Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Wednesday Sewing - Zippered Skirt

Today we'll do a walk through of McCall's skirt pattern 5591.  After making this skirt, you'll be able to insert pockets, use interfacing, make pleats, and put in a zipper.

Materials List:
*McCall's pattern 5591
*cotton or cotton blend fabric
*7 inch zipper
*medium weight iron-on interfacing
* you may need a hook and eye

If you are new to sewing, you'll want to start with the blog post Your Sewing Machine.  The page Sewing Tips lists sewing skills covered in previous posts.

1.  Cut out the pattern pieces

This pattern has a nice layout.  The one change I made is with the pattern view.  I'm making view A, but I don't want a coordinating bottom panel.  So I put the bottom panel piece below the skirt piece and cut one piece of fabric using both.  This gives me a skirt that is made from one fabric.

2.  Pocket band.

On this pattern, I am marking the dots with a disappearing fabric pen or chalk as I go.

Follow the instructions.  This is what it should look like trimming the unnotched edge of the band.

This is what it looks like after you sew the pocket band on.

3.  Making pleats

Pleats are not as intimidating as they sound!  It's really just connecting dots.  This pattern has two types of pleats that both use the same general idea - you want to fold a line along the two small dots and bring that line over to the large dot.  Because my fabric is so bright and busy, it's hard to see this.  The photos below demonstrate this with the pattern piece still one - DON'T do this for real with the pattern piece on, though!

Baste (with the longest stitch your machine does) across the top of each pleat and about 5/8 inch down each pleat.

4.  Pockets

Follow instructions to sew on pocket facing (just one of the pocket pieces), pivoting at dot.

Fold facing to inside and stitch (called understitching) close to the edge where I'm pointing.

Follow instructions for sewing pocket to facing and basting edges.  Check front to make sure the pocket is sewn all the way.

5.  Follow instructions 7 - 10 on the pattern instruction sheet.

6.  Interfacing

Interfacing adds body to garment pieces such as waistbands, cuffs, and other places you would like to have a little stiffness.  Cut interfacing using pieces 6 and 7.  Trim about 1/2 inch off each edge (this helps keep the seams from getting too thick or bulky).

Place interfacing pieces on wrong sides of one piece 6 and two piece 7's, making sure the bumpy side (adhesive side) is down.

Place a damp cloth (or a piece of cloth you spray with water from the iron) over everything and iron for about 15 seconds in each spot.  Don't move the iron around, it will wrinkle the interfacing.

7.  Yoke - the pattern calls it a yoke, but it looks like a waistband to me!

Follow instructions.  There are two potentially tricky spots here.  In #13, be sure you are pinning and sewing the lower edge (the longest side).

When you are finished with step 13, press facing up like in the photo below.

In step 14, they tell us to turn the notched edge of the facing under 5/8 inch.  Since both edges are notched, this is not a helpful instruction.  You want to turn the bottom (longer) edge shown in the illustration.

After you understitch the yoke facing in step 15, understitch the yoke (waistband) you stitched in step 13.

8.  Zipper

There are lots of ways to put zippers in.  This way works for me - the zipper package and the pattern instructions show you different ways.  Follow the instructions that make the most sense to you.

If you have a Brother sewing machine, you'll have the metal zipper foot in the photo below.  With this type of foot, you need to put the zipper in in two steps.  If you have the thinner foot, you can start sewing at the top and sew around the entire zipper in one step.

Sew the back seam in a basting stitch from the dot to the yoke facing seam.

Iron the seam open and pin the zipper face down along the seam - double check to make sure the zipper teeth go right down the seam.  I like to line the bottom stop of the zipper (it's the metal piece that stops the zipper) up right below the dot.  This way it doesn't show when the zipper is unzippered.

Baste the zipper in by hand.

Turn the skirt to the right side.  Put your zipper foot on the left side and change your stitch to 01 if you have a Brother.  These eHow videos show you the method I also use - this one shows you how to stitch the main part of the zipper and this one shows how to finish it.

Starting about an inch below the zipper pull, line the left side of the zipper along the seam line.  If your machine has a narrow zipper foot, begin at the top and sew around the entire zipper.

Sew down the right side of the zipper, stop and pivot to sew the bottom, pivot and sew the other side, stopping about 1 inch below the zipper pull.

Cut and tie threads.  Remove the basting from the center seam so you can open the zipper down below where you first began sewing.  Sew the upper sides of the zipper.  Tie threads.

9.  Facing

Turn the facing to the inside and pin, making sure it clears the zipper teeth.  The instructions tell you to handstitch this in place but don't mention the rest of the facing.  I pinned the facing down along the bottom and also handstitched it to keep it from popping up.

10.  Hem

Because I didn't want the bottom band, I had to hem the bottom of my skirt.  I ironed the bottom edge under 1/2 inch, turned it up to the skirt length I wanted, and hemmed in place.

Iron and enjoy!!

Happy Creating!  Deborah

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