For the most part, the Arielle sewing pattern is simple to construct. The fiddliest part is attaching the lining to the facing. This is because it has curved inside corners - we opted for curved corners over right angle corners as they would have been even more fiddly! Don’t worry though - I’m going to walk you through it in detail in this post. If you’re a beginner, or the idea of sewing the lining fills you with dread, you can skip it! Simply finish the inside edge of the facing with zigzag stitch, an overlocker or bias binding. Easy peasy! I’ll show you how to attach bias binding in the next post.
Still here? Wanna attach the lining? Good stuff, let’s do this!
Stitch the pleats, side seams and hem on the lining pieces following the instructions that accompany the pattern. A bit of pattern geekery in case you’re interested – the pleats on the lining create volume in the same way that the darts on the main skirt pieces do, but with more ease for movement. The front lining also has volume created by a shaped seam at the curved corner – a pleat would have been awkward to sew at this corner. This all adds up to a lovely 3D shape over your lovely lady curves.
Okay, so you’ve sewn the lining and are ready to attach it to the facing. The reason this is a little fiddly is because the raw edges of the inner curve of the facing and the outer curve of the lining are different lengths. That’s because they have seam allowances – what you’re really joining are the stitching lines 15mm (5/8in) inside the raw edges, which do match up. We're going to do a few things to make it easier to join these curves together...
First, snip the notches (marked on the pattern) so they are just shy of 15mm (5/8in). This is so we don't lose them in the next step...
Trim the seam allowances down by 5mm (1/4in), all the way round the inner edge of the facing and the top and side edges of the lining.
With the facing right side up, flip the lining on top of it, wrong side up. Pin the top edge of the lining to the lower inside edge of the facing, right sides together, matching up the side seams and notches.
Here’s one I prepared earlier!
Okay, so we’re going to be good and baste (tack) the curves together before stitching them for real to make sure they go together nicely. Set your machine to a longer stitch length – I'd go for 3mm rather than 4mm as slightly shorter basting will navigate the tight curves more neatly. Baste just the curved corners together, using a 10mm (3/8in) seam allowance – usually it’s a good idea to baste inside the stitching line so the real stitches don’t end up on top of the basting, but in this case it’s important to baste on the real stitching line so the curves go together accurately.
If the curves look dodgy, you can quickly unpick the basting and try again. If they look good, great! Let’s sew them together for real. Reset the stitch length to 2-2.5mm and, using a 10mm (3/8in) seam allowance, stitch the whole of the pinned seams together, from one “end of lining” notch to the other.
Trim the seam allowances and press them towards the facing – including the part of the facing below the lining. Now you can understitch the seam allowances to the facing so they don’t flip back towards the lining and create a bulky look. To understitch, simply sew a line through the facing and seam allowances close to the seam line. Your stitching will be visible from the right side of the facing, so use a matching colour. If you sew with the facing… erm… facing up and to the left of the needle, shift your needle 2mm to the left (many machines have a stitch option for this), and line up the seam line with the central groove of the presser foot. As you sew, keep the seam line aligned with the middle of the foot and you should end up with lovely neat stitching exactly parallel to the edge of the facing.
The understitching should end up looking something like this from the wrong side...
... and this from the right side.
And that’s it! You can now follow the rest of the steps in the instructions to sew the rest of your skirt. I hope this helps – let me know if you have any questions about this part. In the next post, I’ll show you how to finish the facing with bias tape instead, if you don’t fancy adding the lining.
I can’t wait to see your finished Arielle skirts! Don’t forget to send us a pic ☺