Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Waistband-less skirts.

front of skirt with lengthened darts

Tonight when I got home from work & before I did anything else, I picked up the self-drafted skirt to take an inventory on what needed to be done. I'd already started with the hand sewing, but there was spot that needed to be resewn by machine, so I fired up the Juki for a little night sewing under stadium lighting.

Backing up a bit- I've made a total of 4 skirts.  Two of them had waistbands and fit kind of funky and the other two did not and fit great (one of them is in the photo above).  The waistband-less skirts were made from a basic Built By Wendy skirt pattern and without waistline facings.  I first read about these facings in Couture Sewing Techniques.  This is the same book that showed me how to apply ribbon trim without puckering.  As with the ribbon trim, the book refers again to Chanel-
Usually finished with a grosgrain or lining-fabric facing, the faced waistline was favored by Chanel for many of her designs.  Because it doesn't include a waistband, this finish is used on skirts that accompany overblouses and is flattering for short-waisted figures.
Wait.  Short-waisted?  I thought I was long-waisted. Maybe I should do some investigating?

Anyway, I wanted to add a waistline facing to my self-drafted skirt because it's made of good suiting fabric & I wanted to add a little heft to the waistline edge.  Here's how I did it and I used a combo of what I read in the book and this Threads article which I used to line this dress:

1) I drafted facing pattern pieces according to the top of my skirt pattern pieces - 3 pieces total for my skirt (1 for the front and 2 for the back).  Draft the pieces 2" wide (or deep, however you want to look at it); allow for seam allowances and on the 2 back pieces, extend the edges that will be next to the zipper maybe 2" or so.  These will be trimmed, edges finished and folded back underneath the lining at the end of the process.  (I mean I guess.  I sort of made that part up because I didn't know how else to finish those edges).  Sew the facing pieces together to make 1 long facing piece. The finished waistline facing should fit the waistline of your skirt perfectly.

Next- I cut a single piece of interfacing out of some very lightweight denim material from my scrap bag.  Baste the interfacing to the waistline facing.  Here's what it looks like:

waistline facing

2) Press under the lower edge of the waistline facing. Then- place the wrong side of your waistline facing over the right side of your lining- matching top edges. Pin and then stitch the lower edge of the waistline facing to your lining. It should look like this:

waist facing attached to skirt lining

3) With right sides together, pin your combo lining-waistline facing piece to your skirt. Stitch the seam. Then, because Juki makes it super easy- I trimmed the seam and used my new handy-dandy overcasting foot to overcast the edge to prevent fraying. I probably didn't need to do that but like I said - I love my new machine so I might as well use all the cool features.

overcasting waistline facing

4) Stitch-in-the-ditch so the facing doesn't roll and seriously- this is the first time I've stitched-in-the-ditch perfectly. You can't see it at all:

stitch in the ditch

5) And here's what the inside of my skirt looks like with the waistline facing. You can see my extension tabs.  Those will get tucked into the lining and the I'll hand-sew the lining along the zip to seal all that off.

waistline facing