Wednesday 15 May 2013

Winter Wardrobe Update - Waist band tutorial

Winter has closed in and my wardrobe selection is looking a little tired and in need of a freshen-up. We all have our favourite classic wardrobe pieces to get out again, but their comes a time to move the peripheral items on. I don't want to become one of those teachers that get stuck in the style habits of the decade that was their hay day; especially with a major zero related birthday on my horizon this year.

Every season I vow to spend more time making my own clothes; plying the trade that runs through our family tree. With just a day or two of our recent holidays left, I finally broke out the stash and sewed myself up a couple of skirts. Long days of working and generally mangy weather has meant it's taken a couple of weeks for me to photograph the finished products.

I used a very simple Butterick pattern and tartan wool fabric remnant I picked up at a stash-rehash event for the paltry sum of $12. I had envisaged cutting the front and back panels in single pieces, but the fabric was only 90cm wide, so I had to have a seam in the
centre front and centre back. Which of course meant matching the stripes in the tartan.

I fitted a 25cm invisible zip in the centre back seam and joined the side seams and centre front matching the pattern; then I over-locked all the vertical seams and one side of the waist band. Ensure the skirt fits before sewing on the waist band!

To fit the tailored waistband:
1) Pin the raw (not over-locked) edge of the waist band to the waist of the skirt. Put the pins in as shown and you will be able to sew over the top of them to ensure a neat finish.
Make sure the sewing meets at the same point on the zip, or the ends of the waistband wont meet up when the zip is closed.

Leave enough overlap at each end of the band to accommodate the seam allowance and enough band to overlap for the button - about 2cm plus 1.5cm for seam.
Remember that the overlap on a women's garment is right over left.

2) Iron the seam, then fold the band over against itself, matching the end and the edges. Sew across the end of the band as shown in the photo.
3) Sew the tab end of the band by folding over the band and matching the edges in the same way as before. Pin and sew across the end, turning 1.5cm from the edge of the band, and sewing in towards the zip. Stop sewing once you get to the band seam as shown. This forms the tab that the button hole will be sewn into.
4) Turn band in the right way making sure the corners a well turned out. Use a pin to pick out the point if required. Iron the band, turning the seam into the band and leaving the overlocked edge outside and overlapping the seam. (I didn't need to over-lock the outside edge because I cut the waistband from the selvage edge of the fabric - that's the bit that wont fray)
5) Measure and pin the waist band into place. In this case the waist band is 3cm wide. From the outside of the garment stitch along the seam of the band (where the pins are in the photo) to secure the inside edge of the band to the garment. This is called a stitch-in-the-ditch. Alternatively, the seam could be top stitched if you prefer more obvious stitching effect.
6) All sewn up. The bands should match exactly once the zip is closed. Now find a matching button from your stash and sew the button hole into one overlapping side of the band. Sew on your button.
Because this skirt is cut from the bias of the fabric - across the diagonal of the fabric - it is prone to dropping: where the fabric stretches and drops making the hem uneven. Because of this I hung it up for a couple of days before sewing the hem. I could have hand sewed it; however the quite busy pattern meant I could machine sew it 2cm from the edge of the fabric without compromising the look of the garment. Time is precious after all!
Thanks to my sister Charmaine for taking the photos

 Autumn leaves, stocking, woollen layers, hearty meals and sensible shoes.
The winter season is definitely here.

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