The Alder Skirt Walkthrough – Day Two

A day later than I would have liked, but here is the second day (of three) of the Alder skirt pattern walkthrough.

Today we will be assembling the front of the skirt so it will look like this:

DSCF0405 copy

I neglected to mention in my last post that there are pattern pieces A or P for the sides and pocket linings. A allows the pockets to bow out slightly and B is flatter pockets, so whichever you choose, you’ll need to follow that section of instructions for this part. Mine follows pattern B.

First things first- you will need make a couple of tailor’s tacks. This is for the part where you need to mark your fabric and is an old fashioned way of doing it. If you have dressmaker’s transfer paper then feel free to use that instead. You will have a dot on the centre panel to make one for, rather than marking the entire line.

DSCF0369 copyCut a nice long bit of contrasting thread and thread through the needle, doubling it up so that the tail is equal length. Insert your needle through the paper and the two layers of fabric and back up from one side of the dot to the other.

DSCF0371 copyDon’t pull tight, leave a decent size loop of thread (about the size of three fingers together or more)  and reinsert needle through the same hole in the same direction

DSCF0373 copyClip the loops so that it looks like cat’s whiskers.

DSCF0376 copyBetween the two layers of fabric, start to pull them away and clip so that there is thread on both pieces of fabric.

DSCF0378 copyRepeat for the bottom of the dart on the back piece.

DSCF0381 copyLet’s get sewing! Take the paper off the centre panel piece. I’ve made a tailors tack in the centre too but actually it’s necessary if you can see the fold where the centre line is. At one side, fold the fabric from the point and through the tack and bring the fold over to the centre so that the point matches the fold. Pin and repeat for the other side of the pleat. It should make the top line smooth once folded in, it it is, you’ve got it right.

DSCF0384 copyI found it very useful to stitch inside the seam allowance at this point to hold the least together, as well as pressing it. You can then remove pins and tacks.

DSCF0386 copySide panels time. The lining and the main fabric are right sides together and then you stitch along the top only, flip, press, top stitch as per the pattern.

DSCF0389 copyThen still following the pattern, the back of the pocket is stitched on with right sides facing. It then says to finish the raw edge…

DSCF0393 copyI don’t have an overlocker/serger and you don’t need one. You can zig zag over the edge or use one of the edging stitches on your machine. It prevents fraying when washing.

DSCF0391 copyAt this point I could it useful to stitch in the seam allowances again just a little bit to secure the three layers of pocket where they should be at each side of each side panel.

DSCF0396 copyThe side panels are then attached either side of the centre. Be careful not to catch your least in the seam and stitch all the way down. This closes the pockets up on the inside edge as you sew through those layers too.

DSCF0404 copyThe back of the piece should look something like this. Don’t forget your edge finishing again and your top stitching.

Meet me back here in a few days and we’ll do the back and the waistband!


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