TUTORIAL – The Wiggle Skirt by Simple Sew
I’m back today with my next instalment of Simple Sew patterns tutorial… THE WIGGLE SKIRT!
This pattern came free as a duo of skirts free with issue 10 of Love Sewing magazine and I had previously made the tie back one here that I love but it came out a bit small so this time I upped a size and thought I’d show you the process…
THE WIGGLE SKIRT
By Simple Sew Patterns
YOU WILL NEED:
- The Two-in-One Skirt Collection pattern by Simple Sew
- Fabric – around 1.5m of pretty much anything would work here…cottons, wools, garbadine, linen
- 9″ zip – the pattern is for a concealed but I am using a normal zip here and showing you how to too!
- Interfacing – 0.5m for waistband
- Fabric scissors
- Paper scissors
- Pattern weights (optional)
- Tailors chalk /pens
- Pins (lots of them!)
- Matching thread & bobbin (good quality)
- Sewing machine
- Iron + Ironing surface
- Sewing machine feet – Regular zip foot & Straight stitch/quilting foot (all optional but very useful to follow this tutorial with)
!SUITABLE FOR BEGINNERS!
Firstly, unpack the pattern and read through instructions before you sew (this saves any last minute need of materials halfway through!)
Measure yourself around the waist and hips so you can choose the right size on the back of the pattern. Cut out all pieces in your size – you can grade between if you’re inbetween sizes – I’m normally between sizes at the waist so I cut straight down the middle and grade back to the line for the hips.
Don’t forget to use separate scissors for cutting the paper with – it will blunt them and you don’t want your lovely fabric shears to go blunt!
Fold fabric right sides together selvedge to selvedge and places the pattern pieces on the top – all facing up. Align the straight grain line on the pattern piece to grain of the fabric and pin down the pieces or use pattern weights if you prefer. I normally pin the tricky shapes or if it has lots of markings otherwise weights are fine! Large metal washers from any hardware shop make great patterns weights!
Cut the fabric out round the pattern pieces (the 1.5cm seam allowance has already been included so you should stay as close to the line as you can).
Also cut out the interfacing using waistband pattern piece (I did this on the fold by folding both my interfacing and pattern piece in half)
Cut the notches including the start of any pleats and darts (just a little snip into the fabric is fine – but don’t go further than the seam allowance!)
Now we need to transfer any markings from the pattern to the wrong side of the fabric…
I do this using PINS!
The way I mark darts, pleats and dots is by putting pins straight through both layers of fabric and mark both the back and front with chalk.
Pull back the pattern piece to mark the top of fabric as well as turning it over to mark the back side (both on wrong sides)
Then use a ruler to join the dots and draw in the lines of the darts.
TIME FOR SOME SEWING…
SEWING MACHINE SETTINGS:
- Normal tension (3-5)
- Straight Stitch (A)
- Normal length (2-4)
- Normal width (2-4)
ALL SEAM ALLOWANCES 1.5cm UNLESS OTHERWISE STATED
SEWING DARTS… Place the dart marking under the foot – starting with the edge of the fabric. Back stitch and sew down dart towards tip – removing pins as you go – you can back stitch at the end into fabric or tie loose ends to stop thread unravelling.
Then press the darts towards the centre on both the front and back skirt pieces, pulling slightly away from the stitching line to shape the fabric. Do this on both the wrong and right sides.
I thought I would share a really simple technique to keep your seams nice and tidy inside as well as out… FRENCH SEAMS!
Firstly, pin the sides of the skirt together WRONG SIDES TOGETHER (it may feel odd but trust me!)
Sew at 0.5cm seam allowance -which, for me is about the edge of a normal sewing machine foot. Backstitch at the beginning and end to hold the stitches in place!
Trim the seam allowance down by half and press open.
Now fold the fabric right sides together along the stitching line and press along the fold.
Now sew the right sides together at a 1cm seam allowance back stitching as you go!
Press your pretty french seams to whichever side you want – no ugly seam allowances here!! 😉
Lay the interfacing with glue side up on ironing board/surface, smoothing out kinks (the problem with interfacing is you can’t iron it but if it’s really crumpled – like mine – put something heavy to press it out)
Place a cloth on top so the iron doesn’t get covered in interfacing glue (not fun to remove!) and press hard – hold down for about 15secs on each bit. Don’t move the iron around quickly it will move the fabric too!
Trim off any excess interfacing.
Overlock or use the zigzag stitch across the bottom of the waistband (the side with no notches)
And turn up by 0.5cm to create a hem
Pin waistband to skirt with finished & folded edge at the bottom
Then stitch the seam back to using a 1.5cm seam allowance.
Press the seam up towards waistband
I wanted to show you an alternative zip for this tutorial but if you want to stick to the instructions of the pattern then follow my guide to inserting an invisible zip here instead!
HOW TO INSERT A NORMAL ZIP
- You will need a zipper sewing machine foot – it might be one sided or double sided- either will work. This allows you to sew really close to the teeth of the zip
- With your fabric right side up place the zip face down – right sides together – on one side of the centre back of the skirt
- The end of the zip tape should be just above halfway up waistband
- Line the zip up with the edge of the fabric
- Pin in place with the zip done up to the top
- Attach your zipper foot to your sewing machine
- Align the groove of the foot with the teeth of the zip
- Start sewing from just below the zip pull (as it will just get in the way) – backstitching at the top.
- Sew all the way to the bottom of the zip tape, keeping the foot aligned against the zip teeth.
- Sew slowly and backstitch at the end
- Now you can open zip a bit and sew the top. Backstitching the beginning and end
- Close up zip again
- Place together matching raw edge of other side of zip tape – right sides together – to the other side of the centre back skirt.
- Pin matching raw edge of fabric with the unsewn zip tape
- Sew as before, aligning the zip teeth in the groove of the zipper foot and starting after the zip pull
- Finish top with open zip again
TA-DAH! ZIP DONE!
Ok so now you’ve got to close that gap up on the centre back of the skirt before we get to the slit…
Turn your skirt to right sides together and starting just before the end of the sewn line on the zip – pin the edges together, until the top of the slit.
Using the zip foot still, sew the seam at 1.5cm, overlapping over the bottom of the zip stitching
Carry on to the top of the slit and backstitch.
We’re nearly there – we just have to hem the skirt, slit and finish the waistband! YAY!
Fold slit seam in on its self – wrong sides together in half and press
Do this on both sides so the edge of the slit is aligned with back seam
Hem skirt by turning up by 0.5cm- 1cm – or whatever depth you want and pressing well
Then fold over again by the same amount – pressing and pin on the way
Oh and make sure the two hems match up in the middle of the centre back for the slit!
Sew close to fold starting at the end of slit on the corner of the centre back fold – sew around the hem
Continue to Sew around slit from hem across top and back down –
Use the edge of your foot as a guide and pivot on corners…
To pivot – when you are at the spot that you want to turn a corner – turn your needle down so it’s holding the fabric in place, lift the sewing machine foot and turn your fabric. EASY!
Sew over line from before at top of slit, pivot again to follow it
Now all we have left to do is finish the waistband!
Firstly, cut the top off zip tape above stopper (the bit of glue or metal clamp depending on your zip)
Change back to zipper foot on your sewing machine and sew with teeth in grove of foot to bottom of waistband – making sure you catch the upturned hem of the waistband and seam allowance. Do this on both sides.
On the inside align the turned up edge with waistband seam and press waistband in place making sure to the seam allowance and hem of waistband meet. You can also pin along the top here if you want.
Now we need to do the trickiest part… STITCHING IN THE DITCH!
- I use a straight quilting foot for this as you can get a better straight line with it
- Stretch/ Pull back waistband and skirt to sew in the fold
- Start just after zip – backstitch all the way to other zip side – backstitch again.
- Take it slow and try to keep the stitches in the groove where waistband meets skirt
- Make sure you are catching the waistband hem and seam allowance inside the waistband
Give it a good press, trim all loose ends and wear with pride!
I hope this tutorial has been helpful to you – I’d love you see your Wiggle Skirts so please send them my way!
Until next time…
Love and happy sewing,