Digital Pattern Library || Sequin Skirt
This is an exciting post to share with you guys. In celebration of the New Year I have 'cleansed' my wardrobe as many of us do, ensuring nothing has been thrown out but either sold or upcycled. I also had an early Christmas treat by rummaging through my scrap fabrics collected over the years and combining all factors together, I have decided to work towards a wardrobe in which everything I wear has been created by me. This may not always fall in line with the Xandra Jane aesthetic however should you take inspiration from any of these posts or designs I want to offer you the chance to download the pattern and construct one yourself should you wish so you can grab a slice of designer fashion at a fraction of the price... whilst learning something along the way. You'll therefore also find a new category in the "SHOP" section of this website and you can find these downloadable patterns under "DIGITAL PATTERN LIBRARY"
Inspired by the scraps of this expensive sequin fabric (used in my student days for a questionable jumpsuit design), I consulted my wardrobe inventory and drafted up a skirt design that allows the fabric to speak for itself with a waistband detail to elevate it from a basic mini skirt. I also had some black cotton for the lining, although I would suggest silk to be a better match. Sustainable design doesn't always give you the freedom of choice!
STEP ONE - PREPARE YOUR FABRIC
Once you have printed the pattern and cut out your pieces ensure you have marked all notches and dart placements with small snips into the fabric within the seam allowance and tailor tacks using a contrasting coloured thread. When it comes to fusing the waistband ensure you have trimmed down any excess that would cause bulk in the seams.
STEP TWO - SEW THE DARTS
Darts add shape to a garment, pulling the fabric in to follow the forms of the body. As I've been working with black fabric I have clearly chalked out the shape to which you sew. Fold the notches together and smooth fabric down to the mark sewing in a straight line with right sides of fabric together. Press your dart towards the side seams and remove tailor tack thread when finished. Repeat with self fabric.
STEP THREE - SEW UP THE SEAMS
Piece the front and back pieces together at the side seams, matching the notches and sew with 1cm seam allowance pressing your seams open as you go. Essentially we are making the shell of two skirts (one in self, one in lining) before joining them together. When you come to sew the centre back seam, start from the hemline and stop at the notch leaving the top open for insertion of the zipper. If you happen to use sequin fabric please press open with some scrap cotton or calico over the seam as heat damage from the iron can occur.
STEP FOUR - ATTACHING THE WAISTBAND
Match the waistband across the top of the skirt with notches lining up to the darts and side seams. Pin in place and sew with the 1cm seam allowance.
STEP FIVE - INSERTING THE ZIPPER
Swapping the sewing machine foot over to a zipper foot and pressing the concealed zip with an iron ensures you get the closest stitch possible when inserting.
On the skirt made in self fabric: Pin the zip tape to the seam allowance on the centre back of the skirt, right sides together, and stitch. Zipping up you can then match the opposing side to the garment, pin in place and repeat.
Once you've secured the placement and everything lines up nicely, trim any excess zipper tape.
STEP SIX - LINING
Match the tops of the skirts along the waistband, right sides together. Pin and sew with the 1cm seam allowance.
To reduce bulk and get that sharp edge to the back of the waistband snip into the corner where the waistband joins the skirt without cutting the stitching, and trim down excess around the top corner. (Excuse my awful diagram) Press the seams and turn out. Give the skirt a press to define a crisp edge and understitch. This will stop the lining from rolling to the outside of the garment and ensures it sits nicely on the form.
Step Seven - enclosing the zipper
Fold the seam allowance on the lining and pin in place enclosing the zip. Using the zipper foot on the sewing machine to get close to the teeth (without stitching over them) sew in place.
STEP EIGHT - HEMMING THE SKIRT
There are many ways to hem the skirt though for this pattern I have simply attached a rolled hem foot to my machine and turned up the allowance. Keeping the skirt open at the bottom adds a movement to the skirt when worn.
For me, the last touch was sewing in an old label and giving the garment one final press, remembering to protect the sequin fabric with calico before adding heat.
This pattern is a UK Size 8, though please don't feel excluded, as I intend to grade this design and publish more sizes when I have a moment to do so. As mentioned this was created for my personal wardrobe. To download the pattern, purchase below and open with the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader. Print true to size on a normal domestic printer and be sure to share any creations with me through any of the social media platforms. I look forward to sharing further designs with you in this Digital Pattern Library series!