Blueprints for Sewing A-Frame Skirt

Blueprints A-Frame Skirt

You guys!!! I think I found my new favorite pattern…

My apologies for the high number of photographs. What can I say? I love this skirt so much and it looks so good in every single picture that it’s difficult to choose which to show.

This is the A-Frame skirt from Blueprints for Sewing, view A – the pencil skirt version.
Blueprints A-Frame SkirtThe fabric is red corduroy from The Cloth Pocket (beware, the fabric is a more muted color in real life than in these photos). It’s a great medium weight – not too thick, which is important when seam allowances get bulky. I used a thin leftover cotton for the pocket lining which also helped reduce bulk.
Blueprints A-Frame Skirt

The skirt came together fast and the instructions were clear. The pattern also includes several fitting tips, which is always nice. And I generally liked the techniques, order of assembly, and little details included in the instructions which helped to create a professional finished project. You get the feeling that the drafter knows what she’s doing.
Blueprints A-Frame Skirt

I cut a size B in the waist and graded to a D in the hips. It fit great! The only change I made was to slice off about 1/2″ at the center back grading to nothing at the side seams. I maybe could have cut a bit more. This need was likely due to my sway back which made the skirt sit higher on my back waist than in the front.Blueprints A-Frame Skirt

One thing that is interesting about this design is that the kickpleat isn’t “open.” It’s stitched together then folded over. It’s more like a real pleat and less like a slit.

This might be ok on a different fabric but looking at these pictures, I think unless I press the kickpleat down quite well, it has a tendency to flop out slightly. It’s not a big deal. What I can do next time is just leave it open and fold under my seam allowances for a smooth finish.

Blueprints A-Frame Skirt

I appreciated that the pattern included instruction for a lapped zip, invisible zip, as well as a handpicked zip. I chose a lapped as I worried the corduroy wouldn’t handle an invisible very well and lapped zips always look extra professional.

Blueprints A-Frame skirt

I used a button from my stash. I always like opportunities to show off a unique button.

Blueprints A-Frame Skirt

I love the angular style lines and the seams curve really well over my back half which gives it more of a “pencil” shape than a standard straight skirt.

The pockets are just the right depth to hold a cellphone without it falling out.

Blueprints A-Frame Skirt

I can’t wait to sew this skirt again! Just gotta get the right fabric. I think I even want to shorten it to above the knee and make it mini-length. That way I can ditch the need for the kickpleat, too.

Blueprints A-Frame Skirt

BTW, if you’re in Austin I’m teaching a couple classes on this skirt so if you want to make one for yourself, learn new techniques, and sew with some new friends check out the schedule!

 

Made by Rae Cleo Skirt

Made by Rae Cleo Skirt

I made this skirt for another class I’m teaching at The Cloth Pocket. I’ve been looking for a good new skirt pattern lately because I prefer wearing skirts/dresses to pants/shorts in the summer.

This is the Made by Rae Cleo Skirt. I sewed the shorter View A.

Made by Rae Cleo Skirt

This is a basic skirt design the contrast hem band gives it a bit more style. I also prefer these types of pockets to side seam pockets and I like the flat front waistband combined with a gathered back waistband as opposed to elastic all the way around.

Made by Rae Cleo Skirt

The main fabric is a Japanese linen/cotton blend and the hem band is a textured cotton, both from The Cloth Pocket.

Made by Rae Cleo Skirt

The pattern instructions are thorough but I do have one complaint – the pattern pieces come in two sheets, one of which (the sheet with the largest pieces) is printed on BOTH SIDES. This means you have to trace those pieces.

Now, you might say “well, I always trace my pieces anyway” and I hear you but these pieces are 95% rectangles. Meaning on a normal pattern you could just cut out the largest size and fold down the excess to your size, thereby keeping the pattern intact without needing to trace.

I understand that this is likely just a printing issue. The printers are only capable of printing certain size paper and another giant sheet won’t fit in the envelope. I get it. But I’m still grumpy about it.

Made by Rae Cleo Skirt

As a comparison, Made by Rae’s Washi dress has you tape two sheets together to get a full pattern piece, this is just a problem with her printer company.

Made by Rae Cleo SkirtMy only problem with this actual skirt itself is the elastic I chose. I specifically bought thick “non-roll” elastic, yet, it rolls. It simply refuses to stand straight no matter what I do. Oh well, live and learn — and then sew it again!!

Closet Case Patterns Ebony Dress

Closet Case Ebony Dress

My serger is currently on the fritz so I haven’t been sewing as much, and what I have been sewing are gifts. And since I can’t really share those, I guess I’ll catch up on a few unblogged projects…

This is the Ebony knit Dress by Closet Case Patterns. I made View A with the scoop neck of View B.

Closet Case Ebony Dress

I sewed this dress as a sample for my new class at The Cloth Pocket in December.

My fabric is a cotton sweatshirt terrycloth (also from the cloth pocket) that’s heather black on the right side and white on the wrong side. I rolled up the sleeves in these pics to show off the underside.

Closet Case Ebony Dress

The fabric was stretchy enough for this pattern but the terry backside made the seams a little bulky and hard to serge. Because of that I made the neckband a little thicker to make it easier to work with.

Closet Case Ebony Dress

Overall I liked the pattern and instructions. This swingy dress is simple and quick to sew. I can definitely see myself whipping up a few of these dresses with long sleeves for winter.

My paper pattern included a supplementary sheet with an updated sleeve piece. The original piece had a grading error in the smaller sizes but when I measured the new updated sleeve piece in my size I knew it would be too tight for my arms.

Closet Case Ebony Dress

I adjusted the sleeve so that I didn’t change the length of the sleeve cap much but made the cap and bicep wider by almost an inch. Which was good, because I definitely needed it with this fabric. If my fabric were stretchier I could probably get away without it but I didn’t want to take the chance with this thicker sweatshirt knit.

Closet Case Ebony Dress

This dress is VERY voluminous at the hem which is why you have to use wide fabric.

Closet Case Ebony Dress

I know I’ll make this pattern again, likely from a different type of fabric — and depending on what fabric I use I’ll probably use some kind of stabilizer on that curved hem.

Chalk and Notch Fringe Dress

Chalk and Notch Fringe Dress

So apparently this pattern is really popular right now but I hadn’t even heard of the company until recently. A number of indie pattern companies were hosting sales to benefit Harvey relief and that’s how I found Chalk and Notch. I liked the Fringe’s casual modern design so I bought a copy.

Chalk and Notch Fringe Dress

The fabric is a Japanese cotton from The Cloth Pocket (no longer available, unfortunately). It’s very soft and finely woven but wrinkles terribly. Oh, well.

I liked both Views but I decided on View B for this version. The ties are set into the front darts. It has side seam pockets with tacks at the openings. The neckline is interesting and I appreciated the front neck facing that extends all the way to the waist so it’ll never flip out.

The pattern instructions were good – I appreciated being able to print just my size using the layers feature and the illustrations were clear and easy to follow.

Chalk and Notch Fringe Dress

I gotta say I REALLY like this dress. The armholes aren’t cut too low, the hem curves up on the sides with a nice shape, and the waist is ever-so-slightly higher than natural which I find to be a modern touch.

Chalk and Notch Fringe Dress

I think it fits quite well, too, which leads me to my one issue. And it’s not so much an issue for me particularly but it might be for someone else.

Chalk and Notch Fringe Dress
Perhaps I cut the wrong size, a size too small, but looking at these pics the fit seems fine. But the dress is a pullover and in the company’s samples and most of the tester images, the dress seems loose at the waist.

Chalk and Notch Fringe Dress

On my version, the waist is loose but not by much and I have to gently squeeze the dress over my bust. I can still take it on and off fairly easily but I would worry that someone with a very large bust compared to her waist measurement would have trouble putting on the dress and a cursory google search didn’t reveal any reviews from especially busty seamstresses…

Chalk and Notch Fringe Dress

UPDATE: I just re-checked the pattern text. The bust measurements for a size 4 are 34″ but the finished waist size on the 4 is only 31″. There are no closures, you’re supposed to pull the dress over your head. 31″ is smaller than 34″ which explains the need to squeeze. So again, if you have a large difference between bust and waist, maaaaayyybe size up in the waist to get it over your bust…

Chalk and Notch Fringe Dress

Anyway, I would DEFINITELY make this dress again. I want to try View A with the buttons as well as a shirt version. Future TNT pattern, maybe?