Today, we’ll start sewing! Make sure you also have your iron ready. Today is the most involved day of sewing. By the end of the day, the waistband will be complete. Attaching the skirt is actually really easy. We’ll do that tomorrow.
First, make sure your sewing machine is ready for your fabric type. Sometimes when working with thinner, flowier fabric than usual, you need to adjust your machine’s tension. Practice on some scrap fabric. If you think the stitching looks funny, consult the manual for your sewing machine for instructions on how to adjust the tension.
We’ll start with the waistband:
|Make sure you have the right type of needles. Smaller
numbers correspond to thinner fabric.
|When you finish sewing the long edge, stop 3/8″ from the
corner. Make sure your needle is DOWN in the fabric, and
raise the presser foot.
|Turn the bow piece so you can sew along the point with a
3/8″ seam. Sew to the end. Repeat on the other bow piece.
|Press the seams of the bow pieces flat.|
|Make a little snip at the corner of each bow piece. Don’t
cut through the stitching. Stop just before you reach
|Cut the tip of the bow piece so it is straight.|
|Press the seam OPEN. IT helps to turn the whole thing
on its side so the seam is up. This will make two folds
in the waistband that you don’t want, but it will make it
easier to press once it’s right-side out.
|Turn the bow pieces right-side out. A chopstick or a
knitting needle could be really helpful here. Just make sure
not to tear the fabric or poke through any seams. Press
these bow pieces nice and flat, and set them aside for a
|Fold your pattern piece in half. Mark your dart points.
Use your pattern pieces to mark the actual fabric with a
fabric pen (the pen will be temporary and will wash off
easily or even fade away in a few days). Also mark the
|Pin the shorter bow piece to the right side of the back
waistband piece, with the pointy end of the bow piece
facing toward the bottom. Sew these pieces on with a
3/8″ seam. THIS IS A NARROW SEAM because it will
be hidden in the final product.
Now, bring your waistband lining and waistband+bow pieces to the ironing board. You’re going to press the seams open. Below is the sequence I use to press the seams open. If you go straight for the kill (pressing the seams open without first pressing them to each side, etc.), then they often don’t end up as flat and nice. This is a pretty easy sequence that will make things look polished in the end:
|Bring your waistband lining and waistband+bow pieces
to the ironing board. Press the seams flat.
|Flip open, press on the right side of the fabric.|
|Flip over. Press on the wrong side.|
|Flip the seam around to face the other way. Press again.|
|Finally, press the seam open.|
|Flip the fabric to the right side, and press it smooth.|
Next, we’ll attach the waistband to the waistband lining at the top. Ultimately, the bottom of the visible waistband pieces will be attached to the skirt pieces, and the bottom of the waistband lining will be hand-sewn into place. Lay the waistband+bow pieces out flat, with the bow piece not sandwiched in a seam (the right side) extended away from the rest of the waistband. Next, place the lining on top:
|Lay the waistband lining piece on top of the waistband+bow
piece, right sides together. Make sure not to confuse the top
and bottom! Line up the tops and pin in place.
|When pinning in place, make sure to line up the side seams
(the ones you just sewed and pressed open) and not to
catch the bow piece that is sandwiched between the front
and back waistband.
|Leave 5/8″ open at each end. Do not sew past that last pin!
Note that you can see my dart placement marking in
Now, sew along the top of the waistband with a 5/8″ seam. Take care not to sew on top of the bow piece, and make sure to leave 5/8″ at either end (this is to attach the zipper later). After sewing, press open using the same series as before. Then, fold it along this seam. Pressing open helps the fold lie flat after you’re finished. Press along the fold to create a nice, flat, top seam:
|Press this new seam open.|
|Go ahead and try on your waistband to make
sure it fits!