Design Variation : Trumpet Silhouette
A trumpet-shaped skirt is fitted through the hips and flares at the hem. You can add a little flare or a lot. You can also start the flare as high as you like on the body. A stiff fabric will hold the shape dramatically, while lighter weight fabric will cascade down, much like a flounce.
Draft the Pattern
1). Trace your high-waisted patterns onto drafting paper, leaving space all around for design features. Make sure the pattern you start with does not have any seam or hem allowances included yet. Change the pattern into a one-dart pattern.
2). Draft the front and back waistline facings. Draft a 2″-wide facing down the skirt front and back slopers. Onto drafting paper, trace the facings from both patterns (trace the top edge of the skirt, the center and side edges for 2″, and the facing design line). Tape the darts closed. Add ½” seam allowances to all the edges except the center front and center back, which should be cut on the fabric fold.
3). Divide the front and back skirt patterns to make a six-gore silhouette. Start by drawing a line from the dart point straight down to the hemline, parallel to the center front. Repeat for the skirt back.
Cut the front and back patterns apart along the line. Smooth the dart edges to eliminate any hard corners at the waist seamline. It helps to label the pieces as follows: center front, side front, center back, side back. Make note to cut two of all the skirt pieces, except the center front, which will be cut on the fabric fold. Plan for a center-back zipper, so do not cut the center-back gore on the fabric fold.
4). Decide how much flare you want to add to the hemline and where on the skirt you want the flare to begin (at hipline, knees, or high hip). Extend the seams of each gore out at the hemline. Blend the extension from the hemline to the desired starting point of the flare using a curved ruler. Do not add flare to the center-back seam.
5). Complete the pattern. Add grainlines and registration marks to all of your pattern pieces. Add ½” seam allowances. If you are going to sew horsehair in the hem, add hem allowance at least ½” wider than the braid; otherwise, add ½” hem allowance.
›› 2⅞ yards of 44/45″ fabric
›› ¾ yard of fusible interfacing
›› 11″ invisible zipper
›› Invisible zipper presser foot
›› Hook and eye
›› Matching thread
›› ½”-wide horsehair braid (optional)
Sew the Jazz Age Skirt
1). Cut out the fabric. Use the newly drafted pattern pieces to cut the following:
- From fabric : one center-front gore and one front facing on the fabric fold, two side-front gores, two side-back gores, two center-back gores, and two back facings.
- From interfacing : one front facing on the fold and two back facings.
2). Apply interfacing. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the facings.
3). Assemble the front. With the right sides together and raw edges aligned, stitch the center-front gore to the side-front gores. Press the seam allowances open.
4). Install an invisible zipper in the center-back seam. With the right sides together and raw edges aligned, stitch the back gore to the side-back gores. Press the seam allowances open.
5). Sew the side seams. With the right sides together and raw edges aligned, stitch the skirt back to the skirt front at the side seams and press the seam allowances open.
6). Assemble the facing. With right sides together and raw edges aligned, stitch the two back facings to the center-front facing at the side seams. Press the seam allowances open. Press the bottom and center-back edges of the facing ½” to the wrong side. Edgestitch the bottom edge for a clean finish.
7). Attach the facing. With the right sides together and top edges aligned, pin the facing to the skirt. Make sure the side seams are aligned and that the pressed back edges of the facing align with the center-back opening. Stitch.
Press the seam allowance toward the facing and understitch. Hand-sew the facing edges in place along the zipper opening and hand-tack it at each side seam.
8). Hem the skirt as desired. Or, as for the skirt shown here, insert horsehair braid in the hem to stiffen it and exaggerate the trumpet silhouette.
DESIGN NOTE : Consider using an invisible zipper for this skirt. It blends right in, looks just like a seam, and is simple to sew. You can also make this skirt look very different depending on the amount of flare you add at the hem and how high up on the skirt you begin the flare. This skirt alone can have several different looks.
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