Super Online Sewing Match Round 1 Project: A-Line Skirt

 Here it is, the skirt I’ve been working furiously on this week for Sew Mama Sew‘s Super Online Sewing Match! The first challenge was to make your own A-line skirt using the video tutorial “Design and Sew and A-Line Skirt” by Deborah Moebes on Craftsy.  I chose to make my skirt in a high-waisted, vintage-inspired style similar to the pattern below. I got this cute vintage Australian pattern when I was the Peace Corps in Tonga and I’ve been planning to make a skirt like this ever since, so this challenge was a perfect opportunity to try it out.
I used this dark plum/brownish color corduroy I had in my stash which I’m pretty sure I picked it up at a thrift store at some point. I used a cowboy print cotton (also from my stash-yay for me!) for the lining of the pockets and waistband and also made bias tape with it to bind the inside seams. The two buttons on the pockets are from my (way too large) vintage button stash.
I drafted my own pattern for the pockets, which you can see later on in this post. I also decided to make an actual waistband for my dress, though in the video Deborah shows using bias tape or a facing. I just thought I wouldn’t get the proper vintage look I was going for without one. I just cut a long rectangle a few inches longer than my waist out of both the corduroy and the cowboy fabric. I used some lightweight fusible interfacing on the cowboy fabric, but I’m thinking now that I should have used something a bit heavier, since it ended up creasing soon after I put it on. Oh well!

I also used fusible interfacing on the lining of the pockets, which I’m glad I did because they pressed very nicely.

Here’s the side zipper. It actually went in with no issues, which was awesome. Those things can be tricky when they feel like it!

I think the biggest challenge I encountered while sewing this skirt was when, despite stay-stitching and lots of measuring, the waist was somehow too big for my waistband when I went to sew it on. After some frustration, I decided to leave it for the night and try again the next day. After thinking about it at work that day, I just kind of eased the skirt onto the waistband (with lots of pins) and that worked like a charm! (Much to my relief).

Sorry about the wrinkles on the back view! I forgot to take a back view shot initally, so I had my mom take one for me later after I’d been wearing it (and driving) for a few hours.

Here’s some views of the inside:

I bound the side seams with bias tape I made from the cowboy fabric and I also used it to line the waistband. I used the continuous bias tape method from the Colette Sewing Handbook.

I finished the hem with some rayon hem tape I had and I hand-sewed it so the stiches would be nearly invisible from the right side. I made a 1.5 inch hem and had my skirt hit just below the knee (my favorite length!).

Here’s some pictures of my pattern drafting process:

I first made a simple A-line skirt pattern with my measurements using the technique Deborah outlines in the video. I made a muslin of that pattern, which fit quite snugly. My mom helped me make my darts, which I transferred to the pattern. I wanted my skirt a bit more flared, so I used the “slash and spread” method she demonstrated. I used the hip line as a guide and added 1/2 an inch to each slash in my pattern at that point. I made another muslin and it fit great! I was ready to cut out my fabric.

I looked up some tips for sewing with corduroy on the net and I came across a Threads Magazine article that suggested serging the cut edges of your fabric before washing it. I had a total “Why the heck didn’t I think of this before?” moment! Instead if being a tangled mess of threads and fuzz, it came out of the wash in perfect shape! I’ll definitely be doing this every time I wash fabric from now on.

Here are my final traced pattern pieces.

These are the two pattern pieces I made for my pockets. The one on the left is my first draft, and the one on the right is my second draft after adding a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

That’s pretty much it! Thanks for checking out my project and fingers crossed that I make it to the next round!
PS: Thanks so much to Erin for helping me take the pictures! I really appreciate your help.