Monday, September 23, 2013

Tutorial---Color-Blocked Two-Tiered Flounce Skirt

I made a color-blocked tiered flounce skirt for my daughter recently. The pattern is based on the A-line skirt pattern I have posted here.

How to draft the pattern:  

To make a two-tiered flounce at the bottom of the skirt, we need to first decide the height of each tier. I kept the height for each tier 2 inches (for size 4). Let us call the upper tier, tier 1 and the lower tier, tier 2.

   From the hemline of the A-line skirt, mark the height of tier 2. To do this, mark several points on DF and plot the height (e.g., 2 inches) perpendicularly from each of these points. When you connect the plotted points you will get a curvy line that is similar to the hemline curve. Mark it as IJ. Plot the height of tier 1 (e.g., 2 inches) from IJ and draw another curvy line GH to get tier 1 (similar to how you created IJ)

In the graph below, the light orange section is tier 1 and the orange section is tier 2, and black is the main skirt.

   I used a connecting piece as underskirt for the tiers, whose top edge is joined with the main skirt and tier 1, and the bottom edge with tier 2. I wanted the upper part of tier 2 to be concealed under tier 1. For this, I increased the height of tier 2.

   We need to do a little bit of maths here. The height to be increased for tier 2 is one-third of the height of tier 1, and the height of the connecting piece is two-thirds of the height of tier 2.

   For example, if the height of tier 1 is 2 inches, and the height of tier 2 is also 2 inches, then the height to be added to tier 2 is: one-third of height of tier 1 (2 inches), which is 0.67 inches. Therefore, the new height of tier 2 is 2 + 0.67 = 2.67 inches.  

  The height of the connecting piece is two-thirds of the height of tier 1, which is 1.33 inches. 

  Mark the height of the connecting piece from GH. Draw the curvy line KL.  In this graph, LKDF denotes tier 2 and HGKL denotes the connecting piece.

Note: Instead of using a connecting piece, you can also use HGDF as tier 2 and join it with the main skirt along with tier 1. I didn't try this. But just an idea.

Cut out the sections.

How to draft the flounce tiers:

Take the paper pattern piece for tier 1. From the bottom edge of the pattern piece, slit at several points up to but not into the top edge. I hope the pictures below will help you understand how to do this. 

Spread the pattern out at equal distances and paste it onto a paper as shown.

Trace around the spread out pattern and cut the pattern out.

Now turn it back (I traced it again on another paper. You can do this if you prefer). There you have the flounce pattern. Don't forget to mark the fold side.

Repeat this process for tier 2.

Add seam allowances to all the pattern pieces. I added 3/8 inch seam allowance on all sides.

Cut the pattern pieces from the fabric. I wanted to make a color-blocked skirt. So I used three different colors. You will need 1/4 yard of fabric in each color. Remember to cut the pattern pieces on fold.  



And now, it's time to sew the skirt!

Join the sides of all the pieces. Sorry, I didn't serge the raw edges as I rushed to finish off the skirt. But you please do for a neat finish.

Open and press the seams flat in all pieces.

Zigzag or roll and hem the bottom edges of the flounce tiers. I did rolled hem by hand.

Here are the two tiers with hems finished.

Now, we need to attach the flounce tiers to the skirt. We will start with tier 1. First, with the skirt piece upside down, place the top edge of tier 1 over the bottom edge of the skirt at a side seam with their right sides facing each other. 

Then, take the connecting piece and match the top edge of the connecting piece with the skirt and tier 1, by placing it right side down as shown in the image below. Align it's side seam as well.

Now, start pinning the three pieces. Make sure you align the other side seam too of all these pieces. 

  Once you are okay with pinning the pieces all around (if you had correctly drafted and cut your pieces, they should align perfectly without any gathering), sew the pieces together. Topstitch over the seam.

This is how your skirt will look when you are done making tier 1. 

Now, let us attach the next layer, tier 2. Place your skirt like this with tier 1 upside down.

With seams aligning properly, pin the top edge of tier 2 with the bottom edge of the connecting piece.

Sew the pieces together. Topstitch the seam.

After finishing this step, your skirt will look like this. Cute, isn't it? I love the flouncy, bouncy tiers at the bottom.

This is how the underskirt will look. The seams will not be visible outside.

 I attached a glittering ribbon trim above tier 1 to add some detail to the skirt.

There is only one step left to finish off the skirt---attaching the waistband. For the 'how to', please refer to this tutorial

A lovely, twirly little color-blocked skirt for your cute little one. You can also make one for yourself.

I am happy that my little one loved this skirt. 

I have linked this tutorial to the link party on Sugar Bee Crafts.

 Enjoy sewing!



  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Debbie-Ann for your encouraging comment.

  2. “It’s not about the dress you wear, it’s about the life you lead in the dress". Fashion for each