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Sunday, June 2, 2013

A Sailor Skirt Pattern Making Tutorial

Today I am very happy to be participating in a blog series I've enjoyed reading for a couple of years now.. Skirt Week held by  Adrianna and Susan of Crafterhours.
Skirt Week is a fun packed series full of skirt making tutorials, contests and prizes to get you motivated to sew up some skirts for summer. And who doesn't love wearing skirts in summer when jeans feel so heavy and hot? You can stop here by to join in and see last weeks tutorials.

I sort of kinda love anything sailor style... sailor pants, sailor skirts, sailor tops, sailor blue & white stripes. It just feels so classic and timeless! 

When I was deciding what to post for my Skirt Week Turorial, I just knew I wanted to teach people how to make their own sailor skirt pattern from a basic A line skirt pattern. My idea came from a 1960's skirt I saw.
Making this pattern is a lot easier than you might think.
If you can download and print out a PDF pattern, tape it together, figure out the directions, or lack of them in some cases, and sew it up, why not take the next step and try making your own pattern? It saves a lot of hassle and expense in the long run.

This skirt has one piece for the back and three separate pieces for the front.
It has a fully functional button front sailor flap for its opening.
But you can add a side zip opening if you don't want to fuss with the buttons when putting it on.
This skirt can be made for either a child or an adult and it has a fitted waist.
You start with a basic A line pattern, the easiest pattern there is to make.
I have a tutorial here if you want to make your own. You may have an old A line pattern lying around that you can adapt and that's great too. My A line tutorial is an old one I wrote for making a women's skirt but you could make it for a girl. However it's may be wee bit complicated so I'm thinking of posting an easier version of it . If you want to make it for girls just skip the darts. Girls don't need waist darts.

Drafting The Sailor Skirt Pattern:
Start with an A line skirt pattern.
  1. Trace the front of your A line skirt piece and with your ruler, draw a parallel line from your center front about halfway across the waist line going straight down.
  2. Mark about 6 or 7 inches down from the waist to mark where the bottom of the sailor flap will be.
  3. Cut open the line you drew. This will create three pattern pieces. One on the fold in the center, and two side pieces.
  4. On the side skirt piece, extend from the bottom of the flap mark you drew up until the waist 1.5  inches.

   5.     Draw a 5/8 inch seam allowance on the middle seam you made for the side skirt piece. Since  you cut the pattern apart, it doesn't have any seam allowance and needs one in that area.
 6.    Do the same for the center piece of the skirt.
7.  Make your facing pieces. Number 7 is the back of the skirt. Trace the top of the skirt and make it three inches wide. For the front do the same but continue down and trace the button extension you drew. That isn't pictured but look at the red picture on number 3 of the sewing directions to see what it should look like. Sorry about that!
8. Trace the center piece down to the mark line for the flap you drew in step 2 above.
   9. Draw your button markings and buttonhole markings. I spaced mine 1.5 inches apart. How wide you want to make them will depend on your button size. Place them on the skirt and find the spacing you like.
  •    So there you have your pattern pieces for the front skirt. From this you will cut from your fabric two side front pieces, 
  • one center front piece on the fold, 
  • two front facing pieces,
  • one front center facing piece cut on the fold, 
  • one back piece on the fold and
  • one back facing piece on the fold.

 I would also recommend adding interfacing to each facing piece .

Sewing The Sailor Skirt

  1. Sew the center front facing to the center front piece, right sides together. Clip the edges , turn right side out and iron flat.
  2. Sew buttonholes onto the center front piece
  3. Sew the front side skirt pieces to the back skirt piece and do the same with the front side facing pieces and back facing piece. Iron side seams open
  4. Sew the facing to the skirt 
  5. Sew the sides of the center front piece to the side pieces up from the hem until the bottom of the flap. Sew the buttons onto the side pieces.
    I sewed welt seams on the skirt and top stitched it to give a sixties vibe.

Ready for summer!

Some of my past sailor looks I've created.....
Sailor Dress from a 40's Pattern. This is one of my favorite posts ever.

Another 40's pattern, shorts and top. Oh, how I love forties patterns!

Do It Yourself Sailor Dress

Faux front sailor pants and top  look for me.

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  1. me gusta mucho la moda marinera

  2. Beautiful! I want to make one for me :-)

  3. Sailor look is great on girls, and on us, older girls too! Love it. And thank you for the tutorial!

  4. love it - so perfect!!! Did you also make the top??? What an awesome summer outfit!

    1. The topa nd shoes I bought at The Gap. Their stuff is always so cute.

  5. Such a cute skirt...and great tutorial ;-)

  6. This is super cute :) The best till now at the skirt week which I have been following.. I wonder why there is no tutorial out there on a skirt with fly front :D.. By the way this also reminds me the sewing project I made recently , a Kasia skirt- I have worn it with my gathered blouse here :)Thanks Justine

  7. I've been thinking of making one of these, because Grace asked for one... oddly enough, she wants a *red* one!

  8. The sailor skirt looks fabulous, Justine. Pinning this for future reference...

  9. So very cute! I love this classic style.

  10. these are beautiful!


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