Gabriola Sew-Along #7: Hemming and Back Closure

Sew-AlongWidget_GabriolaToday is the daaaaaay! That we finish our maxi skirts. Yay! If you’re just tuning in… we’ve missed you. You can catch up on all our Gabriola sew-along posts here:

Gabriola Skirt: Styling Inspiration

Gabriola Sew-Along: Let’s Talk Fabric and Supplies!

Gabriola Skirt: Grading Between Sizes

Tips for Adding Lining to the Gabriola Skirt

Gabriola Sew-Along #1: Waistband and Yokes

Gabriola Sew-Along #2: Assembling Skirt Panels

Gabriola Sew-Along #3: Attaching Skirt and Yoke Pieces, Preparing for Zipper and Waistband

Gabriola Sew-Along #4: Sewing Center Back Zipper

Gabriola Sew-Along #5: Attaching Waistband to Skirt

Gabriola Sew-Along #6: Finishing Inside of Waistband

Today: Hemming Skirt, Attaching Button or Hook and Bar

So we’ve sewn up our skirt, and it’s been hanging for at least 24 hours.


Time to even out our hem! You might also want to trim your hem even more if the skirt is really long on you. I am 5’8″ and I didn’t trim, just evened out the hem. You want to measure from the floor up – your skirt can hang on a clip type hanger (but make sure it’s not drooping off the sides of the hanger! Or if you have a dress form, use that.


Finish the bottom edge of your skirt with your overlock/serger, a zig zag stitch on your regular machine, or you can even be fancy and finish it with a colorful binding or lace! Turn it up by 1″ (2.5cm) and pin in place.


Either machine stitch your hem, as I am doing above, or hand sew it with a catchstitch – see a  demo of the catch stitch at the end of this post from the Lonsdale Sew-Along.


If you machine stitched your hem, you might find that your hem stretched out a bit while you sewed it, no biggie!


Give it a good press with steam (if your fabric allows) and it will correct itself. I love the look of a nice stitched and freshly pressed hem – so clean and tidy!


This photo is upside down, sorry! But you get the idea… remember your skirt waistband is going to overlap a little bit, left side over right side.

Time to decide on a back closure! For my skirt, I wanted to keep my waistband clean, so I decided on a hook and bar.

You could also go with a simple button/buttonhole, this pattern calls for a button approximately 1″ (2.5cm) in diameter. You could easily use a slightly smaller button, or even two small buttons one above the other! You want your button to hit right at your center back. The center of your button is the point where your buttonhole will start, and the buttonhole will extend towards the left side. I’ve given you a little outline in the photo above.


For the hook and bar, I marked the overlap with a pin, and then used that pin as a guide for where to place my bar.


Hand sewing the hook and bar is really straightforward. You are just looping the thread around and around. I find that pushing my needle through the underside of the hole, from from the outside in, gives me the most control. Hard to explain with words – you can see the motion in the photo above.


There we go, all done with our lovely closure! That wraps up the sewing of the Gabriola skirt.

I am going to share some photos of my finished skirt very soon, but I’m more interested in seeing yours! Please do share with us, I am going to do some round up posts in the coming weeks and I would be thrilled to include your versions! Here is how you can share:

– Post a link here, in the comments
– E-mail us your photos or a link to your blog post: info[at]sewaholic[dot]net
– Post your photos to the Sewaholic Patterns Group on Flickr – include a link to your blog if you have one!
– Instagram me! I am @carolineamanda on Instagram, or just tag your photo #sewaholicgabriola

Can’t wait to see what you’ve made! Thank you so much for following along everyone. I would love to hear from you in the comments as well – Did you enjoy the sew-along? Any questions or comments? Suggestions for next time?

Happy sewing!


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22 Responses to Gabriola Sew-Along #7: Hemming and Back Closure

  1. Emily March 31, 2014 at 6:46 am #

    What a great sewalong – thank you!! This was my first time sewing along “in real time” with a sewalong, and I had tons of fun. The pacing was great – thank you for not going too fast!! And I loved the extra tips about lining and sewing with chiffon.

    Here is my finished skirt – I love it so much!!

    I actually have a second one in the works – all I have to do it hem it, so it should be up in a day or two. I’ll post it here when it’s done!

    • Caroline Amanda March 31, 2014 at 8:43 pm #

      Can’t wait to see your second one! Thanks for sharing :)

  2. Elizabeth March 31, 2014 at 10:54 am #

    Thanks for the sewalong! I’ve already worn my skirt and got a lot of compliments. Thanks for such a great pattern! Here’s my link:

    • Caroline Amanda March 31, 2014 at 8:46 pm #

      Thanks so much for following along and sharing! :)

  3. Betty March 31, 2014 at 11:18 am #

    un bel lavoro !!

  4. barbara March 31, 2014 at 12:21 pm #

    Thanks Caroline! It’s been great, also my first sew-along. I’ve learnt a lot and I love my Gabriola. Definitely want to try a velvet one next. Here’s a link to mine:

    Thanks again.

    • Caroline Amanda March 31, 2014 at 8:50 pm #

      Looks so great Barbara, I love the print you chose! Thanks for sharing :)

  5. Sue March 31, 2014 at 4:17 pm #

    I managed to make two Gabriolas – a long and a short. I have blogged the short one here Long one coming soon as I am wearing it today!

    • Sue March 31, 2014 at 4:18 pm #

      PS, forgot to say how much I enjoyed the whole process and I love the skirts – thank you!

    • Caroline Amanda March 31, 2014 at 8:52 pm #

      Wow – Sue, your short version looks amazing! I love it on you. Thanks so much for sharing!

  6. Stephanie March 31, 2014 at 4:46 pm #

    Well, I haven’t started mine yet (so much for sewing along). Love seeing everyone else’s versions, keep ’em coming!

  7. Ali April 1, 2014 at 10:25 pm #

    Yay just finished mine and love this skirt so much! Thank you Sewaholic for such a fab pattern! I don’t have a blog…but I did share a post to a sewing community on google+, check it out:

    • Caroline Amanda April 2, 2014 at 8:32 pm #

      Thanks Ali! Hope it’s alright that I’ll be including it in the next round up, with a link to your google+. I love the contrast panels! You’re the first to do them that I’ve seen. :)

  8. Sue April 2, 2014 at 2:48 am #

    OK, here is my long version I thought I liked the short better, but having worn them both I now can’t choose between them – very different!

    • Caroline Amanda April 2, 2014 at 8:31 pm #

      I love both! They really look like totally different skirts with the two lengths. Thanks for sharing both! I included both of them in the next round up :)

  9. Emily April 2, 2014 at 9:48 am #

    I just finished Gabriola 2.0 as well! Here she is – made out of a knit with an elastic waistband :). Trying to mix it up a little!

    • Caroline Amanda April 2, 2014 at 8:30 pm #

      You brave girl! Love it in the knit. Was totally worth your pattern placement meltdown :)

  10. aspen @ little green orchids April 3, 2014 at 11:25 am #

    Finally got mine hemmed! I love love love it. Can’t wait to make another one. Maybe another 5. :) Here’s my blog post with photos…

    Thank you so much for a wonderful sew-along Caroline, and for the wonderful pattern Tasia!

    • Caroline Amanda April 3, 2014 at 9:32 pm #

      It looks great Aspen! Thanks so much for sharing it with us :) I’ve already put together the first round up post, so I will include yours in our second round up… just in case you’re wondering why you don’t see you skirt in the post on Monday. I really like it on you, you look lovely!

  11. Linda April 9, 2014 at 2:11 am #

    I absolutely love the look of this skirt but was wondering how well it would fit someone who is just 5′ tall with a very short distance between her waist and hip?

    • Caroline Amanda April 9, 2014 at 11:43 pm #

      Hi Linda! It may need some alterations, you may find the proportions are a bit off in the yoke area vs the skirt, since you will certainly need to shorten the skirt a bit. You can use the lengthen/shorten lines to shorten the skirt, and the slash your yoke pieces horizontally across and overlap your yoke pieces. You’ll have to straighten out the edges with a ruler after overlapping, and then double check that the seams match up. This will make the yoke pieces narrower and more proportional.
      You could make a muslin first before doing any of the above to see how much you need to shorten and adjust, and go from there :)

      • Linda April 14, 2014 at 2:03 am #

        Thank you for your help. I will use your suggestions and let you know how it turns out.