Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Twinkle Sews: A Plus A-Line Skirt pt 1

My first garment from the Twinkle Sews book is the A Plus A-Line skirt. (It will be my entry into the A Plus A-Line contest over at Burdastyle.) If you would like to try this skirt without buying the book, you can download it for free here. (Deadline for contest is tomorrow.) Today I am going to go over some of the prep process that I had to do before I cut out my real fabric.

Step 1: Printing Out.

The pattern for this skirt is on a disc included with the book, so you have to print the pattern onto computer paper and tape everything together. I am a mac user and I use Preview as my default for pdf files. For some reason, I could not get Preview to play nicely with this document. It kept printing the page just a little too big, so I could not see some of the numbers in the corner to line up the pages. I had to download adobe and I think those images may have been a little too small. (The border was bigger in real life than it appeared on my computer screen. But who knows.) If you have ever pieced together a pattern from Burdastyle, you hopefully will have noticed that they include a 4 inch box on their patterns which you can measure to make sure that your printouts are the right size. These patterns do not have that, and I wish they did. Then I would just know that everything would be just right. Because there are no measurements given for the garments, it is doubly hard to make sure that the scale is correct.

Step 2: Tape it all together

There are numbers in all the corners to match up so you can tape everything together.

Step 3: Tracing the Pattern (optional)

I do not like working with the computer paper, so I trace the pattern onto the back of another pattern. Yep, you heard me correctly, I reuse old patterns this way. (Not vintage, just kinda oldish) I am a sucker for $1 - $2 pattern sales that the chain fabric stores have, and I end up with some patterns that seemed like a good idea at the time but really weren't. I iron them out, turn them over and use them to trace my Burdas and Hot Patterns. If I pay attention and mark everything clearly, I don't get distracted by the existing markings.

Step 4: Resize Pattern

I'm not gonna lie, I am about a size bigger than the largest size offered in this book. Because this pattern is so simple, I just added some width equally to all the pieces and that seemed to work fine. The first thing I did was cut the pattern in half. All of the pattern pieces for this garment were meant to be cut in a single layer, which is fine, but adds complications when you want to grade something up. (If you are adding inches towards the side of the pattern, it is easier to do it once on the fold, then twice at each end. If that makes sense.) So I just cut out my pattern, folded it in half, and then cut it in two. (I would be annoyed if I had to grade between the given sizes because you would have to fully print out both sizes, put one on top of each other, and trace in between. Or that is how they say to do it. I would not. There is a lot to be said for multi-size sheets.)

I knew I was going to add about an 1 1/2 to each pattern piece, so I marked a line, cut the pattern on the line, and spread the pieces out. (Since the pattern is so simple, I just spread in one spot.) I then taped the pieces to my table.

And then I traced over these pieces to create one pattern piece. Voila! A pattern in my size.

Step 5: The muslin

I made a few muslins for this skirt. I made three just for the yoke. I wanted to get the fit just right for that before I resized anything else, so I would know exactly how much to add to the other pattern pieces. I then made one for the lining, because it is more fitted than the skirt. (I ended up with the back piece being really big. Not sure if that was my error or the pattern's.) Then I made one for the skirt. I am still not happy with the waist, but I am going to deal with that in the actual fashion fabric.

Step 6: The Skirt

I got the skirt cut out last night and am about to start sewing. I have a lovely grey wool flannel that I am using. Hopefully I can get that waist fixed.


fraudeutz said...

Hi and thanks for this post. I have major issues printin too. I also loved to have a check box to be sure I have printed properly. The other problem is I can absolutely not get the pages to print, do you have any advices?
Thanks from over the pond :)

Adelaide B said...

What are you using to view the pattern pieces? (Adobe, Illustrator, preview etc.)