How To Make An A-Line Skirt 2

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Sewing Bee Fabrics Tutorial

How To Make An A Line Skirt With Pockets

Free sewing tutorial by Linda at sewing bee fabrics - how to make an A-line skirt with pockets

When this gorgeous Michael Miller fabric  (garden bouquet) arrived, I wanted it! The thing I miss most when I wear skirts is having a good pocket, so what better than to make an A line skirt with big pockets out of it. I usually make skirts with an elastic waistband for speed, but if you do that then fill your pockets, it will likely start sliding down, which is why I made a zipper back and a button up top. This is how I made it:

What you will need:

Cotton (this would also work well in other non-stretch fabrics such as linen. Polycottons can be a bit more see through when the light hits and lack body so may need lining to work as well). You will need approximately 1 metre but I would recommend making up your pattern first as depending on your size, will determine exactly how much you'll need.

A zipper

A button

A little bit of medium interfacing the size of your waistband.

How To Make It:

First you want to make your pattern. To do that, measure your waist, your hips, the distance between your hips and waist down the centre (tummy button area) and the length you want your skirt to be.

The A line skirt pattern will be cut on the fold. This makes it easier to cut out identical sides, but also to figure where to put the zip, so the top edge is quarter of your waist measurement plus a little ease - around half an inch / a cm. If your not sure if you want a bit more ease then add a little more and you can always pin it together once cut out and trim it down if needed. Add your preferred seam allowance to the outer edge. To give it a little more shape, I then curved this line a little so it was about 3 cm higher at the side edge than the centre fold edge.

The distance down is the length you want your skirt to be plus a little extra for the bottom hem.

The distance across the bottom is 1.5 times the top waist measurement then curved by the same amount as the top line.

Now double check that your hip measurement will fit inside the pattern! If you have wider hips, simply increase the bottom measurement until you fit inside the angle with a little extra for movement.

a-line skirt tutorial sewing bee fabrics how to draft your own pattern

Cut once on the fold for the front of the skirt. For the back of the skirt, cut it twice with a seam allowance added the to the straight centre edge.

To make the pocket template, simply draw around your wrist and hand then line your paper up with where a side seam would sit on your leg. Adjust the angle until it sits naturally for you to put your hand inside the pocket then trim the paper with the same angle. Don't forget you will need a seam allowance the entire way around so take this into account when drawing to make the space generous or you wont squeeze your hand through the opening!

Cut twice on folded fabric (so you should have 4 pieces total but 2 facing the opposite way).

a-line skirt tutorial sewing bee fabrics how to draft pockets

The first step of actual sewing will be to sew up the back seam leaving space for the zipper. Mark where the zipper comes up to with a pin. The waistband will have a slight overlap with the skirt body fabric so the scruffy top will be hidden. I'm going to show you how I placed an exposed zipper but hidden zippers look great in A-line skirts too.

a-line skirt tutorial sewing bee fabrics  how to sew a zip

If you have an overlocker, then fantastic, now is the time to use it. Otherwise, you can easily sew your seam (which I use a quarter inch quilting foot to help me keep a uniform size) then I use an over-edge sewing machine foot to sew a zigzag along the fabric edge to prevent fraying. You could also sew a zigzag stitch near to the edge too. I sewed from the bottom of the back centre seam up to my marker for the base of the zipper.

a-line skirt tutorial sewing bee fabrics sewing up the back seam

I then tucked under the remaining raw edges so that the folded in on themselves and the raw edge hidden inside before lining the zip teeth up with the edge.

a-line skirt tutorial sewing bee fabrics positioning the zip in the back seam

Make sure your zip is done right up while you pin in place. You ca either put in lots of pins, or I know some people prefer to use masking tape to hold their zips in position so they can sew directly over the tape.

a-line skirt tutorial sewing bee fabrics how to sew a zipper

Start with the zipper open half way to sew the first inch, then do it back up again and continue down to the base of the zipper then across the bottom, reversing and going back over the zip here a couple of times slowly before continuing back up. This prevents the zipper from being over opened and the zipper coming apart. Again I just undid the zip to sew the last inch so that the zip top doesn't get in the way. A zipper foot makes this much easier to sew.

a-line skirt tutorial sewing bee fabrics how to add a zip

Position your 2 sets of pocket pieces with right sides out. First we need to attach them to your main skirt pieces, so to get identical placement, lay your front and back pattern pieces right sides together then sandwich your pockets in the centre at the desired height. Pin them to a side each along the raw edge.

Sew the single pocket piece to a single skirt piece then you should be able to flick them out like ears. Put your skirt pieces back on top of each other right sides together then sew the side seams treating the pocket ears sticking out as the new side edge to follow around.


a-line skirt tutorial sewing bee fabrics how to sew pockets into side seams guide

Hem the bottom edge of the skirt by turning the edge twice then sewing in place to trap the raw edge in the middle. For speed (no pressing in place and wonky eyeballed edges) I used a wide hem foot which basically works the same as the rolled hem foot but gives you the more traditional wider heavier edge.

a-line skirt tutorial sewing bee fabrics hemming the bottom

To create the waistband, you need a piece of fabric a little wider than your skirt when folded, and twice the height. The extra width needs to be just enough for a seam allowance, a button and a tiny bit more. I trimmed mine a little more after taking this picture as the button I chose in the end didn't need as much space as this. You also need a piece of medium weight interfacing (or you could use some canvas fabric instead) the same width but only half the height as it will be sandwiched between the cotton. The interfacing helps the waistband hold it's shape, otherwise it will just crease up and wont support the button properly.

a-line skirt tutorial sewing bee fabrics measuring out the waistband

Fold your fabric in half along the width so it is right side together and sew the short ends. Trim off the corners before turning it back rights side out.

a-line skirt tutorial sewing bee fabrics joining the waistband edges

Tuck the raw edges under and press with the iron.

a-line skirt tutorial sewing bee fabrics turning under edges on waistband

Sandwich the skirt top inside the raw edges.

a-line skirt tutorial sewing bee fabrics fixing the waistband to the skirt

You can either leave an overlap both ends or just 1 end. It's personal preference there... it does allow you a bit more variation if you tend to fluctuate sizes to be able to move the top button if both sides overlap.

Make sure the top of the zip sits up inside. You want your zip to do right up to the waistband.

a-line skirt tutorial sewing bee fabrics  creating an overlap with the waistband for buttons

So the waistband doesn't gape at the top, pop a dart in the sides in line with the side seams to hug the top of the waistband to the body. Depending on how curvy you are will vary your ideal dart side so try it on inside out and play with how much to pinch out.

a-line skirt tutorial sewing bee fabrics adding a dart to the waistband

Sew your waistband to your A line skirt - I found that using a walking foot helped all the layers move through more evenly and stopped the fabric being pulled out of alignment.

a-line skirt tutorial sewing bee fabrics sewing the waistband down

Sew a buttonhole on one end of the waistband. For more help with this, check out our guide on how to sew buttons and buttonholes by machine.

a-line skirt tutorial sewing bee fabrics adding a buttonhole

Sit your 2 ends together flat over the zip. I prefer to put a pin through the buttonhole to mark where the best position for the button will be. Then go ahead and sew it in place.

a-line skirt tutorial sewing bee fabrics how to sew on a button

Then your new A line skirt is finished and ready for you to fill the pockets!

how to make an a line skirt with pockets - free sewing tutorial - sewing bee fabrics
michael miller fabrics garden bouquet a-line skirt sewing tutorial
a line cotton skirt knee length sewing tutorial using Michael Miller garden bouquet

In case anyone was wondering, the top is made from Lillestoff organic jersey (sweet life), in the same way that I made this T-shirt.

sew you own a-line skirt with our free pattern tutorial by Linda at sewing bee fabrics

Have you made an a line skirt before? What are your favourite skirt fabrics and shapes?

Free sewing tutorials by sewing bee fabrics

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