The Astrid Skirt Sewalong! Part 1 - Preparations
Follow along step by step as I'm sewing the Astrid skirt!
Part 1: Preparations
Pattern: The Astrid skirt, PDF pattern
Fabric suggestions: medium weight woven fabrics such as chambray denim, cotton drill, gabardine, linen, medium weight viscose/rayon and cotton lawn. When using a light weight fabric it’s a good idea to use fusible interfacing on the waistband and button placket for stability. You will need aproximately 1,5 m of fabric for all sizes if you use the same fabric for all pieces.
My fabric: I'm using this fabric from Storrs London called Shrimpton blue for my Astrid skirt. In collaboration with them I am offering you a discount code for 20% off your purchase! How great is that? Use code PLOEN1 at checkout when buying any of their gorgeous cotton lawn fabrics! Cotton lawn is on the lighter side so I will show you how I'm using interfacing to create some stability.
Now let's get started! Make sure you have your pattern, fabric, thread, buttons and interfacing if you have a light fabric. And of course a sewing machine and scissors and all that good stuff. I'm using an overlocker too but if you don't have one a zigzag stick on your regular machine will work just as well :)
Print your pattern. Make sure your settings are set to “print actual size”, “100%” or “true to scale”. Do not add “fit to paper”. I find that Adobe Reader works best for printing. (It's free). On page 1 of the pattern you will find one test square that is 5 cm and one that is 1,5 inches. Start by only printing page 1. Measure your printed square to ensure your printer didn’t scale your pattern! When you are satisfied you can print the rest of the pattern. Assemble the pages together in rows of 5, making sure the diamonds line up.
Prepare your fabric. Prewash your fabric the same way you intend to wash your finished garment. The reason for this step is to prevent shrinking and to detect any problems or kinks with the fabric before you use it. I washed my Storrs fabric at 40 degrees as instructed and it worked wonders. Not a lot of shrinkage and the colours and shine of the fabric remained. However I have had some unpleasant surprises in the past with other fabrics where I've skipped this step and then washed my finished garment, only to find it a few sizes too small when I took it out of the machine... So don't skip this step ;)
Choose a size using the size guide. Choose the size that is closest to your waist measurement. Hip measurement is flexible in this pattern due to the wide skirt. 1 cm of ease is added to the waistband.
Fit: We all have different body shapes and just as with RTW clothes no garment or pattern is made for your exact body. I always suggest you make a toile* before you cut out your fancy fabric. That way you can make adjustments to have a pattern that fits you perfectly to use over and over again.
*A toile is an early version of a finished garment made up in cheap material so that the design can be tested and perfected.
Seam allowances of 1 cm (approximately 1/2 inch) are included. Hem and placket are also included.
Now it’s time to cut or trace out your size! And then start with the actual steps! I cut out my size because I prefer that method. Feel free to trace if that's your jam!
Step 1 - cutting
Place your pattern on the fabric and pin it in place making sure the grain line is right and there are no wrinkles underneath. Make sure everything is placed right before you cut!
I chose to not use the pocket facing + lining fabric so I will not cut that pattern piece. I use the sam fabric for all pattern pieces.
When you have all of your pieces cut out we can move on to the next step.
Step 1b - interfacing
Since the fabric I am using is on the lighter side I decided to use fusible interfacing. I added a thin and flexible fusible interfacing to the waistband, button placket and a small strip to the pocket pouches. This is to ensure the skirt holds its shape. For the waistband I just used the waistband pattern piece but made it a little bit smaller so it wouldn't come outside of the fabric piece.
For the button placket I used the same length as the skirt pieces and made a piece 6 cm wide. However I wasn't careful enough when cutting so it was on the wider side. You will see it peaking out of the button placket on the inside a few times. I made it 6,5 or 7 cm wide and that turned out to be too much. If you make yours 6cm you should be fine :)
Then I created the strips of interfacing for the pocket pouch following the shape of that curve. I made it 1,5 cm wide.
Then I flipped it over to create the strip for the other pocket.
Trim off any excess interfacing.
All interfacing pieces are done! Grab a cup of coffee or tea and let's continue to the next step :)
Step 2 - marking
Mark your notches and fold lines by cutting into the fabric (just a few millimeters).
Yes, this pocket piece is the Swedish version... if you bought the pattern in English all your pieces will be in English :) I just couldn't find my english pocket for this tutorial.
Step 3 - Press button placket
First press 1 cm, and then 3 cm.
Then stitch button placket in place. (stitch 3 cm from pressed edge).
Step 4 - pleats
Press and baste pleats on the skirt to keep them in place.
Find the pleat notches.
Then fold the pleats like this. Towards the side seam.
Press and pin.
Baste the pleat to hold it in place.
Repeat on all other pleats. The back pleats are also facing towards the side seams.
That's it for today! Next time we will start on the pockets! See you then <3
Leave a comment below or send me an email (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you need help with anything or have any questions at all :)
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