In a move to build up my wardrobe a bit, here’s another skirt from Lekala Patterns. I love it, I really dig the curved seam down the front. It moves nicely, and my choice of dark grey fabric means it will be a staple item worn again and again.
As for Lekala, I’ve made a few things but am still a little hesitant about the reliability of the patterns – you plug in your measurements, it produces a custom-sized pattern for you. So far, mixed results, the measurements seem fine but the construction sometimes makes me wonder if (a) the patterns need more client testing or (b) the patterns are fine but the instructions are so unclear that the pattern is perfectly fine but I just can’t figure out how things go together. Maybe I rely too heavily on illustrated instructions from the Big 4 without learning construction for myself, all the same, you can’t beat Lekala’s designs, there’s some really cool stuff on the website. I love this skirt, love it. So, my advice is to pick patterns you love and are worth the time and effort of a muslin – not only will you get great fit by doing adjustments before you cut into your fashion fabric, but any questions about construction could be addressed or corrected at that time too. Email them if you have questions, they seem like nice people.
Here are the steps I used to assemble, note they differ from the manufacturer’s instructions:
1) Make skirt lining (optional, not part of the pattern)
If you’re lining the skirt, cut 1 each of front left, front right, and back piece – be sure to mark the closure end below the buttons guide as shown below. Add length to skirt if planning to do so on outer fashion fabric pieces too – I added 4 inches to lining, and 5 inches to skirt itself. Sew darts on front and back, press inward. Sew the centre seam, stopping at the marked closure end. Sew front to back piece. Fold and sew hem, and finish by pressing all seams with hot iron.
2) Cut pattern pieces out of fashion fabric
Cut 1 each front left, front right, back piece, belt and 3 of the left facing piece (longer one) – remember, you’ll need to add seam allowances to all pieces if you were too cheap to pay 50 cents to include them in the download (like me). For interfacing, cut 1 of facing, and 1 for belt. When it comes to the edge of your centre front seam, be very generous with the seam allowance, you’ll be turning this and using it as part of your button hole placket so it needs to be wider than your buttons/button holes. Note that you may want to check your darts before marking them on the fabric, I found them too close to the outer hip, and I brought them inwards over my tummy a bit, just my preference. Also, add length to skirt as desired, here I added 5 inches to bring it closer to my calves. Now, I asked you to cut 3 of the left facing piece, which is different from the pattern instructions – see next step!
3) Apply facings
Iron on the fusible interfacing to wrong sides of facings, sew the facings to the upper edge of the skirt while allowing for the same generous seam allowance as with skirt front pieces. Turn the left-hand facing to inside and press, leave the right-hand one to outside and press flat. On the right-hand side facing, clip at closure, stitch along the flat seam. Here’s what the two pieces should now look like:
4) Assemble the skirt
Sew the centre seam starting from the bottom of the skirt and sew upwards – the left-hand skirt front is purposefully shorter than the right side. Be sure to stop at the bottom of the button closure, and keep your wide seam allowance. Press open, and slide the lining underneath the facing of the left-hand side, pinning in place. Topstitch full length of left-hand side piece in 2 places: topstitch along left of seam, and then about 1 inch from that depending on how much of an allowance you gave for your buttons/buttonholes. If desired, tack the right-hand seam allowance down along the length of the right-hand seam. Sew the front piece to the back piece, being careful not to catch the lining in your seams. Try on, check fit, and adjust darts and side seams as needed. On the right-hand side of closure, slip stitch lining to skirt seam. Hem skirt bottom.
5) Prepare and attach belt
Apply the fusible interfacing to the wrong side of the belt with a hot iron. Fold the belt piece in half, good side out, and press. Open the piece again, and fold up and press the bottom edge length of one side by 1/2 inch. Take the end of the belt that will be applied to the slanted left-hand piece, flip it wrong side out, and sew the end closed, stopping the stitches as you reach the pressed edge. Trim the corner, flip right-side out again and press. You now have neat and tidy belt ends. Place the belt on skirt and sew on the full length of belt, starting from the the left-hand front piece. Turn the belt inward, and hand stitch the pressed edge to the inside seam, continuing on once you finish past the placket.
Sew buttonholes according to pattern markings, add buttons. Sew snaps to opposite end of belt.