Lonsdale Sew-Along #12: Sewing the Skirt

One step closer! This dress is really fast to sew. Once you’ve made it once, you’ll be able to whip up another one in no time!

Today we’ll sew the skirt. I’m sewing this dress without a serger again, just like I did with the Crescent sew-along.

If you have a serger, feel free to serge away! If you don’t, I’ll show you some ways to get a professional-looking dress using just your straight-stitch machine!

Just joining us? Here are the rest of the Sew-along posts:

Let’s sew the skirt. You’ll need the skirt pieces we put pockets in yesterday, as well as the two skirt back pieces. Start with the two skirt front pieces, and pin them together along the centre front seam.

Press seam allowances open, and finish the seam allowances.

I’ve used a turned-and-stitched edge finish for the centre front seam. Doesn’t that look nice? Don’t worry, I’ll show you how to do it too!

Pin the skirt backs to the skirt front along the sideseams. Press seam allowances open, and finish the edges too.

For the sideseams, I’ve sewn French seams like I did on the Crescent Skirt. (Click here for the French Seam tutorial!)

Extra-picky Tip: Remove the basting that used to hold down the pocket edges. You don’t need it anymore, now that the sideseams are sewn, and it just adds ‘clutter’ to the tidy French seams.

Look for a tutorial on turned-and-stitched seams, coming up later today!


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6 Responses to Lonsdale Sew-Along #12: Sewing the Skirt

  1. Arien August 9, 2011 at 7:11 am #

    This is probably a silly question, but I’m wondering if I need to add half an inch to the skirt’s waistband (when I cut the fabric) if I plan to put in french seams? It seems like it eats up more fabric and I’m worried that the skirt would not meet up exactly. Or is my math just wrong? Thanks!

  2. Amy August 9, 2011 at 8:41 am #

    Arien, if you sew the first seam at 1/4″ and then close the seam by flipping it around and sewing at 3/8″, you end up with 5/8″ of fabric in the seam – the same seam allowance that the pattern pieces have built in.

    As for my questions: First, can you sew the front seam as a French seam as well if you want? If not, why not? Second, if my measurements fall such that I’m two sizes smaller in the hips than the waist, should I cut the skirt pieces in my waist measurement and ignore the hip measurement, grade to the size that matches my hip measurement right where my hips would be (I can’t see how this would be the best option since it would drastically change the line of the skirt), or grade to the hip measurement at the hem line (which would only slightly change the line of the skirt and would mean that the width around the hips was only about one size too big)?


  3. Lucy August 9, 2011 at 1:42 pm #

    @Amy: I have the same thing – I’m emphatically NOT a pear shape (more an hourglass) but I loved the pattern so much I couldn’t resist ;-)

    I’m just leaving it alone and cutting size 6 as is. I couldn’t be bothered grading etc so I’m just making it to the size I know will fit my top and waist, and, well, if there’s a little extra fullness over the hips it’s only a few inches. I think for full dresses and skirts it’s really the waist and bust that are the big things to worry about; obviously if this was a sheath dress I’d care a little more. We shall see when I’m done ;-)

  4. Tasia August 9, 2011 at 3:37 pm #

    @Arien: Nope! You don’t need to add any extra to do French seams. If you want to be extra-sure your French seams are exactly 5/8″ wide (1.5cm), make a small snip at the top of your seam, 5/8″ away from the raw edge. Use this tiny snip (less than 1/4″ of a snip is necessary) to line up your final line of French-seaming.

  5. Tasia August 9, 2011 at 3:38 pm #

    @Amy: Of course you can sew the front seam as a French seam if you want! I didn’t for two reasons – one, so I could write another tutorial on the turned-and-stitched seam finish. and two, because with the French seam, you have to press it either to the left or to the right, and I wanted my seam to open and press open, not to one side. My perfectionist self wanted the seam to be pressed open, not lying to one side or the other! (Picky, picky, I know..)

  6. Tasia August 9, 2011 at 3:42 pm #

    @Amy: If your measurements make it so the hips are two sizes two big.. I’d cut the skirt pieces to your waist measurement. In fact I would cut the skirt in your waist size fully, and leave the skirt larger at the hips. That will keep the nice straight line from waist to hem, and it will just be a little fuller around your hips as compared to mine!

    Like @Lucy: did, she cut the 6 as-is and knew the skirt would be a little more floaty around the hipline. Lucy, I’d love to know how that worked out for you when you’re done! That would be my suggestion, so the skirt keeps its original lines. Hope this helps!