One whole Gigantic Infodump On How to Make a Skirt
Make a skirt like this:
Assuming by this stage you have already selected and made/purchased a skirt pattern.
💬 Different possibilities for constructionsFirst, sew all the darts. You want to press them towards the back. So for the back piece, that means you press boths sides towards eachother. For the front piece, just the opposite. The next thing you want to do is sew the seam that has the zipper, and insert the zipper into it. Follow the procedure that is appropriate for the type of zipper you're using. Sew up both the side seams. Your next step depends on whether you have a vent and lining. If you're including a lining, now is the time to make it. The lining is made the same way that the rest of the skirt is made, with two exceptions; the darts are just pleats, and they have more 'ease' included. How you distribute this 'ease' is up to you. You can add it to the dart pleats, add another dart pleat, or make a box pleat in the middle. Of course, if you include a lining, you have to include this in the way you've finished your zipper. And connect it to the vent, if your skirt has one of those. Next is attaching the waistband if your version has one. First fold it double along the long side and press. Add your interfacing. Sew it to the right side of the fabric. Then turn it over and press the seam into the waistband. Now use the stitch-in-the-ditch technique to finish the waistband. Add your choice of closure. All that is left now is to hem the skirt.
Les Marches à Suivre
Adjust the pattern for fit and design
Cut out all the pattern pieces. Transfer markings to fabric.
Apply interfacing, as needed, at pocket, waistband, or zipper openings.
Overlock edges if using serger to finish seams. Apply pockets while serging the side seams.
Stitch darts or tucks. Apply pockets.
Stitch center-back seam, forming French vent if there is one. Insert zipper.
Pin side seams, wrong sides together, vertically along seamlines. Try on, altering as needed. Stitch side seams. Press. Try on again, fine-tuning for swayback, tummy, and waistline measurements.
Construct lining: Stitch center back seam, allowing room for zipper and vent opening. Stitch side seams.
Insert lining. Machine baste at waist, forming tucks at darts. Handsew around zipper.
💡 More info on BastingBasting is temporary sewing to hold things in place. It is typically done by hand, but you can also machine baste. Examples of where basting is commonly used are: - Basting a seam in place before sewing it - Basting an ornament, pocket, or other part in place before attaching it - Basting darts or other pattern changes while fitting the garment on a model - Basting is never permanent, but merely a temporary measure to hold things in place.
Hem: Mark, press, trim, pin, and try on. Finish edge, stitch. Press
Hem lining, attach at vent.
FInal pressing to finish your skirt.
But I will be making a skirt with:
- a back vent,
- no lining,
- a zip at the back seam
- no waistband,
- 4 darts on the front piece and 4 on the back.
💡 An optional vent in the back and possible locations for the zipper. In this tuto, a vent is used (see part one section 2)A vent in the back is optional. It will allow you to walk a lot easier than if you make the skirt without it. The vent also influences where the zipper will be located. If you choose to have no vent, the default zipper location is on the side seam, and the back will be cut-on-fold. With the vent, there has to be a seam in the back piece, and the zipper will be located on that seam.
💬 LiningSkirts could be tight. This limits your movement quite a bit. More so, when you try to sit down, the skirt may try to pull itself off your waist, or, when you get back up, stay quite high on your bum. Lining the skirt will make it move a lot easier around your curves, and thereby make it easier for you to move. Adding lining can be done by creating a slightly shorter front and back piece, that has some extra fabric in the middle. The extra fabric makes it easier for the lining to move. One inch for each of the front and back pieces is enough. You can either make a box pleat in the front and back, or add the extra fabric where the darts are. You do not need to sew darts in the lining fabric. Just a pleat at the dart position will be fine.
💡 ZipperWithout the zipper it will be impossible to get in and out of the skirt. So it should be at least the length from your waist to the largest part of your bum. Longer will make it easier to put the skirt on and off. Don't use one that's too long, because the part of the seam where the zipper is behaves differently than the part without it, and you want to try to make it invisible also in movement. An invisible zipper is often used in a straight skirt. Lately there has been a trend to use zippers that are right in the open. Sometimes even from contrasting fabric. Choose what works for you in the style you're going for. Be creative (or not)! You might want to opt for an alternative option if your fabric is on the heavier side.
💬 WaistbandA waistband is optional. If you omit it, there will be quite some stress on the top of the zipper. Make sure your zipper is up to the task. An invisible zipper might not be the best option then, since they can't always take that much strain.
💡 When to use darts and how many dartsDarts are used to compensate for the difference between your waist and seat measurements. Depending on this difference, there can be two darts, one dart, or no darts at all. More darts make for a potentially better fit. But if the amount of fabric that the dart will take in becomes too small, the number of darts will be reduced. Otherwise it would be very difficult to sew the darts, and they would probably become rather unsightly. Some of the difference will be taken in by the side seam, and if the difference is small, no darts will be included in the front and back pieces.
N.B: Dark shading denotes right side of fabric, and dotted light shading denotes right side of interfacing.
Detailed and Illustrated Instructions
Part One: Preliminary Construction
1. Stitch darts on Skirt Front J and Skirt Back K as follows:
- Fold the right side in on center line.
- Stitch on dart stitching line, typing off stitching at dot.
- Press darts towards center front or center back:
- the back darts get pressed towards the center back
- press these at the front darts towards the center front
- “Replace front darts with staystitch plus”
2. On Skirt Back:
- Stitch center back seam between large dot and box, matching notch
- Backstitching at dot and box
- Baste seam above dot to waist
- Press seam open above box
3. Center closed
- Center closed zipper face down over pressed-open seam allowance on wrong side, with top of zipper 1/8 inch below seamline.
- Pin and hand-baste zipper in place.
4. Slash center back seam
- Slash center back seam allowance of wearer's right side above extension to square.
- On the wrong side of fabric, align wearer's right extension over wearer's left extension.
- Baste extensions together along upper edge between square and small dots.
5. Pin extension to Skirt Back.
- On the outside of Skirt Back, stitch through all layers on stitching line from square to small dot, locking off stitching at square and dot
6. Stitch Front to Back
- Stitch Skirt Front to Skirt Back along side seams, matching notches.
- Press seams open.
- At waist edge, put in an ease stitch along seamline.
Part Two: Waistband
A waistband is optional. If you omit it, there will be quite some stress on the top of the zipper. Make sure your zipper is up to the task. An invisible zipper might not be the best option then, since they can't always take that much strain.
1. Pin interfaced side of Waistband to Skirt
- Pin interfaced side of WaistBand to Skirt, right sides together, matching center fronts, stars on Waistband to side seams of Skirt, and dots.
- Ease-stitch at waistline as necessary to fit on Waistband.
- Stitch along seamline.
- Trim seam allowances and press towards Waistband.
Apply elasticised fitted waistband.
- Slipstitch pressed-under edge of Waistband over previously stitched seam on wrong side of skirt.
- Sew hook and eye on Waistband.
Secure wasitband by stitching in the ditch from right side.
Step Three: Hem
- Press up hem along hemline. Finish raw edge of hem with seam tape or overcasting.
- Slipstitch binding to skirt.
- Press wearer's left back extension into place and slipstitch edges of extension to skirt back, covering hem.
Turn hem back and catchstitch in place halfway into hem allowance.