Welcome to the next post in the Hollyburn Skirt Sew-along! Incase you've missed any, here are all the posts so far:
- Inspiration (Part 1)
- Inspiration (Part 2)
- Choosing a view
- Choosing and Buying Fabric
- Changing the Length
- An Interview with Tasia
- Pattern Alteration - Removing the Pockets
- Pattern Alteration - Piping on your waistband
- Prewash and Prepare Fabric
- Thoughts on Grading Up in Size
- Choices to make before starting to sew
- Cutting Layout and Cutting
- Sewing the Pockets
- Skirt Seams
The next steps are putting the zip into the skirt. Today we'll discuss how to insert the zip if you are doing it as per the pattern, ie with no lining. If you're lining your skirt, I'll go through how I suggest inserting the zip so that you get a neat edge along the zip, which means those of you that are lining have the day off.
The instructions I'll be going through are for a regular zip, not an invisible one. If you're using an invisible zip here are some resources that you might find handy:
- This tutorial on the Coletterie discusses how to install an invisible zip, and this one about finishing with a facing can easily be translated for a waistband.
- This Sewaholic tutorial for the Cambie dress is a great tutorial on how to neatly insert an invisible zip where you have a lining.
Now, onto the steps for inserting a regular zip....
Centre Back Seam
Before we insert the zip, you need to sew up the centre back seam below where the zip will go. So, right sides together, match up the notches on the centre back seam and sew with a 1.5cm (5/8") seam allowance from the notch down to the hem:
Now finish the seam allowances separately, like you did with the centre front seam. Press the seam open.
Pin Zip in Place
Now, continuing the fold from the centre back seam, press the seam allowances back 1.5cm (5/8") up the rest of the centre back opening.
Now we're going to pin the zip in place and try it on before we sew it in. What you need to do is pin the zip underneath the fabric, so that the folded edges of the centre back meet in the middle over the middle of the zip. It's quite hard to explain, but hopefully the next two photos will make it make more sense. First with the zip closed:
And with the zip open:
The top of the zip should be just below the notch in the middle of the short side of the waistband. And make sure that the waistband seam matches up when the zip is closed. I suggest pinning with the pins running parallel to the zip as shown in the above pictures for the moment.
Now, try your skirt on (be careful not to stab yourself with the pins. As we discussed when choosing the size to make, the key measurement with this skirt is the waistband, and this is your opportunity to make sure that you got that right. If it is slightly off you can adjust the size of the skirt now before the zip is sewn in.
So try the skirt on. Stand up, sit down, walkaround. If you're planning on tucking stuff into it, check that too. Oh, and as the skirt sits on your waist, I suggest doing this trying on after a meal, as you don't want your skirt to be uncomfortably tight after you've eaten!
If it's too loose or too tight, adjust where you've folded the centre back seam and re-pin the zip in place and try again. Take your time with this step, it will make a big difference.
Sew in the zip
Once you're happy with the fit of the skirt we can prepare to sew the zip in. Now you've got three options here, you can hand baste the zip in first before sewing it permanently, machine baste it before sewing it permanently, sew it straight in.
I recommend basting it in first, as that will help reduce any problems with the top-stitching, particularly if your fabric is shifty or stretchy.
Quick Tip: Basting in this context means stitching it in with longer temporary stitches to hold the layers in place before you sew the final top-stitching. It will reduce the chance of your seam stretching or puckering.
If you want to hand baste it, then sew a medium-long running stitch along each edge to secure the zip exactly where you want it.
If you want to machine baste it or aren't going to baste then you'll want to rotate your pins so they're perpendicular to the seamline rather than parallel:
Now, if you're going to machine baste do that now.
The last step for today is to sew the top-stitching for the zip, I did mine about 1/4" (6mm) away from the fold, using my zipper foot:
When you get to the bottom of the zip, rotate 90 degrees and cross over the centre back seam, making sure that you don't try and stitch over the metal tab at the bottom of the zip, and then continue your stitching line back up the other side of the zip.
I'll be back tomorrow with instructions for how to insert the zip into your skirt if you've lined it, using a method that gives you a lovely neat finish on both the inside and the outside.
Missed any of the sew-along posts, or just want to re-read them? You can find the full list here.