Pattern hack! How to create a hem flounce

Today I'm going to show you how to create a flounce for the hem of the Sabrina pencil skirt, although you can use this technique for any pattern!  If you haven't already got the Sabrina pencil skirt pattern, you can buy it here. It comes in three different fit styles for different body shapes!

The video has step by step instructions, so check that out first, but there are more details below if you need them! 

Step by step

Step 1

Mark in the seams on your pattern on all body pieces (please remember, on Sabrina, these are 1cm (⅜") on the side body seams, and 2cm (¾") on the side seams and centre back). 

Step 2

Mark where you want your design line to hit with a dash marked on each of the seams (you could do your flounce design line straight all the way around the body, but I decided to make it arc upwards slightly in the front.) my markings were 18.5cm from the bottom of the piece at centre front. Then 17.5cm at the side front, going down to 16cm at the side seam and then continuing at 16cm all the way to the centre back. 

Step 3

Overlap your pieces at the seam allowances, so you form one continuous strip along the hem. Join those dashes you marked onto the seams previously. Make sure your lines are nice and smooth, and be sure to square off at centre front and centre back, to avoid points or divots forming when the piece is mirrored. Also, delete the kick pleat, as our flounce will be providing the movement we need for walking. 

Step 4

Cut along the design line. Add seam allowance to your skirt pieces (1cm/ ⅜").

Step 5

Reduce hem allowance on the bottom of the flounce. The original skirt is made with a 4cm 1.5" hem, which is not suitable for a curvy flounce, so we will reduce it down to 1.5cm (⅝"). This means we need to cut off 2.5cm (1").

Step 6

Mark vertical lines on your flounce piece, 4cm (1.5") apart, and half that amount next to the centre front and centre back (because they are mirrored here, your spacing will be doubled). Slash your flounce pieces, leaving a hinge at the top. Open out until the side seams are perpendicular to the centre front and centre back, forming a half circle shape. 

Note: I have taped in paper behind the slashed pattern so that you can easily visualise how the process works, but it is faster to just place your cut pattern on top of a fresh piece of paper, spread your pattern piece open, and then just draw around the edge on the fresh piece of paper to create your new pattern piece - no taping required!

Step 7

Add seam allowance to the top of the flounce, and create a notch where the original seam join occurred, as well as at centre front and centre back! If you want to make sure you don’t get confused about front and back, make the back a double notch. Add cut on fold indicators too. 

Sewing steps:

For the lining - you can sew the lining with no modifications and use the ‘easy’ construction method, as you have deleted the kick pleat. 

Order of construction:

Sew the seams of the skirt together as per the instructions. Sew the side seams of the flounces to each other, and sew the side seams of the skirt together. Also have the centre back of the skirt sewn. Then, last you will sew the seam that goes around the body to attach the flounce to the skirt. Basically the easy way to look at it is to ignore the flounce until right at the end, and treat it as the last step of sewing! 

And here is the finished project! And again, the base pattern used for this pattern hack was our very own Sabrina pencil skirt.

The finished Sabrina skirt with flounce

I hope this tutorial gives you the confidence to try this fun little bit of patternmaking. Feel free to ask any questions you may have below. Happy sewing!

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