The lovely ladies over at Simple Simon & Co have a wonderful thing they do every year called Skirting the Issue (read more about it here). Basically, they are encouraging us all to make skirts and donate them for girls in foster care who might not get to go clothes shopping for back to school. To do this they are having a month of skirt tutorials over on their blogs. Here is my little addition of how to make a great skirt for a tween or teen.
So I love the easiness of making a simple elastic waistband skirt, but I think girls get to a certain age and want to look a little more grown up and a little less girly. That's why I love the simplicity of an A-Line skirt. All it takes is a simple side zipper (I'm partial to an invisible one...but any would work) and length of fabric needed to reach the right length of your girl.
Here's a quick rundown of how to figure out an A line skirt. Get a low waist line measurement...about an inch below the belly button (since you are adding a waistband) and a hip measurement (the biggest measurement around the hips area) and then I add a couple of inches to each because I don't like my clothes too snug. Take a waist to hip measurement...that would be from your waist line to just where you took the hip measurement.
Now you are set to "draw" your pattern out on your fabric.
Make sure you take your fabric and fold it in half twice (you need the front and back piece). Take your low waist + 2 inches (blue line) and hip + 2 inches (red line) measurements and 1/2 them (remember your fabric is folded...). Now take the number you now have for your waist and measure and then mark it on the top of your fabric (blue line). Take your waist to hip measurement (green line) and mark it down from your waist measurement. From the fold take your hip measurement number and mark it at the bottom of your waist to hip line (this becomes the red line).
With me so far?
Now just figure out how long you want your skirt(purple line) and mark that, measuring from your waist. Then all I do is gradually extend the line from the end of your waist measurement line to the hip line and then to the edge of the fabric or however far out you want it to go...for someone smaller you wouldn't go out too far. This is what becomes the bottom of the skirt so it depends really on how full you want it to be. I also cut out a 3 inch in width and natural waist measurement + 2 inches in length waistband (all one piece if I can get it out to the fabric).
Once I get it cut out, I add the zipper to the left side,
finish off the left side,
check to make sure the size is about right and then finish off the right side.
After that I add the waistband and finish it off.
First pin the waist band right side to the wrong side of the top of the skirt, leaving about 2-3 inch over hang off of the front of the skirt (really depends on how big your button is). Sew together.
Then press the band up, and press 3/8ths inch under on the top of the band. You also want to fold in the ends. For the end that will get the button hole, if you leave a little extra you can fold a little extra under which will make it stronger and so you really don't need interfacing.
|You can see in this picture that you don't want the zipper stop all the way at the top of the skirt edge...you need room for a seam allowance.|
For the other end you want it flat with the zipper, just fold to enclose the rough edge.
Now you fold down the waistband, making sure to cover the stitching line from before. Pin in place and iron the top of the waistband.
Finish off the skirt by top stitching the entire rectangle of the waist band, adding the button and button hole and hemming to your desired length.
And for another more "grown up" looking skirt, check out my tutorial HERE