The Zinnia Skirt Sewalong Part 10

Welcome to Part 10 of our Zinnia Sewalong. This post and the next are all about the waistband for Versions 2 and 3. This first one is about preparing the waistband and the one we’ll post tomorrow will be on inserting it into the skirt. 

Firstly though, we just wanted to respond to a couple of comments that have come in about the competition final entry date being too close to the end of the Sewalong. We’ve taken these comments on board, and will now be accepting entries right up until midnight on Monday 2nd June.

Sorry to anyone who’s been busting a gut to get it done by Saturday!

The Epic Prologue..

So before we get into the nitty gritty of it, I’d like to spend a bit of time explaining some of the issues I had when it came to inserting my waistband into my skirt. I’m doing this now because it may affect how you proceed with the first part of this tutorial, which is preparing the waistband.

(I apologise in advance for the wordiness of this section! I'm afraid I don't have any images to illustrate the issues I encountered).

When you come to attach the waistband, the first step is to align the side-seam markings (small dots) on the waistband with the side-seams of the skirt. For an idea of what this looks like check out STEP 6 of Post 8 of this Sewalong, where we inserted the Version 1 waistband.

The problem I encountered, when I tried to do this was that the waistband had ended up too short for the skirt. In other words, the distance along the front between the side seams on my skirt was about 2inches longer than the distance between the side-seam markings on my waistband.

Wondering what I may have done wrong, I had a quick look online and soon discovered that others had also encountered this problem. For example, this lovely blog done by Mary Danielson.

Mary, like myself, discovered this after the fact, so her solution was to sew an extension piece onto her waistband. And if you’re already at insertion stage by the time you read this, then this is a perfectly acceptable fix.

If however you haven’t started on the waistband yet, the first thing you should do is to check and see if you have the same issue. The best way to do this is to fold your waistband in half, lengthwise with right sides facing. Then lay it into your skirt as if you’re going to attach it.

If the side-seam dots line up with your side seams on the skirt and the waistband ends match up with the edge of your skirt, then you have somehow managed to avoid this issue. If however, you find that there’s a difference in length, I would like to suggest two potential solutions; the choice between them depending on your own circumstance:

The first and simplest solution, and the one that will probably apply in most circumstances, is simply to cut out a waistband that is slightly longer. This is the best solution for you if you already know that the skirt is the correct size for you.

To do this, first measure the extra length required by comparing the markings on your waistband to the side seams. Then simply add this extra length to the new waistband that you cut out.

The second solution, which is a wee bit more involved, is to shorten the skirt by increasing the size of the two pleats at the centre front of the skirt, thus drawing the skirt waist in further.

This was the solution we chose because it just so happened that for our model, Naomi, the waistband actually fit her quite well, but the skirt was too big.

To achieve this second option, lay your waistband into the skirt, lining your markings up with your side seams. Then unpick the two centre-front pleats. Next, pinch the pleats until the slack in your skirt is taken up and pin in place. Then re-stitch each pleat.

I realise that these are not extensive instructions. So if you have any more questions please feel free to contact us or post a comment on this blog post.

Preparing the Waistband

STEP 1 – Fold your waistband in half lengthwise, with right sides facing, and press. 



STEP 2 – Looking at your waistband, you’ll see that one end has an extended piece where you should have already marked a buttonhole and an extension line. These are the blue lines marked in the images to the right. 

Starting at your lengthwise fold, stitch a standard 5/8” seam allowance until you reach 5/8” from the opposite edge, and pivot 90degress. You may wish to mark this pivot point before you start sewing. Continue stitching at 5/8” from this perpendicular edge until you reach the previously marked out extension line.

The next step is to stitch the other end of your waistband at 5/8”. This is just a standard stitch at 5/8 inch seam allowance from the folded edge to the other side.





STEP 3 – Notch the corner of your waistband.


STEP 4 – Now we’re going to ‘grade’ the seam. This simply means that we're going to take some of the bulk out of it by trimming it down to around half of the standard 5/8”. 

Do this at either end of the waistband. 


STEP 5 – Starting at the button end of your waistband, press the seam allowances open. Continue pressing open a 5/8” seam along the entire length of the waistband. Then press the seam allowance open at the other end.


STEP 6 – Turn the waistband right side out, using a point turner to push out the corners. Then press from the right side.

You will also notice at this point that I re-established my buttonhole and extension line markings on the right side of the fabric. This will help with positing the waistband on the skirt at the correct point.


Okay, you are now ready to insert your waistband into your skirt. This will be the subject of our next post, which we plan to put up tomorrow.