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.