And welcome to Part 11 of our Zinnia Skirt Sewalong. Yesterday we showed you how to prepare your waistband. Today we're going to show you how to insert it. Aaaannnd…excitement of all excitements, this blog marks a first for The Stitchery: our very first tutorial video!
Basically we decided that one of the steps in todays post was quite intricate to explain step-by-step, using photos. So we took a video instead. And now the anticipation is almost too much!
Inserting The Waistband
STEP 1 – Lay your waistband into your skirt, aligning the the top edges. Align the side seam markings (two small dots) on your waistband with the side-seams on your skirt and pin at these two points. For a reference on how to do this, have a look at STEP 6 of Post 8.
STEP 2 – Starting at the back right, which is the button end of your waistband, you’re going to pin it to your skirt at 1” intervals. To start this process, take your extension line mark (blue marker in my image) and line it up so that it sits just inside of your zipper teeth. Then pin, and continue pinning until you reach the centre of the skirt. Make sure, as you pin, that you're only pinning through one layer of waistband fabric.
STEP 3 - Once you reach the centre of the skirt, start from the other end of your waistband and pin, again at 1" intervals. As before, when you start this process you want to align the end of your waistband snug to the inside of your zipper teeth.
The image below shows the waistband once it's fully pinned to the skirt from both ends.
STEP 4 - Slide your skirt under your presser foot, with the wrong side facing up. Notice that at either end of the waistband you can see the vertical stitch of the zipper. Starting on this stitch line, at one end of the waistband, sew a basting stitch at 5/8" seam allowance. Continue until you reach the vertical zipper stitch at the other end.
STEP 5 - Turn your skirt over to the right side and check the stitch to see that it hasn't puckered or snagged on any of the pleats. It's also a good moment to check your button flap by pinning it in place.
The image below shows how your zipper area should now look, with the zip open.
STEP 6 - Once you're happy that everything's sitting pretty, you're ready to apply a permanent stitch. Just as you did with your basting stitch, start right at the end of the waistband and stitch at 5/8" until you reach the zipper stitch at the other end.
The image below shows what the this stitch looks like from the wrong side of the skirt. You can see that it begins right on the the vertical zipper stitch.
STEP 7 - Once you've permanently stitched the waistband, bring it over the top edge of your skirt. Fold your zipper inwards and tuck it under the end of your waistband. Then begin to tuck your seam allowance under your waistband, pressing as you go (image 7a). Once it's fully tucked under, press your waistband from the right side, along its entire length. Do this on both the inside and outside of the skirt.
STEP 8 - Pin your waistband down along its entire length.
STEP 9 - Hand tack the waistband in place about an 1/8 inch away from the waistband seam. Make sure that you are catching the fold of the fabric on the wrong side of the waistband.
STEP 10 - In the Zinnia pattern instructions, the last step for attaching the waistband is to edge stitch two lines at 1/8" from the top and bottom. However, my students have often found it difficult to achieve a nice finish with this method; especially as the stitching is visible from the outside of the skirt. And so instead I tend to teach them to finish their waistbands with a nice bit of hand stitching.
And so this bring us to a first for this Sewalong. And indeed a first for The Stitchery: a video tutorial!
In this video I have shown you how to apply a slip stitch to your waistband. Personally I like this stitch because it is concealed, and I think it gives the waistband a more refined look. Slip stitching is the sort of relaxing activity that is best done in a rocking chair with your favourite cat, purring at your side. Stitching your waistband in this way is certainly a lengthier process than using your machine, and not one that we would want to film in its entirety. So instead we have just shown how to slip stitch a short section of the waistband. But we have included the technique for the start and end of the stitch in this video.
Here's the video, and the explanation is below:
Before you begin, you'll need a single length of thread. My rule of thumb, when hand stitching, is to make sure my thread is no longer than the length of my arm. That way it won't get tangled too easily.
Thread your needle and tie a knot at one end of the thread. Push the needle under the waistband at one end and then our through the fold of the waistband, right at the zipper teeth. Pull your thread through until the knot anchors in the back of your fabric.
We're using a 1/4" slip stitch, so for each stitch we're picking up a couple of threads of the skirt fabric, then entering the fold of the waistband and exiting 1/4" further on. Where you exit the fold is exactly where you should pick up the next couple of threads of the skirt fabric. And where you exit the skirt fabric is exactly where you should enter the fold.
To finish, insert your needle as if you're about to do another short stitch on the skirt fabric. But this time, rather than pulling the thread right through, leave a loop. As your needle exits the fabric, pull it through the loops, which creates a knot.
And that's your waistband attached!