DIY: Easy and Fashionable A-line Skirt

I wanted to make an easy skirt for winter, and this year I was inspired by all the grunge and lace on the Fall 2013 RTW runways.  Again with the lace.  I know.  It’s just appealing to me right now.

inspiration boardjpg

Chloe, Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Ellie Saab & Erdem…

While browsing the internet, I was inspired by this website that has really cute, fashionable clothes at reasonable prices. They had this skirt for sale for $69.90:

Zara skirt

Of course I was like, “I could totally make my own version of that for a fraction of the price.”  And I did:

15A_finished skirt

The thing I liked about the Zara skirt is that it’s floral.  Floral is very big right now with the Grunge comeback.  But I didn’t really find a floral I liked at my local store, so I opted for these fabrics instead:

01_fabric choices

I went with a black floral lace and an abstract polyester for the main fabric.  Design-wise, I liked the juxtaposition of the two.  The poly was a border print, so I had to trim down my A-line pattern a bit to get it to fit.  *The key being that I trimmed at the sides and NOT at the waist*

You can easily find an A-line skirt pattern from a number of  pattern makers.  This one by Butterick (View A) is just like mine here.  (Remember, you don’t have to do all that extra stuff they feature on patterns like bows and belt loops).  I made my own pattern years ago by simply tracing one that was hanging in my closet and adding a 1/2″ seam allowance all the way around.

To make this project, you will need:

*Skirt fabric (3/4 yd to 1 1/2 yds depending on size)

Lace for trim (1/4 yd of lace yardage or about 2 yds of trim)

Interfacing, thread, 1 matching zipper

*Depending on your fabric choice, you may need to line it.  I keep a few slips on hand (I know–how old-lady-ish!?) so I never have to line anything 🙂

02_skirt assembly

1)  Cut out your pattern- 2 back panels and 1 front on the fold.

2)  I stitched 1 dart in each of the back panels, but this is not essential, especially if you are not curvy.

03_skirt assembly

3)  Decide on the length of your zipper ( I usually buy one that’s 7″ or cut one to that size).

4)  Mark the skirt where the zipper will end.  With the 2 back panels RST (right sides together), stitch from the hem up to just past where your zipper will end.

04_skirt assembly

5 &6)  With back panels still RST, BASTE the opening you left for the zipper. *Use a contrasting thread for easy visibility*

05_skirt assembly

7)  After stitching, press seams open.

06_skirt assembly

8)  Lay zipper face-down against the pressed seam on the inside of the skirt.  Baste the zipper in place through all layers.

07_skirt assembly

9)  Using a zipper foot, stitch your zipper from the outside, sewing down, then across bottom (I always back-stitch here to avoid future rips) and then up to opposite side.

08_skirt assembly10)  Remove all basting stitches.

11)  Stitch back to front at side seams.

09_skirt assembly12)  I cut 3″ wide strips for my waistband.

13)  I used fusible woven interfacing.  It’s personally my favorite.  It is soft but stable at the same time and fuses really well.  It’s a bit pricier (a few dollars more than non-woven)  but so worth it!  You can also use another cotton fabric…it will be trickier backing a poly though because it will slide a lot.

10_skirt assembly14)  Make sure your waistband piece is about 3-4 ” longer than the actual waist circumference.  Pin RS of waistband to RS of skirt along waistline.  Trim to 1/4 ” seam allowance.

11_skirt assembly15)  Turn in back edges and iron flat.  Fold waistband in half toward inside of skirt.

16)  Fold waistband down again, bringing top folded edge just below raw edge.

17)  Pin in place and stitch.  *This step can be done by machine or by hand.  I always opt for machine at the waistline myself*

12_skirt assembly

18)  Cut and hem skirt to desired length.

13_skirt assembly19)  For the lace trim at the bottom, I cut a soft scallop out of my fabric.  I then cut a strip from that about 4″ wide.

Always check out other departments in the store when you have a sewing project.  I saw this the other day in the yarn section and thought it might be usable for this project:

yarn lace

14_skirt assembly

19)  Pin strip to inside of skirt at bottom hem. On the inside,  let your lace extend above your original hem approx 1/4″ .  Stitch lace in place by following your original hem stitch.

15_amberI am very pleased to have my own unique skirt to add to my winter wardrobe. I can’t wait to throw it on with some tights and a cozy sweater!   It took me 2 hours to make, and with the coupons and sales on the fabrics, my supply costs came in at just under $10!  Now that’s my kinda’ deal!

What kind of inexpensive projects are YOU up to?


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