The pattern can be cut in one of two ways. The seamstress can either spread the material out entirely and cut two pattern pieces from it flat, or can cut it on the fold. If she cuts it flat, she needs to remember to measure from the center pattern fold, at top and bottom, to the fabric's selvage (or finished edge). This will ensure the pattern is properly aligned on the material.

To cut the pattern on the fold, the seamstress will need to fold the fabric lengthwise, so that the pattern can be placed end to end. She will also need to fold the pattern in half, and align the fold itself along the fold of the fabric. When she cuts the doubled fabric along half the pattern piece, when she unfolds it, she will have half of the skirt. She can then repeat the procedure on the next section of fabric.



When the skirt has been successfully cut out, the hard part is done. The seamstress will probably want to finish the raw edges of the fabric, and one easy way to do this is to use her sewing machine to simply zigzag stitch the raw fabric edges.

Then, with the right sides of the fabric together, and all sides matched up, she can sew a straight seam up each side. This will put the front and back together and she can fit the skirt for the first time. The waist will be loose, but that's normal. If everything looks right, she can go on to the rest of the skirt. She will need to set up her iron and press the seams flat, so they will lie flat when the garment is being worn.

When buying fabric, the seamstress should also get a length of 1/2-inch wide elastic, about the measurement of her waist. Keeping the skirt wrong side out, she can then turn down about 2 inches of fabric from the top of the waist. This will create a 1-inch wide casing for the elastic. She should then sew the casing down all around, leaving a 1-inch space unsewn at the back. Then, she threads the elastic through the casing. This is usually best accomplished with a large safety pin attached to one end of the elastic, to give the seamstress something to grip as she threads it through.

Once she gets the elastic through, she can pin both sides together with the safety pin and should then try on the skirt. She can then distribute the gathered waist fullness evenly, and adjust the elastic to the most comfortable fit. When she has that fit, she should move the safety pin to fit it at that measure, with the free ends sticking out of the casing.

The seamstress should then sew the elastic flat with several rows of zigzag stitches, to keep it from coming apart. She will then hand-sew the open space on the casing, and can, if she wishes, sew through all the thicknesses of elastic and material in the side seam, to keep the elastic from twisting.

Hemming is not difficult, but should be undertaken carefully, so as to keep it even on all sides. It is usually best for the person to try on the skirt, while another person pins up the hem to the desired length. The seamstress can then pin the hem all around the skirt at this length, and can sew it on the machine with a straight stitch, or hem it by hand.

When the construction is finished, the skirt should be carefully pressed, and then the seamstress can try on the finished garment. Success! She also has the satisfaction of knowing she is wearing an attractive skirt made by her own hands.

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