The Mousetraps Get Domestic!

The Mousetraps Get Domestic!

Sorry for the hiatus, folks… but we’re back! The Mousetraps will be posting their blog every other Monday (starting yesterday!).

The Mousetraps were excited for the arrival of spring, and not just because of the warm weather and blooming flowers. Spring to them meant double-dutch practice, picnics in the park, and, of course, hopscotch tournaments. Their first hopscotch tournament was quickly approaching, and the girls really wanted to kick off the season with a bang. To The Mousetraps, this meant matching outfits, and since it was spring, they had to go for skirts. Get a little spring in your step with a handmade a-line skirt!!

* This week, sing along to The Fratellis’ “Costello Music” while you sew. This band’s peppy rock and roll is a perfect pairing with lighthearted springtime fun such as hopscotch and a-line skirt-making!

A-Line Skirts!!

Time: 1 hour

Supplies needed: sewing machine, around 1 _ yards medium to heavyweight fabric, thread, one 6-8” zipper, one hook and eye closure, scissors, one large sheet of tissue paper, a pencil, sewing pins, ruler, measurement tape, iron

1. This skirt is designed to lay on your hips instead of your waist, so measure your hips at the point where you would like your skirt to lay. Add 2” to this measurement, and then divide it by 2. This will be the waist measurement you will use to cut your fabric. We made ours at 32” finished width, so we cut our fabric at 17”.
2. To create the a-line, the bottom hem of the skirt must be wider than the waist hem. Add about 10” to your waist hem measurement to determine how wide to make your bottom hem. We made ours 27” wide.
3. Now it’s time to make the pattern. This may be a bit tedious, but once it is made you can use it over and over again. First, Lay the tissue paper out flat on a solid, smooth surface. At the top of the paper, use the ruler to make a straight line 1” less in width than your waist measurement. (see diagram below)
4. Use the measuring tape and the full waist measurement (without subtracting 1”) to create a downward arc with the first line you drew. Draw a line for the subtle arc you created. Even it out as necessary. If you are having trouble, use a skirt you own as a guide.
5. Use the ruler to continue the first line you made , branching it out 5” from the left end and 5” from the right.
6. Determine what length you would like to make your skirt. Add 1” to the length to get your length measurement for cutting the fabric. We made ours 22” long finished, so it rests just above the knee, and we cut our fabric at 23”
7. Use the ruler to measure straight down from the ends of the straight line you drew, making a right angle with the ruler and the line. Measure down your length measurement and make a line at each end.
8. Using the ruler, draw a line connecting the bottom end of the line you just drew to the end of the original line you drew (the tope line without the 5” add-ons).
9. Make a downward arc with the bottom end points as you did in step 4.
10. Now it is time to cut out your pattern. The diagram below shows the cut lines in red.
11. Fold you fabric in half. Pin the pattern onto the double-layer of fabric.
12. Carefully cut around all edges of the pattern, making certain you are cutting through both pieces of fabric. Remove the pins and pattern from the fabric.
13. Line the fabric pieces up, one on top of the other, right sides of the fabric (meaning, the side of the fabric that you want to show when finished) facing in.
14. Pin the sides together.
15. Stitch one side all the way down _” in, backstitching at each end.
16. For the other side, measure down from the top the length of your zipper plus _” and place a pin there to indicate a stopping point.
17. Stitch from where you put that pin all the way down the side just as you did on the other side, backstitching at both ends.
18. Fold the bottom edge up _” all the way around and pin. Stitch 3/8” in from the edge all the way around the bottom. This creates the bottom hem.
19. Repeat step 18 for the top of the skirt.
20. To put on the zipper, you must first baste the edge closed that you left unstitched earlier (a baste stitch is a loose machine or hand stitch that can be easily taken out).
21. Open up the skirt to lay this edge flat. Open the raw edges, and iron them flat to each side.
22. Pin the zipper along the center of the seam, making sure the bottom edge of the zipper meets the start of your finished stitch and the top edge of the zipper is about _” from the top edge of the skirt.
23. Using a zipper foot, stitch each side of the zipper into place.
24. Turn the skirt inside out, and remove the baste stitch. The zipper should appear to be slightly hidden.
25. Okay, you’re almost done. Just stitch on your hook and eye just above the top of the zipper at the top edge of the skirt.
26. Now slip on your original a-line skirt, and head out for a game of hopscotch in style!