Thursday, 15 September 2011

The progress so far

I've finally got around to drafting my skirt pattern and have also cut out the skirt pieces... Still need to do the waist band, but that shouldn't take too long!

I was really surprised how large the pattern turned out! If it was any bigger I think I would need a bigger house! lol

For my skirt I have decided to go for a longer length, falling around mid-calf. Hopefully it will be flattering, if not I might shorten it a little... But for now the length is 30inches.

To draft my pattern I had to stick 14 sheets of A3 paper together!! As I was doing this during the day I constructed it on our bed. As you can see from the pictures below, it took up practically the whole bed!

Just starting to draw out the pattern

The finished pattern all cut out
After seeing how large the pattern was I knew there was no way I would be able to carry on till the kids were in bed and I could lay the fabric out in the living room. This is the bit were I almost needed a bigger house. I had to move some furniture out to be able to lay out the fabric and I only just had enough room!

In the bottom right corner you can see the wall were the
fabric started and it stretched to just under the sofa!
I followed the layout suggestion provided by Tanya which you can view here. I also used this link and the equation to calculate the amount of fabric I would require (3 metres). On a side note, I guess I can no longer say that I've not used my maths since leaving school! ;)

One of the main things I've been stressing over since buying my lovely checked/plaid fabric, is matching the pattern at the seams. This is something that I have never done before and to be honest looks pretty complicated! Also if you get it wrong it makes the finished garment look very amateur. Lucky for me, the fabric I have chosen has even checks (i.e. they are symmetrical), if they were uneven I think this process may have been more tricky? In The Complete Book of Sewing, it suggests you mark the fabric bars (stripes) onto the pattern paper with a pencil or crayon.


I marked the bars along the edge of the paper for about 30cm before realising it was really the pattern along the straight edge that I needed to match! *face palm*

The seam will be along the straight edge, therefore this is where you need
pattern match!

As I was working on the laying of the pattern pieces and matching the pattern, it occurred to me that I could also match the vertical bars to create a seamless finish. Luckily for me the pattern is perfectly proportioned for this. The thickest bar (the one at the middle of the repeating pattern) is exactly 3cm wide. I am using a 1.5cm seam allowance, so in theory if I cut along the edge of this bar the sewing line will be perfectly in the middle... Theoretically anyway!! :/

To give you an idea of what I am jabbering on about!

Finally all lined up and ready to cut.

I can't tell you how many times I checked (lol) everything before cutting! I get so paranoid I am going to do something wrong and ruin all that beautiful fabric! I still don't know for sure I've done it right. Wont know for definite until I get to the sewing :/

For the second skirt piece I was finding it tricky to get the pattern of the fabric to match up whilst keeping the straight edge of the paper on the edge of the stripe. I think this was due to my paper being not completely square and flat due to the sticky tape. Also the lack of room was creating difficulty, it was hard moving around the fabric without stepping on it and pulling it off grain. In the end I decided to lay the cut fabric on top and use that as my pattern piece. I pinned the pieces together all the way around the permitter, matching the pattern as I went. Doing it this way (I hope) will have worked perfectly. I forgot to take a picture of this, but I hope you get the idea!?

Here's an idea of what the two pieces should look like when sewn together!

How tiny does the waist hole look!!!

Well, that's as far as I have got for now. I think the next step in the sew along is to join the side seams... That will be the moment of truth for the pattern matching! Eeek!

Thanks for reading, hope my ramblings made sense!



  1. Hello, fellow Circle Skirt-er! Thank you for the nice comment! I'm glad you like the applique.

    I'm loving your plaid...and I peeked around a bit and I see you're doing a red petticoat! Beautiful! This is fun, isn't it?


  2. Ooh, red petticoat, huh? Sounds divine! Can't wait to see the result. Keep sewing!

  3. how far have you got now (yippe found out how to post)

  4. Thank you for the detail in this post. I am planning to do exactly this with some navy and white checked fabric and wanted the seams to all match nicely.

    1. Hi SewRuthie, no problem! It was pretty tricky figuring it all out, but so worth it when it all matches up. Felt like a proper sewer! lol. I hope yours turned out ok… if you've done it that is! :)