Author Topic: Skirt without a pattern  (Read 21642 times)

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Offline pamela

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Skirt without a pattern
« on: February 28, 2009, 10:59:59 AM »
I always use a pattern to make anything. Thats the way I learned. I do alter and add here take away from there time to time,but  the art of taking a skirt laying it down cutting it and sewing it I've never done.
My question?
Last night I started teaching a beginner's sewing class at our church. Some of our ladies are larger than others.What they want to learn to make is a basic a-line, elastic waist skirt. I personally use Lois Hines pattern. And love it. Since these are not boughtl ocally. I find I need imput again.
How do you do this without a pattern? In my mind you measure the waist then the hip add ease ( what is standard? ) find the length then cut it.Right??
The part that makes me alittle up tight is getting the correct fall over the hip area. My mother-in-law in her day would lay a skirt down on the fabric cut around it the sew. We also know they were not as concerned with fit as some of us today are. ::)
Any suggestions? :teu18:

Offline fzxdoc

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Re: Skirt without a pattern
« Reply #1 on: February 28, 2009, 01:53:38 PM »
Pamela, here is a tutorial for a simple elastic waist skirt with pattern drawings:

5 minute skirt

For your future classes, here is one for a for a self-drafted 6 gore skirt:

6 gore skirt pattern

and here is one for a simple skirt:

simple skirt pattern

Also, has lots of free patterns.


« Last Edit: February 28, 2009, 01:56:13 PM by fzxdoc »

Offline Katherine

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Re: Skirt without a pattern
« Reply #2 on: February 28, 2009, 02:39:08 PM »
The book Sew What! Skirts

might be helpful to you.  It glosses over a lot, but it gives you instructions to draft a simple skirt & design others from that draft.  It mentions darts, but doesn't give specifics.

There's a Flicker group someone set up that has lots of photos of skirts members made.  Some of them were really beginners on their own.


Offline pamela

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Re: Skirt without a pattern
« Reply #3 on: February 28, 2009, 02:46:54 PM »
Thanks Ladies.
I realize I seem like a novice, and I'm not.
I'm self taught. When I was 16 ( a very long time ago) I purchased a sewing machine by paying $10.00 a month for a $100 for a machine.Then with no knowledge of fit, fabric or anything else. Picked out fabric, pattern and went to it. A pitifull sight. ::)
But after many years of trails and error,reading everything I could find. I've learn alot. Just never self cut anything.
THis is good for me.
Always try to learn something new everday. Helps keep your mind active they tell me. :smug:

Offline Katherine

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Re: Skirt without a pattern
« Reply #4 on: March 01, 2009, 02:27:48 PM »
Pamela, I suggested that book for your beginners, not you!  I figured it would work if they had you to fill in the missing pieces.  It does free up the way you think about things.


Offline kitnrose

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Re: Skirt without a pattern
« Reply #5 on: March 01, 2009, 04:27:39 PM »
Totally understand about being self-taught - I only had the basic instructions from a short home ec section in junior high and from there it was trial and error and lots of reading.  It's a good/bad thing - on the one hand I run into basic sewing stuff I *should* know, and started my sewing on fabrics uniquely unsuited for beginners (seriously, polyester chiffon for one of my first garments?? what was I THINKING?).  On the other, I like that lots of what I do came from figuring out what works and why it works and it helps me sew outside the box a bit.  It's hard to be afraid of things like complex construction or going off pattern when you've already taken the huge leap of sewing in the first place.

With that, I'm personally a fan of starting (not necessarily finishing  ;D) with patterns and there are some good ones out there for women of all sizes.

This Connie Crawford pattern covers just about all ranges of sizes and, if you've got a Joann's nearby, is absurdly cheap - Yeah, it's a straight skirt.  But (1) straight skirts look better on far more people than they think and (2) it's really easy to modify to an a line once you've got the basic fit worked out.  Just cut from hem to waist in two or three places, flare the pieces just a bit, and fill in with tissue paper (or, better, trace, filling in gaps) and you've got an a line that you're sure fits.

Nice gored skirt from Simplicity spanning from size 10 to 28 - like CC pattern above, elastic waist for easy construction.  Not as easy to mod into a bunch of styles but the gored look is very flattering on a lot of women. 

McCall's longer aline bias skirt - one of the few a line skirts for Women I found in my quick search.  It looks super easy and it shouldn't be any trouble to find an identical pattern for those under size 18 that you're teaching. 

Hope this helps!  I'd love to do a skirt rather than an apron in my sewing class but my students keep either getting pregnant or being men (the latter being a pre-existing condition, not one they acquired during class - just to clarify) so we're sticking with aprons. 


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