Round 1: An A-line Skirt

The Super Online Sewing Match After the initial shock and elation of being selected as a contestant for the Super Online Sewing Match, a wave of fear overcame me. The challenge: to draft my own A-line skirt!

I could feel my fear growing exponentially as I considered my challenge. Here’s a step-by-step progression of what went through my mind:

Step 1. Take true & proper measurements. (Oi!)
Step 2. Transfer those measurements onto paper. (Ack!)
Step 3. Make a muslin and adjust the fit. (Eek!)
Step 4. Choose fabric. (Uh oh… this could take forever!)
Step 5. Design finishing touches. (In how many days? Yikes!)

Luckily, the Craftsy video course was extremely fun, informative and dispelled most of my fears (I’m still hung up on Step 1). Deborah Moebes is a great teacher and has the ability to tie in all of your existing sewing skills, including the new ones she teaches–creating a seamless feel to the course. I found an iPad app for it, which made it so much easier to bring to my makeshift cutting table and back to my sewing machine.
Round 1: The Super Online Sewing Match
Anyhoo, my first ever, custom-fit, self-drafted A-line skirt pattern! The piece on the right is a band that follows the curve of the hem to create a contrast hem.
Round 1: The Super Online Sewing Match
This was also my first time making a muslin. I can see the benefits of making one now. I was able to adjust the fit by: omitting front darts, while lengthening the back darts and practicing all of the intricate parts of the invisible zipper, bias tape waistband and pocket placement.
Round 1: The Super Online Sewing Match
I knew I wanted pockets on my skirt. I have a short torso, with what I call a “wrap-around waist” (one that extends into my back), so I wanted a large pair of pockets to draw attention away from my waist. I based the pockets from a Vogue pattern that I had (V8552) and attached them to my muslin. Then I noticed a major design flaw: the zipper opens up into the left pocket.
Round 1: The Super Online Sewing Match
I then drafted a new back pattern piece. It includes a 1/2″ seam allowance added to the fold line, that is used to cut 2 back pieces, instead of one. For my final skirt, the zipper is installed on the back and there is a seam that goes all the way down the centre of the back.

Ta da! This is my made-for-me-by-me skirt:
Round 1: The Super Online Sewing Match
This is the back of the skirt with the invisible zipper down the centre seam, I just noticed loose threads stuck to the bottom of the right pocket! Oops.
Round 1: The Super Online Sewing Match
The bias tape for the waistband is made from the same fabric as the contrast pockets and hem. I absolutely LOVE this print! I added a FROO & BOO fabric tag for a personalized touch:
Round 1: The Super Online Sewing Match
The side seams were finished with my serger and the contrast bottom hem is fully encased, so you can’t see any seams. This was a huge feat for me. When I wasn’t sewing, I was trying to figure out how to construct the hem and after a couple of modifications, I got it right!
Round 1: The Super Online Sewing Match
Round 1: The Super Online Sewing Match
By chance, the day before I became a contestant, I went to The Intrepid Thread for the first time. I picked up 3.75 yards of Pure Elements, by Art Gallery Fabrics, in Nocturnal (I cleared the shelf, still loving navy blue) and a couple of prints from the Indian Summer collection by Sarah Watson. These fabrics are quilting fabric, but the quality is oh-so-much better. They feel lighter and smoother, with more drape and the slightest amount of sheen. I only bought half a yard of Forest Trail in Mountain–it was intended as shorts for Boo. I couldn’t give up on the design in my head, so I asked the hubs to pick up another yard for me on the way home from work. He assured me that it was very much out of the way, but he went anyways. Love him.

Finally, a couple of photos of me in my new skirt. The outdoor photos were taken by Froo. I chose to wear a billowy summer top to hide the squishy bits, tucked in with a belt, to give semblance that there’s a waist hiding in there somewhere. Even though the pockets flare out, I feel that the lines of the pockets help to elongate my figure, creating a more narrow effect. Score!
Round 1: The Super Online Sewing Match
Round 1: The Super Online Sewing Match
A couple of bracelets that I made years ago to bring out the colours in the contrasting fabric. Aqua, coral and white, accenting navy blue–this is my favourite colour combination of all time, especially for summer.
Round 1: The Super Online Sewing Match
It was super bright out, so I wanted to see if the colours looked more “true” indoors, without all the highlights and shadows:
Round 1: The Super Online Sewing Match
Round 1: The Super Online Sewing Match
I think I would wear this skirt more as part of a casual outfit–with an aqua tee and a pair of TOMS. Boo is starting to become a regular photo bomber on my blog. He’s wearing the art smock that I made for him.
Round 1: The Super Online Sewing Match
Round 1: The Super Online Sewing Match
This is why I LOVE to sew: the new skills that I’ve learned over the past couple of days transformed a piece of Swedish tracing paper into a design of my own! The possibilities are endless when it comes to fabric choices, styles and design elements. It could be overwhelming, believe me, I spent a great deal of time scouring Pinterest, but once I sat down to consider a skirt I would actually wear, I could visualize it clearly in my mind. The need to create it took over from there, totally squashing my fears.

Round 1 of the Super Online Sewing Match is done–thanks for stopping by! A huge thanks also to Sew Mama Sew for hosting this amazing sewing match! This week has been a blast.


18 responses to “Round 1: An A-line Skirt

  1. Great job Irene, I love it! The colour combo is great. Love the white shoes.

    • Thanks Deb! The shoes were a “gift” from the hubs upon his return from a nerd conference in Las Vegas. Is it still considered a gift if I emailed him the link, along with my shoe size?

  2. Amy

    Lovely design ! The fabrics are so pretty and matching …… even Boo’s matching 😄

  3. Irene, super-cute!!! You did such a great job!!

  4. Mary Tang

    It’s amazing how those pockets gave you super narrow hips! Much easier than a diet – haha. I admire your attention to detail – repositioning the zipper, the invisible hem seams and even matching bias binding. Most of all I love the way you love your work; it’s wonderful to see a young woman enjoying the creation of a garment from scratch. Well done, Irene.

  5. It’s such a adorable skirt, gotta love those pockets!

  6. Pingback: Super Online Sewing Match: Round One Entries | Sew Mama Sew |

  7. I just found your blog through the SOSM and I really love it! This skirt is too cute – I am definitely obsessed with navy blue and I love the contrast print idea! Good luck in the competition 🙂

  8. Pingback: KCW: Summer outfit for Boo | FROO & BOO

  9. Lucinda

    Yay for learning new skills!! Such a beautiful skirt you drafted – great job! The pockets are such a great detail. What a sense of pride and accomplishment you must get from having drafted this skirt – not only can you truly call it your own design, but it looks great as well!

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