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Reduce fullness in a-line skirt

catnet | Posted in General Sewing Info on

I am making a toile for a wedding dress and the line of the skirt is too full.It is a A-Line skirt so where would I reduce the fullness? On the side seams or pinch the body of the skirt?
Thanks in anticipation.


  1. starzoe | | #1

    To reduce the fullness of an a-line (or for any other) skirt: begin with a pattern piece without seam allowances and hem allowance. From the hem to the waistline, draw parallel lines. Slash these lines from the hem to the waistline, leaving just a little of the paper uncut ( connected - you are using this as a pivot).

    As to the number of parallel lines, if you want a lot taken out, draw more (about five, I would say), if the change is to be small, use at least three.

    Lay this pattern on paper, secure the waistline with tape to the paper. Now overlap each section equally to get to the hem width you want. Tape it all together, add seam allowances and hem allowance use the pattern to make a muslin to make sure it is what you want.

    If you are hesitant about the process, do a little sample with paper. It works wonderfully well.

    Edited 2/5/2009 1:22 pm ET by starzoe

    1. catnet | | #2

      Thanks for that but what happens to the grain line. That passes through the waist line. How and where do I redraw it?

      1. starzoe | | #3

        Keep the grainline where it was, mark it on your new pattern. It remains the same. If the skirt has a front seam (or fold) it will be the grainline. Work outward from that.

        1. Josefly | | #4

          I've read that an A-line skirt drapes much better if the grainline for the skirt sections falls halfway between the center and the side seams. The only way that can happen, though, is if there are center-front and center back seams. I've tried this technique and it really does make the skirt drape much better, if a center-front seam is compatible with the rest of the dress. This keeps the fullness from being concentrated near the side seams, since both the center seams and the side seams would be slightly bias, instead of only the side seams. So it's possible that a grainline for this pattern is somewhere other than center-front and center-back.If the center of the skirt must be on a fold, though, the straight-grain would be centered, as you said. I like your technique for slashing-and-spreading (or slash-and-overlap, in this case) and will remember it instead of trying to re-draw the pattern with a new grainline.

          1. starzoe | | #5

            Yes, it does work. Unfortunately when trying to explain something like this at a distance it is not possible to explain all the little details, details that will affect drape and fit.The slash-and-spread technique can be done very nicely on an existing pattern, but the trick is that the existing pattern must be a good fit to begin with. Also, it is very important to take the seam allowances off before beginning any re-designing, and often this is not mentioned.

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