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!


Simplicity 8441 – Stuffed Llama

Simplicity 8441 - Stuffed Llama
I sometimes sew gifts for the holidays, but not regularly. I’ve sewn dresses for my cousins before and a quilt or two. Usually, time constraints keep me from finishing my ambitious projects.

Luckily my sewing group scheduled a retreat last weekend which was the perfect time to complete this stuffed llama!

I used Simplicity 8441 although the designer also has her own PDF version. The Simplicity pattern includes the pillowcase as well.

I bought the fur and face-fleece from Joann. They have a big faux fur selection in the winter. The other pieces – the mouth, ears/tail/base, and blanket fabric were all leftovers from other projects.

Simplicity 8441 - Stuffed Llama

I was able to cut the fur from the wrong side with tiny snips in the fabric without cutting the hair itself. When I sewed the fur I brushed it away from the seam so I didn’t need to trim the fur from the seam allowance.

I made one slight mistake, however. The pattern is well designed in that the neck and body are cut in such a way as to make the llama’s face turn slightly to the side. But attaching the face and neck to the body was a little tricky for me. I wasn’t using a walking foot so my face and neck ended up a little off-kilter. In the end, though, it just looks like my llama’s face is tilted a bit. So if you’re making this llama, be sure to match the head and face up just right when sewing!Simplicity 8441 - Stuffed LlamaMaking the yarn wig was difficult. I found it helpful to wrap the yarn around a longer piece of cardstock. With the original three-inch-long piece of cardstock, the yarn kept sliding off the cardstock as I sewed it. You make the little wig separately then hand-sew it to the llama’s head. I used chunky yarn with a metallic thread to match the metallic in the blanket but I think I used too much yarn as the wig is very full.

Simplicity 8441 - Stuffed Llama

There’s quite a bit of hand sewing/embroidery on this project. I chose to blanket stitch around the mouth applique piece.

Simplicity 8441 - Stuffed Llama

The hole for the stuffing is not large (it’s at the base of the body near the neck) and I used the kind of stuffing that comes in little tiny pieces of fluff. I had to jerry-rig a paper cup into a funnel to fill the llama.

Simplicity 8441 - Stuffed Llama

The only significant change I made was to tack down the blanket rather than attaching the string ties that wrap around the llama’s body. I wish I had stuffed the tail to make it stand up better. The ears stand up just fine without any stuffing.

Simplicity 8441 - Stuffed LlamaHe’s super cute! If you like sewing stuffed animals and can deal with fur I’d recommend this pattern.

So that’s it, I’m now going to end this post with a series of choice llama gifs. Enjoy!