TUTORIAL – The Wiggle Skirt by Simple Sew

Hello!

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…

WiggleFEAT

THE WIGGLE SKIRT

By Simple Sew Patterns

TUTORIAL

WiggleWHATYOUNEED

 

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!

LETS BEGIN!

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.


 

WiggleCUTTINGOUT

Smooth out pattern and lay flat so there are no kinks and cut out your pattern pieces.

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!

Follow the pattern instructions on the layout of the pattern pieces on the fabric…

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!)


 

WiggleMARKINGS

 

Now we need to transfer any markings from the pattern to the wrong side of the fabric…

I do this using PINS!

IMG_1264

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.

IMG_1275

IMG_1267

 

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)

IMG_1277

 

Then use a ruler to join the dots and draw in the lines of the darts.

IMG_1270


 

 

WiggleDARTS

 

To make the darts… Fold the fabric joining the 2 notches at the base of the dart together and pin along the marked line making sure the other side is matching.

TIME FOR SOME SEWING…

IMG_0737

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

 


IMG_1293

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.

IMG_1295

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.

IMG_1297

 


WiggleSIDESEAMS

I thought I would share a really simple technique to keep your seams nice and tidy inside as well as out… FRENCH SEAMS!

IMG_1303

Firstly, pin the sides of the skirt together WRONG SIDES TOGETHER (it may feel odd but trust me!)

IMG_1307

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!

IMG_1310

Trim the seam allowance down by half and press open.

IMG_1313

Now fold the fabric right sides together along the stitching line and press along the fold.

IMG_1316

Now sew the right sides together at a 1cm seam allowance back stitching as you go!

IMG_1317

Press your pretty french seams to whichever side you want – no ugly seam allowances here!! 😉

WiggleINTERFACING

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)

IMG_1320
Lay fabric with right side up on top carefully and smooth out kinks

IMG_1322

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!

IMG_1324

Trim off any excess interfacing.

IMG_1330

Overlock or use the zigzag stitch across the bottom of the waistband (the side with no notches)

IMG_1334

And turn up by 0.5cm to create a hem


 

WiggleWAISTBAND

Pin waistband to skirt with finished & folded edge at the bottom

Then stitch the seam back to using a 1.5cm seam allowance.

IMG_1343
Trim/ finish your seams with your preferred method – I used pinking shears here which have a zig zag edge and stop the fabric fraying

IMG_1344

Press the seam up towards waistband


 

WiggleZIP

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

IMG_1393

  • 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

IMG_1346

  • 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

IMG_1347

  • 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

IMG_1349

IMG_1350

  • Now you can open zip a bit and sew the top. Backstitching the beginning and end

IMG_1352

  • 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

IMG_1353

  • 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…

IMG_1361

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.

IMG_1366

Using the zip foot still, sew the seam at 1.5cm, overlapping over the bottom of the zip stitching

IMG_1367

 

Carry on to the top of the slit and backstitch.


WiggleHEM

 

We’re nearly there – we just have to hem the skirt, slit and finish the waistband! YAY!

IMG_1376
Finish seam however you want – I used the pinking shears again and press open – you can press the zip tape now too but not the teeth (anything but the teeth – ahhh!!) 😉

IMG_1373

Fold slit seam in on its self – wrong sides together in half and press

IMG_1374

Do this on both sides so the edge of the slit is aligned with back seam

IMG_1375
Press in place well and pin if needed

IMG_1377
Swap to normal foot and sew across top of slit – you might want to pin to hold together here, it can be quite tricky so make sure they are joined but not overlapping.

IMG_1379

Hem skirt by turning up by 0.5cm- 1cm  – or whatever depth you want and pressing well

IMG_1382

Then fold over again by the same amount – pressing and pin on the way

IMG_1383

Oh and make sure the two hems match up in the middle of the centre back for the slit!

IMG_1386

Sew close to fold starting at the end of slit on the corner of the centre back fold – sew around the hem

IMG_1387

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…

IMG_1389

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!

IMG_1391

Sew over line from before at top of slit, pivot again to follow it

IMG_1392
Then back down the side of the slit again until you join the stitched hem and backstitch.


 

WiggleFINISH

Now all we have left to do is finish the waistband!

IMG_1396

Firstly, cut the top off zip tape above stopper (the bit of glue or metal clamp depending on your zip)

IMG_1399
With zip open, fold waistband -right sides together- in half and pin over zip tape

IMG_1400

IMG_1403
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.

IMG_1408
Flip over the waist band to be wrong sides together and use a pin to ease out the corner

NB, My zip is quite a bit lower than it should be… oops! I will fill the gap with a hook and eye instead! Next time I will measure where the halfway point of the waistband is – not just eyeball it! 😉
IMG_1412

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.


IMG_1413

Now we need to do the trickiest part… STITCHING IN THE DITCH!

IMG_1409
To Stitch 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

IMG_1414

 

Annnnnd… dun dun dunnnnnn…..
IMG_1417

YOU’RE DONE!!!

WiggleDONE

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,

IMG_0295.PNG