Today we’ll finish up the waistband-zipper-facing section that we made serious progress on yesterday. We’ll understitch the facing, topstitch around the zipper, and secure the facing to the skirt.
It’s going to look just about finished by the end of today – only the hem left to complete!
Catching up on the Sew-Along posts? Here they are!
- Crescent Sew-Along #1: Q&A and Schedule
- Crescent Sew-Along #2: Choosing Your Fabric
- Crescent Sew-Along #3: My Fabric Choice
- Crescent Sew-Along #4: Ready, Set, Prepare!
- Crescent Sew-Along #5: Supply List & Let’s Get Started!
- Crescent Sew-Along #6: Making the Muslin, Part 1
- Crescent Sew-Along #7: Muslin Part 2 and Gathering Tips
- Crescent Sew-Along #8: Grading It Up
- Crescent Sew-Along #9: Fitting the Muslin
- Crescent Sew-Along #10: A Pre-Sewing Checklist
- Crescent Sew-Along #11: Fusible Interfacing Tips
- Crescent Sew-Along #12: Sewing Slash Pockets
- Crescent Sew-Along #13: How to Reinforce Centre Front
- Crescent Sew-Along #14: Gathering!
- Crescent Sew-Along #15: Sewing French Seams
- Crescent Sew-Along #16: Sewing the Waistband and Waistband Facing
- Crescent Sew-Along #17: Waistband Trim Ideas
- Crescent Sew-Along #18: Attaching the Waistband
- Crescent Sew-Along #19: Adding a Lining
- Crescent Sew-Along #20: Sewing the Zipper to the Facing
- Crescent Sew-Along #21: Sewing the Zipper
Let’s finish up the waistband. We have three kinds of stitching to do today: understitching, topstitching, and stitch-in-the-ditch stitching.
Let’s understitch our facing now! Understitching, if you’re new to the idea, is a line of stitching that secures the facing to the underside and keeps it from rolling to the front. It creates nice, crisp edges that press easily! More on understitching here, if you’d like to read more!
Here’s where we left off yesterday:
It’s unpressed, but you can see it wants to roll to the right side of our skirts. Let’s stitch it into place!
Arrange your skirt under your sewing machine, so the facing is to the right and the skirt is to the left. Pull the seam allowance towards the right.
Understitch the facing very close to the fold edge, without crossing the fold.
You won’t be able to stitch all the way into the corners, but stitch as close as you can. Here’s how close I was able to get:
That’s close enough to keep the facing in place! Backstitch at each end, and trim threads.
Now we’ll be able to press the top edge of our skirts nicely.
The understitching step is complete! Now, on to the topstitching…
We’ll topstitch around the zipper next. This is for decoration as well as function, it will keep our zipper folds in place and strengthen the zipper opening.
First, let’s press the zipper seam allowances in place. Roll the zipper seam allowances towards centre so that they meet in the middle, and lightly steam or press them in place.
Now, let’s topstitch approximately 1/4″ around the zipper. It’s more important to have even stitching than to have it exactly 1/4″ away, if that makes a difference. (I am always tempted to hand-pick my zippers but I’m resisting for the purposes of demonstration.)
Using a zipper foot, start at the top left and stitch down along the zipper.
Sew down to the bottom of the zipper, pivot and sew straight across the bottom, pivot again and sew back up the other side of the zipper.
When we go back up the other side of the zipper, I like to close the zipper to make sure the folds still meet in the middle. (My finger looks awkward in this photo because I’m using the other hand to take the picture. It’s slightly less awkward in real life!)
Backstitch at the top of the zipper. Done!
Oh, it’s so pretty! Look at our lovely zipper installation. Finished on the inside, tidy on the outside!
What do you think, was that easier than sewing it the regular way? Our zipper is completely in and we didn’t have to touch a hand-sewing needle.
One last row of stitching and we’re done for the day! I don’t know if there’s another term for stitch-in-the-ditch but that’s what I’ve always called it. Let me know if you call it something else!
The last thing to do is secure our flopping facing to the skirt. You have a choice here! You can slipstitch it into place so it’s completely invisible. You can topstitch it along the edge of the facing, for a sportier look.
Or, you can stitch-in-the-ditch, it’s as permanent as visible topstitching but invisible like slipstitching.
This is the ditch:
See that little valley between the waistband and the skirt? We’re going to stitch in the middle of the ditch, and hope that our stitches ‘sink’ into the ditch and vanish from sight.
Poke your needle into the ditch, backstitch at the start, and then stitch in the ditch all the way around the waistband. Easy! Just be careful and go slowly, so your stitches stay in the ditch and don’t jump onto the waistband.
Here’s what it looks like, from the inside:
And here’s what it looks like from the right side!
Hurrah! It’s a skirt now. All we have left to do is the hem and we’re done! Go ahead, try it on. I know you want to!