Yaletown Sew-Along: Assembling Skirt or Lower Blouse

Sew-AlongWidget_YaletownWell hello there lovelies! Great day to work on our Yaletown dresses or blouses, yes? If you need to catch up, here is a recap of what we’ve covered so far:

Yaletown Sew-Along: Styling Inspiration
Yaletown Sew-Along: Fabric Suggestions, Choosing a Size, and FAQ
Yaletown Sew-Along: FBA and SBA Tutorials and Tips
Yaletown Sew-Along: Cutting, Gathering Supplies
Yaletown Sew-Along #1: Preparing Bodice and Sewing Facing (Instruction Steps 1-4)
Yaletown Sew-Along #2: Finishing Facing, Sewing Bodice Side Seams (Instruction Steps 5-7)
Today: Sewing Skirt / Lower Blouse (Instruction Steps 8-10)
Thursday, September 18th – Sewing Bodice to Skirt, Sewing Elastic Casing (Instruction Steps 11-13)
Tuesday, September 23rd – Sewing & Attaching Sleeves (Instruction Steps 14-17)
Thursday, September 25th – Hemming, Sewing Tie Belt (Instruction Steps 18-19)
Friday, October 2nd – Thread Loops and Securing Neckline (Instruction Steps 20-21)

Today let’s put our bodices aside, and work on the lower part of our garments! I will be walking you through sewing the skirt, including pockets. If you are sewing the lower bodice for a blouse, then it’s much simpler! You’ll simply be sewing the side seams, finishing seam allowances, and pressing the side seams open.

Let’s get into the skirt version, shall we?

Yaletown Sew-Along Skirt 1First up: grab your skirt pieces, and finish the raw edges of your side seams (I am using my overlock/serger to do this). Also grab your pocket pieces, and finish all raw edges of those.

Yaletown Sew-Along Skirt 2Now let’s pin our pocket pieces to our skirt. Pin right sides together, matching your pocket notches to the notches at the side seam. Repeat the same thing for the other skirt piece and two pocket pieces.

Yaletown Sew-Along Skirt 3Now we’re going to sew our pocket to the skirt along the side seam, taking only a ½” (1.2cm) seam allowance.

Yaletown Sew-Along Skirt 4Looks good! Repeat this step for all four pocket pieces.

Yaletown Sew-Along Skirt 5Time to understitch the pocket pieces. Stitch at around 1/8″ – 1/16″ from the seamline, on the pocket side of the seam. Your seam allowance should be pushed towards the pocket as you do this. This will ensure that the inside of the pocket lays flat and remains inside the dress.

Yaletown Sew-Along Skirt 6Alright so now that our pocket pieces are attached to our skirt pieces, and understitched, it’s time to sew our front and back skirt together. Start by pinning along the side seams.

Yaletown Sew-Along Skirt 7We now want to sew all along the side seam and around the pocket bag. I do this a little bit differently than the instructions, but it’s my favorite method and makes me feel a bit more secure stashing things in my inseam pockets.

Here is how I do it: Start at the waist and sew until you reach the pocket bag notch. We are sewing at the usual ⅝” (1.5cm) seam allowance.

Yaletown Sew-Along Skirt 8Insert your needle into the garment to keep it in place, lift your presser foot, and pivot the skirt.

Yaletown Sew-Along Skirt 9Continue to sew around the pocket bag.

Yaletown Sew-Along Skirt 10Here is where I differ from the instructions a little bit. When we are finished sewing around the pocket bag, we are going to sew back up into the pocket opening a bit.

Yaletown Sew-Along Skirt 11Insert your needle, lift the presser foot and pivot the project around.  We are going to sew up into the pocket for an inch or so. I like to do this because it makes me feel more secure when I stash things in my pocket. There is less chance of things slipping out because I’m creating more of a “drop”. Does that make sense?

Yaletown Sew-Along Skirt 12Sew up into the pocket opening, until you reach the notch.

Yaletown Sew-Along Skirt 13Insert your needle, lift the presser foot, and pivot around again. Now we can continue to sew all the way down the sideseam.

Yaletown Sew-Along Skirt 14Here’s a close up of what the stitching looks like at the top.

Yaletown Sew-Along Skirt 15And here is what it looks like on the bottom end of the pocket opening. The double stitching in the lower pocket area makes the opening stronger too. It’s a win-win method for me, and there’s still plenty of room for your hand, don’t worry!

Yaletown Sew-Along Skirt 16Now let’s press the seam allowance and pockets towards the front.

Yaletown Sew-Along Skirt 17I like to pin the seam allowance towards the front temporarily, just so I don’t get mixed up later on.

Yaletown Sew-Along Skirt 18Same thing at the top end.

Yaletown Sew-Along Skirt 19Look at that! A lovely clean pocket opening.

Yaletown Sew-Along Skirt 20Since we sewed the pocket bag with a smaller seam allowance, the understitching is nicely hidden inside.

We’re done for the day! On Thursday we’ll really see our garments take shape and insert our elastic into the waistline. Happy sewing everyone!

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12 Responses to Yaletown Sew-Along: Assembling Skirt or Lower Blouse

  1. Anita Boeira September 16, 2014 at 7:23 am #

    I am so in love with this fabric! I want to make a Yaletown just like the one you are making!

    • Caroline Amanda September 17, 2014 at 9:22 am #

      Yay! So glad you love the fabric! Stay tuned… I will have a way for you to get some for yourself soon! ;-)

      • Aura Oriano September 17, 2014 at 7:27 pm #

        Please do! I looked into getting a different colorway of this fabric and yikes. The shipping was almost the same as the yardage.

  2. Ann September 16, 2014 at 10:06 am #

    I agree with Anita. Your flamingo fabric makes me smile every time I see it. Your sewing and posts are excellent.

    • Caroline Amanda September 17, 2014 at 9:20 am #

      Thank you so much Ann! I love the fabric too :)

  3. Annette September 16, 2014 at 10:31 am #

    I have to say, I love the flamingo fabric too! And thank you for the instructions and photos!

    • Caroline Amanda September 17, 2014 at 9:20 am #

      No problem Annette! :)

  4. Tasia September 16, 2014 at 10:38 am #

    I also love the flamingo fabric! It’s so fun. Can’t wait to see photos of the finished dress!

  5. Carol September 16, 2014 at 11:12 am #

    What a great hint about the pocket! I’ve had problems with things slipping out of pockets I’ve sewn and that tip about sewing up from the bottom a little ways makes so much sense. Thank you.

    • Caroline Amanda September 17, 2014 at 9:20 am #

      No problem! I always sew them this way, I’m glad the tip was useful!

  6. Jen September 16, 2014 at 9:22 pm #

    You were right — this is a great first intermediate project for me. I’m working through a “practice” garment and I’m very pleased, although it’s not nearly as neat and perfect as yours! Still I’m learning a lot and the pace is very good.

    • Caroline Amanda September 17, 2014 at 9:19 am #

      Excellent! I’m so glad you’re enjoying the sew-along Jen, and that the pace is good for you. Good idea to go a practice garment, less pressure that way :)