I am! Mostly because we’re getting closer to sewing for real. Once we get the fit just right, from making the muslin, we can whip up skirt after skirt and know they’ll fit the way we want! And I have plans for many, many more Crescent Skirts this summer…
Just catching up? Here are links to the previous Sew-Along posts:
- 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
After finishing yesterday’s post, here’s what your work in progress will look like:
Is that what your sewing table looks like? (More or less, depending on the view you’re making?) Good! Let’s put the rest of the skirt together.
Sewing the Skirt
Let’s prepare the skirt sections, so we can sew them to the waistband. We’ll gather the Skirt Front and Skirt Backs, and sew the side seams. Before we gather the Skirt Front, let’s clip at centre front. This will make it easier to attach the waistband to the skirt. Since we’ve got the machine stitching in place, our clip won’t fray or pull apart.
Now, let’s make gathering stitches on either side of the Skirt Front. Using a large machine stitch, start at the pocket edge and sew a row of basting all the way to centre front, 1/2″ (1.2cm) from the raw edge. Leave long thread tails at either end.
Sew another row of basting 1/4″ (6mm) from the raw edge, or halfway between the first row and the raw edge. I like using the halfway measurement, as it’s easy to baste quickly down the middle!
Repeat with the other side of Skirt Front.
Now, gather both Skirt Back pieces the same way as we did for the front. Gather between circle markings.
Once the gathering is done, pin the skirt together at the sideseams, and baste the sideseams together. If you’re looking at the back piece, the higher side is the side, the top edge angles down towards centre back.
Be careful not to catch your long thread tails in the sideseams! (If you do, use a pin to gently pull them out of the sideseam stitching.)
Press seams open.
Putting it All Together
We have waistband pieces, and skirt pieces. Let’s join the whole thing together!
Before we do, let’s gather the gathered sections slightly and secure the thread tails, to make it easier to work with. Flip over the skirt and grab hold of the two basting threads. We’re going to secure one end of the gathered section, and use the other end to pull up the gathers.
Take a pin, and insert it at a right angle to the raw edge, at the start of the gathers.
Pull up the basting threads a little (maybe an inch of gathers) and wind the thread tails around the pin in a figure-8 motion.
Here’s what it looks like, with the threads all wound up:
Now we can pull the other end of the gathers, knowing this end is safe and secure!
Secure the other end with a pin temporarily. This is the end we’ll undo and loosen or tighten to fit the waistband.
And repeat this securing-with-a-pin technique with the other gathered sections! For the Front section, I prefer to have the securing-pin at centre. (Why? So the centre front stays gathered tightly.)
Pin the skirt section to the waistband.
Start by lining up the sideseams, then the ends, and as many pins as you want in between.
Pull up the gathers to fit waistband. Try to get them as evenly distributed as possible, without agonizing over getting them perfect. (I say this, in case you’re anything like me, and want the gathers to be perfectly, evenly distributed without any puckers. This is a good thing, but not necessary for our muslins!)
Baste waistband to skirt. Press seam allowances upwards, towards the waistband. I’m pressing from the waistband downwards, so I don’t squish the gathered part too much.
It’s starting to look like a skirt!
Adding the Zipper
You can fit the skirt without the zipper, if you have a helper to pin up the back for you, or you’re extremely flexible. I’d suggest putting a zipper in for best results! It only takes a moment to baste the zipper in place, and it will give you a better idea of fit.
Sew the centre back seam below the circle marking. Press seam allowances open, and press under the seam allowances along centre back, 5/8″ (1.5cm) on each side. Easy to do, just fold and press along the stitched lines!
I’m using my actual skirt zipper, as that’s all I can find due to the office move! So I’ll be ripping it out and sewing it into the real skirt later on.
Pin zipper in, lining up the folded edge of centre back so the folds are touching.
Here’s what it looks like with the zipper open – the folded edge lines up with the teeth of the zipper:
Baste zipper into place. I machine-stitched from the top of the zipper, pivoted across the bottom, and came back up the other side. You can hand-baste if that’s faster and more accurate, instead, whatever you prefer!
Press the hem allowance up, along the stitched hemline. It’s really easy to press up the hem since we’ve marked it with a row of machine stitching!
Hurrah – a skirt muslin!
Whew! If you’ve made it this far, pat yourself on the back! We’ve done a run-through of making the whole skirt, minus a few finishing steps along the way. (When I added ‘muslin-making’ to the Sew-Along schedule, I forgot it would be almost as much work as making the whole thing! This was a pretty intense step to write and to sew!
I’ll give you time to catch up at home over the weekend, and will be back with Fitting the Muslin early next week. How does that sound?
On a side note, that will be fun, posing in the office in a muslin and taking photos of myself! I mentioned before it’s a shared office space, with several other businesses. Already people have stopped by my office and peered in (while I had the door open of course) to see what’s going on in here. All of the bright colours, fabrics and garments modelled by Diana are drawing a bit of attention. It doesn’t hurt that I’m right by the lunch room, too!
Any questions? Feel free to ask in the comments below!