Tag Archives: butterick 4461

Skirt Sew Along Part 1: Fabric Cutting and Marking

I was wondering how far into detail I should go in this sew along. I decided since we were doing a beginner’s skirt version, we should be considerate of beginners and really get into the nitty-gritty of making this skirt. Some of this may be too beginner for you, but maybe we can get some tips from each other.

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This is your view of the back of the pattern envelope. The top flap has a guide to help you use your measurements to choose which size to make.

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This section gives you a description of the garment you are about to make. Under the Notions section you are told of any extras you will need to complete the garment, in this case you will need a zipper and maybe ribbon depending on the version you are making. The Fabrics section tells you which fabrics and weights of fabric will work best for this particular pattern.

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This section tells you how much fabric to buy. Most fabrics come in 44 inch and 60 inch widths. I used a 60 inch fabric that did not have any nap or directional print to worry about, so I needed 7/8 yards. You can also see you need fusible interfacing here which comes most typically in 20 to 22 inch widths. For this skirt a light weight fusible interfacing works fine.

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The directions that come inside the envelope are very helpful. In this shot it is showing you how to lay out your pattern pieces to best fit the width of fabric you bought.

Go ahead and cut out your fabric pieces along the line designated for the size you chose to use. In my case I am following the line for a size 20. By the way, don’t let the sizing turn you off. It was disheartening to need a size 20 pattern, but pattern sizes are different from your ready to wear sizes. I wear a size 12 in ready to wear clothing, but if I tried to make a size 12 in this skirt to save my pride I probably wouldn’t be able to fit the skirt over my hips!

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After I have cut out my pattern pieces I like to iron them on a very low setting to help flatten them out. At this point I also iron my fabric I will be using to remove any wrinkles. Creasing and wrinkles in pattern pieces or fabric during this stage can really affect the fit of your skirt later on.

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Here is how I laid out my pattern pieces on my fabric. I like to lay them all out before I cut or even pin just to be sure they fit.

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In this photo I have placed a few pins just to keep the fabric and pattern from moving while I cut them.

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As I cut out pieces I like to cut little notches where you see these triangles. These are used later to make sure your pieces are lined up as you are sewing.

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This marking here shows we will have a dart. There will be a dart in both sides of the skirt front and back pieces. It is important to mark these before you begin to sew because they are the very first thing we will sew. There are several ways to mark darts depending on your preference.

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These are the three methods I use most:

  • Frixion Pen – this pen is sold in office supply stores. It irons invisible and washes out.
  • Tracing paper and wheel – the paper comes in several colors and makes a light mark that fades away or is washed out over time.
  • Tailor’s Chalk – This is a waxy type of chalk that washes out.

For this project I am using my tracing paper and wheel, but there is no one right method to marking fabric. It all comes down to personal preference. When I was first starting, I even used regular pencils and ball point pens, so don’t feel like you have to go buy something fancy.

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To use the tracing paper, I slid the folded paper in between the layers of fabric with its chalky sides out. I then used my tracing wheel and heavily went over the lines of the dart to insure the markings would be visible.

You have officially marked and cut your fabric! Please feel free to share if you have another method that works for you or if you have any questions.

Skirt Sew Along

I just love a skirt in the summer. Nothing fancy or lined, I just want a plain old skirt to wear. A-line is my favorite shape, and Butterick 4461 is my favorite pattern. It’s not too fancy. I can dress it up or down, and it is so much cooler to wear than shorts or pants in these hot Houston summers.

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I made this version last year for the rodeo and got a ton of compliments. I used a Texas wildflower print by Michael Miller Fabrics.

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I made this version this winter while wishing for spring. Sadly, I have already gotten to wear it and am wishing summer away.

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I made this version around the same time. Sadly my iron wigged out and burned a hole through it. Le sigh. It was really beautiful.

I was thinking of the best way to do a sew along. Butterick 4461 the first skirt I ever made, so a very beginner could do it, but now I like fancy seams and new techniques that I would like to share. Here is what I came up with: I am making two versions of the skirt. The blue one will be a skirt that uses more advanced techniques. The pink one will be a version that uses very basic techniques that a beginner would benefit from.

Think of it this way, have you ever gotten an exercise video and the crazy buff trainer in front says if you are having any difficulty you can follow the one person doing a low impact workout? The pink skirt will be low impact and the blue one will be all out. You will be able to switch techniques I show on both skirts, and maybe you can teach me a thing or too.

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Low impact pink skirt.

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Advanced technique blue skirt. Isn’t it cute?

I know A-Line skirts are not for everyone. If you have a simple skirt with zipper in another shape, you may be able to follow along as well. I’m happy to try to answer any questions you have about this. In the meantime go get your pattern and fabric. As for zippers I will show how to do both an in seam zipper and an invisible zipper, so go nuts!

I’m off to complete my first important step: washing and drying my fabric on hot before I cut my fabric to thwart any washing and drying disasters in the future. I hope you do the same, and we’ll cut out fabric and patterns soon!

Random Question: Hey Stacie!  Why do you  recommend pre-washing fabrics on “Hot”?   Signed, Curious

Good question!  Sometimes my husband will do the laundry and not pay attention to temperature settings. We had an incident not long ago with a dress I had made that I had prewashed on a regular setting that he washed after it was completed on hot after several typical washings. It shrank and pulled, and I don’t think it will ever fit again. That was a huge lesson as well as a waste of money,energy, time and being upset with my husband. Now, in an effort to save my marriage, I wash on hot first to be proactive instead of reactive when someone else does laundry. If you have an alternate arrangement, washing on hot may not be necessary, but do pre-wash your fabric.