Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Emerald A-Frame Skirt

Finally writing about my Blueprints for Sewing A-frame skirt! Spoiler: I am delighted with it...


The A-frame skirt has been on my list for a while. In fact, all of Blueprints for Sewing's architecturally-inspired patterns are on my list since making the Saltbox top last fall. Have you seen the recently released Geodesic sweatshirt?! Swoon... I'm eyeing the short-sleeved hack I saw on Instagram.



Strangely I haven't seen too many A-frame skirts on blogs or Instagram. A few here and there. But I think this pattern deserves some attention.


I just love, love, love the pockets on this skirt. The way they meet between the panels at such an elegant angle, the fact that the pocket bag is sewn into the seams so they don't get all bunchy on my thighs. Did I mention I love them? If not: love.


And generally I love the lines on the skirt. They provide nice shaping, lots of opportunities for fun colorblocking or topstitching... good stuff! I already bought some fabric that had a cool wrong side to make a colorblocked version inspired by these A-frames I saw on Instagram: here, here, and here. I think a denim A-frame with lots of jeans-style topstitching could be cool, too, to highlight all the nice lines and the pockets.


I went into making this skirt thinking that it was a pencil skirt, but it's really more of a straight skirt (now that I read the description more closely, it's pretty clear that's what it is meant to be!). It hangs straight down from the hip curve (which is a lovely hip curve, BTW). I like it, but am curious how it would be if I pegged it just a little bit towards the bottom to amp up the va-va-voom. What would be the best way to do that: just take a bit in on the side seams? Or should I take it in at the center back and front, too? Thoughts?


My fabric is some heavy weight emerald green twill (I think) that's rough/lined on one side and velvety on the other. Let's call it brushed twill? I got it in Singapore in one of the shops in People's Park Centre (I used the excellent directions here to get there) last year. I used the velvet-y side as the right side when sewing (even though I really wanted it next to my skin because it's so soft!).


Wooooooo, the thickness of my fabric caused a few struggles with the skirt. The hem's a bit thick. I ended up serging the edge of it and folding it up once (by 2" rather than the 1.5" called for) instead of trying to force a double fold. The kick pleat is a little unruly, too, because of the fabric's bulk. And I broke a needle in three parts (!) while topstitching the waistband. I had only interfaced half of it to reduce bulk, but it was still super thick. But I got the job done in the end, hurrah!


Speaking of waistbands, this was the only problem I had with the pattern. Everything was going swimmingly, fitwise, until I tried to attach the waistband to the skirt. It was extremely short for some reason- a couple inches. I couldn't ease it in in the front and in the back, the two ends didn't overlap to provide for the button flap. I still have no idea why, but we'll chalk it up to user error of some sort. I ended up measuring the top of my skirt and cutting a new waistband to fit, which worked out just fine.


The pattern calls for either a lapped or an invisible zipper. I am never satisfied with how my invisible zippers look. I do well with the alignment aspect, but not the invisible part. My stitches are never as close to the teeth as they should be, and when I try to correct it, then they're too close. Sigh. So, I opted for the lapped zipper!


The A-Frame instructions provide detailed instructions on one lapped zip method, but I liked the look of the method in Sunni's (free!) "Mastering Zipper Techniques" class on Craftsy, so I went with that one. It worked so well!! I was delighted to learn how easy lapped zippers are. Pretty sure I'll be putting them in all my garments going forward. They're so classy! Not that that should stop me from trying to perfect the invisible zipper...


To sum up: I'm delighted with this skirt and can't wait to make more from the A-frame pattern. I think it works well as either a casual skirt, like I'm wearing it here, but also perfect for the office. I found it looks really cute with my New Look 6107 and 6808 blouses and would be fabulous in winter with boots and a sweater.

22 comments:

  1. Looks great Meg! What do you think about a mini version? I'll add this to my summer maybe list! :)

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    1. Oooh- a mini version would be so cute! And easy to do, too, methinks!

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  2. I just saw this pattern for the first time the other day. It's really nice! As far as the pencil goes, I think you can just take the pattern in at the side seams. That is how the self-drafted knit pencil skirt tutorial that I love works.

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    1. Thanks, Masha! Yeah, I'll start with just taking in the side seams towards the bottom to peg it a little bit.

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  3. great pattern, nice color! love it.....

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  4. I love this. It is a beautifully made skirt and looks great on you. I'd been curious about the pattern since it came out but I don't wear many skirts, and I am not exactly shaped like most of the people who have posted about making the A-frame. Thank you for your review.

    Thank you, also, for writing about lapped zippers. I haven't done one yet. I loathe invisible zippers (I don't trust them) and should just figure it out. I even have that Craftsy class. Additionally, I have a denim skirt (store-bought) that I would like to replace and this just might be the pattern to use.

    Have you seen this pegged version? http://www.textillia.com/members/thedawnthreader/projects/corduroy-frame Marie might have ideas for how to best modify the pattern.

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    1. Thanks so much! I am really happy with the skirt- and the lapped zip! Definitely check out the Craftsy class.

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  5. This looks fantastic! Although the possibility of having to draft a new waistband scares me. (I'm new to garment sewing.)

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    1. The waistband might be fine for you- I think it was something I did (I just haven't figure out what!). But "drafting" is a loose term- it's just a rectangle ;-)

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  6. This is a fabulous skirt. Love the pockets too - they really make the skirt.

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    1. Thanks!! Aren't the pockets the best?!!

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  7. Oh, I love this one! Maybe pegged just a touch?

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    1. Thanks! I love it, too. And I am quite curious to try a slightly pegged version... I'll keep you posted ;-)

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  8. I love the colour and the pockets! I can totally see why you love this skirt - it's awesome! Your lapped zipper looks fantastic too - I have yet to try one.

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    1. Thanks, Heather! The pockets are the best. You should give the lapped zipper a go- so easy!! I am delighted about this new skill.

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  9. I love this skirt on you! It's such a pretty color and a great shape! I've had my eye on this pattern for a while but I have been wanting to make the a-line version. Straight skirts don't get a ton of wear in my everyday life but I think I would love the other view.

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    1. Thanks, Teri! This skirt would be great on you! Can't wait to see yours!

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  10. This skirt is beautiful. Actually, I love this whole outfit. It makes a statement while still being simple and sweet.

    I've done the tapering thing you were talking about. I took about 1/4" off a back seam and maybe 1/2" or so (if memory serves) off the side seams. I'm more of an apple/column shape, so the little extra curvy-ness helped me feel awesome in it!

    I also noticed that the quicker I came in that 1/4" on the back seam (like 6-8" down from the hip versus clear to the hem) the more curvy goodness I had. My butt looked great in that skirt! :D I can't wear that one anymore, now I'm thinking I should make another one.

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    1. Thanks, Mary! Your tips on tapering are really helpful- I'll try them out on my next A-frame- tips on getting a fit in the butt that makes you feel good is A++++++!

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  11. Love the skirt, I hadn't come across Blueprints for Sewing before, but I'm going to have to try the A frame skirt for sure!

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    1. Thanks, Siobhan! Blueprints for Sewing has some lovely and unique patterns- definitely have a look!

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