B6453 Sew Along: Sewing the Skirt, View A

March 24, 2017   /   byGertie  / Categories :  Feeds
Time to sew this skirt! This is always satisfying because it really starts to look like a dress.

For these steps, please follow along closely on the pattern instruction guide sheet. It can be difficult to photograph these large pieces, and I often find it easier to look at the illustrations.

First, if you're serging your edges, I recommend doing that to the pockets and skirt pieces before they are sewn. It's very tricky to serge the pockets after they're attached because of curves and corners.

Serge your skirt pieces on the side seams only. Do not remove any fabric with the serger's blade, just finish the edges.

Serge around all sides of all four pockets. 

Next, stabilize the skirt backs above the zipper circle mark. I use 1-1/4" fusible strips for this.

Stitch the back skirt pieces together, right sides together, at the center back seam, ending at the zipper circle mark.

Press this seam open. 

Now it's time to attach the pockets. You have four pocket pieces. With right sides together, pin the pockets to each skirt side seam, on the front and back skirt. There is a notch to help you match these pieces. Stitch the pockets to the skirt pieces using a 1/4" seam allowance. 


Press the pockets so they're flipped away from the skirt. The seam allowances should be facing the pockets.


Next, sew the skirt front to the skirt back using your regular 5/8" seam allowance, right sides together. Pivot at the circles above at the top and bottom of the pockets, stitching around the outside of the pockets.

Clip into the back seam allowances only at the top and bottom of the pockets, up to the circle marks where you pivoted.

Press the side seams of the skirt open and press the pockets to the front of the skirt. (Those clips you made allow you to press the pockets to the front while pressing side seam allowances open.)

Time to gather the skirt! There are lots of different ways to make gathers (in this video skirt tutorial I show you how to use dental floss!) but here I'm using the traditional method of doing two lines of basting stitches. The first line is at 1/2" seam allowances, and the second line is at 1/4". This method works well for thin and soft fabrics like this sateen. Start your basting stitches at the small circles. 


Pull up both bobbin threads to create gathers. Be patient and do not pull against any resistance, as you will break your threads, and we all know how frustrating that is! Create enough gathers so that the skirt is roughly the size of your bodice waist. It's a lot of gathers, which gives the skirt its extra full look.


With right sides together, pin the skirt to the bodice. Start by matching your side seams, and adjust the gathers from there. Make sure that your side seams stay pressed open, your princess seams pressed toward center front, and your back darts pressed toward center back. (It's easy for things to get flipped around at this stage.)


Stitch the skirt to the bodice, going slowly and keeping the gathers as straight as possible so they don't bunch up under the presser foot. You can stitch with the gathers on top or the bottom; people have strong preferences for each so just see which works best for you!

After you stitch, examine your gathers closely to see if there are weird bunches anywhere. I usually have to take out at least one spot and neaten up the gathers!

Finally, press your seam toward the bodice and finish the seam allowances as one. I have a special way of doing this to reduce bulk. I trim the gathered seam allowance down to about 1/4", holding my scissors at an angle toward me. This trims the seam allowance so that it's beveled slightly. Then trim the bodice seam allowance to 3/8". Next, run both seams together through the serger, without catching any fabric in the blade. The seam allowances are serged, but also graded! (You could also use a wide zigzag on your sewing machine in place of the serger.)

Another method I have used successfully on this waistline is to stitch a grosgrain or petersham ribbon to the waistline (I prefer cotton or rayon ribbon if possible since poly can feel uncomfortable so close to the body.) Stitch it through both seam allowances, as close to your waistline seam stitching as possible. Fold down the ribbon and grade the seam allowances as described above. Press the ribbon up and tack it in place at the side seams. It will both cover your waistline seam and keep your waistline from stretching! It's a great option if your fabric has stretch, to keep the dress from getting bigger over time.

 Here's how it looks when you fold down the ribbon:

That's it for this week! I'll be back next with with instructions for the pencil skirt, and then the zipper!

This is a syndicated post. Please visit the original author at Gertie's New Blog for Better Sewing

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