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Topic: first skirt - confused with a pattern and bias cut, help me please  (Read 712 times)
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« on: November 17, 2005 12:37:05 AM »

I'm going to make my first skirt. I bought fabric - it is, I guess, a blend of wool and something else, not heavy at all. And I'm looking for something like that:

Is it something like an a-line skirt (without the darts, I mean, and slightly flared on the bottom) and bias cut? I heard that bias cut is very tricky for beginners, so I'm not sure if I can manage it Sad

Could you please help me and advise what kind of pattern I should look for and if I have to bias cut it or I can get the same effect without it? (My fabric is not plaid like the one on the picture, it's all the same color)

Thanks a lot!
« Reply #1 on: November 17, 2005 02:23:46 AM »

i'm making one just like that, simplicity 5914 is what im using, its quite easy - i just forgot 2 buy the zip and am therefore stuck!! xx

~ All of us girls are stars, and deserve the right to twinkle ~ Marilyn Monroe
« Reply #2 on: November 17, 2005 02:39:37 AM »

Basically, bias cutting means that instead of the grain (the threads that make up the weave of the fabric) running up and down, they run diagonally,
so instead of the fabric being like:

Its like:

I can't help much more than that I'm afraid.

« Reply #3 on: November 17, 2005 01:13:24 PM »

As long as you use a pattern designed for bias cut, you'll be fine.  As a beginner, don't try to adapt a standard pattern. 

Check your measurements against the size charts and believe them.  You'll see that bias garments fit beautifully.

Before you hem it, let it hang for a day or two because many fabrics will stretch on the bias.  If you decide to line it, cut the lining on the bias too. 


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« Reply #4 on: November 17, 2005 07:21:32 PM »

LRS, thanks! I was just thinking, if I should cut the lining on the bias also Smiley
I feel more confident to finally cut the fabric now Smiley

The thing is, commercial patterns usually don't fit me, since my waist goes to the smallest size and my hips - to the next size Sad So I guess I  need to correct the pattern - I have them tryed before, they are usually  too big on my waist...
« Reply #5 on: November 18, 2005 07:07:25 AM »

Zaum has got it just right.  Trace the pattern onto tissue paper, using the larger hip and then heading toward the smaller waist.  People wiith narrow waists often don't taper gradually from hip to waist, but go in kind of sharply up near the waist, so trace the larger size to about 5" below the waist, then move in a little bit for the next 2 inches.  For the top 3", head sharply toward the smaller szie (measured from 5/8" inside the top to allow for the seam.

Baste it together and try it on before you sew it firmly.


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« Reply #6 on: November 18, 2005 08:53:25 AM »

two things that will help even a beginner working with bias cuts:

couture technique is to stretch the bias before cutting, you do this by steam pressing on the bias and gently stretching until it is as long as you can make it.  do this evenly on both bias grains and work your way down the length of the fabric.

STARCH IS YOUR FRIEND.  not the spray can kind--that is not your friend--you need liquid starch, which i make from scratch but you can buy it in bottles at most stores.  use LOTS, pour it into the rinse cycle when you prewash your fabric.

you don't have to do both of these things--one or the other will do--but pressing out the bias first will keep your skirt from shrinking width-wise after it is cut and will also keep it from dropping at the hem.

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