Blueprints A-Frame v2.0

Grainline Willow Tank and Blueprints for Sewing A-Frame Skirt

This is my second version of the BluePrints for Sewing A-Frame skirt. This fabric is black so it may be hard to see the seam lines. You can click on the images to zoom in.

I’ve now taught this pattern as a class a few times and I’m always impressed at how well it fits everyone who has made it. It helps that the pattern includes fitting instructions.

Blueprints for Sewing A-Frame Skirt

For this skirt, I again made the pencil skirt version, this time in a faux suede. It’s been several years since I’ve sewn faux suede but this fabric from The Cloth Pocket washes very well and was easy to work with. It’s obviously thinner than the corduroy that I used last time so it tends to wrinkle and show lines where I tuck my shirt into it. Gotta work on that.

Blueprints for Sewing A-Frame Skirt

I was concerned that this fabric was a little thin for this project and bounced around the idea of interlining it with something stronger. I’m glad I didn’t do that to the body of the skirt because I liked the result but I should have used a thicker interfacing in the waistband. It has a tendency to roll over time. Not sure if I want to take the waistband off and re-stabilize it. Not sure if that’s even possible now that I’ve already added the buttonhole in back.

Blueprints for Sewing A-Frame Skirt

I lined the pockets with the same scraps as my last A-Frame because I had enough fabric left and that fabric is so finely woven and thin I knew it wouldn’t add bulk.

Blueprints for Sewing A-Frame Skirt

I still love that lapped zipper in the back. It’s a nice touch you don’t often find in modern clothing.

I hand hemmed the skirt but with this suede, you can still kind of see the line of stitching. It’s less noticeable without the camera flash.

Blueprints for Sewing A-Frame Skirt

I sewed the same size as my first A-Frame and it fits well everywhere… except that darn waistband. It’s just a little too snug. Just goes to show that two different fabrics will not behave the same way with the same pattern.

Ok, I think I’ve now convinced myself that I need to replace that darn waistband…

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!!

Vintage 70s Skirt – Simplicity 8019

Simplicity 8019

I’ve seen these little button-down, a-line, mini skirts all over the place lately so when I saw Simplicity 8019, a 1970s re-print skirt pattern in four lengths, I bought it to make my own version.

This skirt is a bit of a wearable muslin, I don’t love the fit but it’s good enough for now.

Simplicity 8019

I used a black cotton velvetteen from a now defunct local store paired with some matte black buttons from Joann.

One note about the pattern – I cut the shortest view, which on the pattern drawing comes above the knee, like I wanted, but the pattern pieces easily came to my knee (plus a 2″ deep hem). I shortened the skirt by about 3″ and sewed a narrower hem.

Simplicity 8019

The fit isn’t terrible. Originally the skirt pieces were too big in the waist but with so many vertical seams that problem was easy to fix. But when I went to attach the waistband it was too small. I made it work but I wonder if I made an error in cutting the waistband? Maybe I cut the wrong size or the pattern paper got folded while cutting? In the end, that made the waistband a little small.

Simplicity 8019

Also my attempt at quickly fixing a sway back issue resulted in some pulling at the center back waist that I don’t like. Next time I’ll pay better attention to my adjustment process.

Simplicity 8019

The only other aspect I don’t love is due to fabric. This velveteen has so much body and combined with the a-shaped skirt panels the skirt swings out at the hem, particularly in the back. It’s only noticeable at certain angles and I’m hoping in a different fabric the skirt will lay better. If not, I’ll use those handy vertical seams to take some bulk out at the side bottom of the back panels.

Simplicity 8019

I guess I’m just disappointed because this was such a simple pattern that I expected it to work easily and not require much alteration. Oh, well. They can’t all be winners and I have worn this skirt several times so I guess that counts as a success.

I have this pattern cut out of some demin ready to be assembled and hopefully I can remedy the fit issues this time.