A-Line Skirt SAL Week 3 (4?): start the REAL skirt!

1. Chautauqua A-line, 2. A line skirt wearable muslin, 3. Mel’s muslin, 4. Design-it-yourself SAL A-Line Skirt, 5. Finished A-line, 6. Upcycled black velvet skirt, 7. Muslin, 8. Wearable muslin fits!, 9. Lisa’s skirt

well helLO my dear SALlies! so, yes, i did sort of miss a week back there; don’t know if you noticed. hopefully it gave all of you late-joiners and fall-behinders a chance to catch up! i, of course, am eternally behind and haven’t even touched my own skirt-a-long project yet, though i do have my fabric (kelly green denim, just like Jill’s above in the center photo).

so, we’ve got muslins! er, fit samples. and most of them wearable. woo HOO! for most of you that i’ve heard from, this stage went pretty smoothly, yes? and i suspect the few of you who DID have to do some tweaking are probably extra-glad for this fit sample pre-cursor to the final skirt.

onto your next assignment: time to cut and start sewing the REAL skirt! or at least, your first real skirt. it’s helpful to think of this one as the first of many, and there are still lessons to be learned here. in other words, i still wouldn’t suggest cutting into the Liberty quite yet! a few tips and answers to the questions in your head:

— it is definitely a good idea to pre-wash your fabric before cutting, to get any shrinkage over with. wash it just like you do your laundry; if you put all of your clothes in the dryer, do it with the fabric. now, if you already cut but you skipped the pre-wash, don’t fret. you’ll just want to hand wash and air-dry this skirt. or machine-wash it, but don’t put it in the dryer.

— cutting out your skirt should be fairly straightforward, and not too different from cutting the muslin. if you have a print with a direction, pay attention so you don’t end up with a skirt featuring upside-down giraffes. make your markings (really just the dart points) on the wrong side of the fabric. if the difference between right/wrong side of your fabric is subtle, make some chalk marks on the wrong side so you don’t get confused.

— the first steps are to sew the darts and the French seam on the right-hand side seam only. the left side seam is where the zipper will go, and that seam gets done after the zipper is installed. i’ll be posting a French seam tute for you in another day or two. do you need one for the darts as well, or can you handle them? [note: you can do any kind of seam you like; French are just my favorite and i use them wherever possible].

— if you haven’t already done so, be sure to pick up your invisible zipper (7″ is good, longer is fine too as they’re easily shortened), invisible zipper foot (usually they don’t come with your machine; just the regular zipper foot does. i like the YKK brand plastic foot that fits any machine, but you can also order the foot from your machine manufacturer) and single-fold bias tape (or make your own). i’ll be posting more about bias tape later this week…

okay, go to it!

p.s. thanks SO much to all of you who are posting your pics over in the DIY clothes group, and most especially you brave souls who even posted ones of fitting-in-progress! it’s hard for me to know if anything’s really happening until the photos start showing up, and it makes me so happy to see the evidence that projects are happening. plus, it gives others inspiration to see the lovely finished ones, and confidence to see the less-than-perfect ones (of course they’re ALL perfect and lovely in my opinion)! i encourage you all to take a peek over there and leave a comment or two to support your fellow SALlies who are bravely showing their work! there is also a discussion thread over there for each week’s topic, which is a good place to post questions or comments, or hot tips (got a favorite online zipper source?) for the whole group to see. of course you can also comment here, or email me. i’m here for you!



  1. I’m behind 🙁 Of course now I am chickening out and trying to find an old bed sheet or something I can use as muslin instead of the fabric I picked out =P

  2. there’s really no such thing as “behind”… work at your own pace. there’s no deadline! ;n)

  3. Hi Cal, I discovered that bark cloth adds bulk on the fold when you cut the fabric, well there you go! (ie, the fabric is thicker and I didnt think about the fold needing to be really flat so it added a few cm). Thanks for discussing how different fabrics are going to sit and drape in the book since I’m a relatively newbie sewer so I didn’t freak out when my skirt was too big after the muslin was perfect. I made the front darts bigger and took in a cm on each side and ready to put the zip in now.

  4. good for you working it out mel! every projects presents new challenges ;n)

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