The Alder Skirt Walkthrough – Day Three

It’s the final day! Today we deal with the back and the waistband and the hemming.

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I discovered during this stage that I was best cutting the waistband to a size 6 despite measuring for a 12. Go for the hip measurements people! It’s fine though, I just chopped it down.

The first thing we need to do today is to make the darts in the back piece. This helps the fabric adapt to lady shapes 🙂 I don’t do the whole tie off thing though, this is what I did.

I folded the fabric right sides together so that the two points (or notches) matched and the tack is right on the fold.

I then stitched from the point down towards the tack and when I got within about half an inch, I changed the stitch length to tiny stitches and sewed until I was off the edge. The stitches are so small they’re not going to fall out so no tying off is necessary and if to sewed gradually off the edge of the fabric it should be crisp too.

Repeat for the other side. Then sew the back to the front as per the instructions.

Next is the waistband.

Sew the front waistband the the back. Instead of leaving an inch gap as per the instructions, I made my stitch length super long and then snipped the long stitches out. This section should be at least 11/4″ from the bottom edge but not pass the middle of the waistband.

DSCF0440 copyBoth holes (pic is after pressing) should be at the same side of the waistband which is not one continuous piece.

DSCF0443 copyThe side with the openings needs hemming all the way along. I did this by turning up 1/4″ and just zig zagging it. Sew waistband to the skirt on the non-hemmed edge, match the side seams first as you pin and then stitch.

Fold the zigzag edge down just over the line where you joined the waistband to the main skirt very slightly. Pin like crazy. I chose to stitch in the ditch from the front of the skirt which caught the folded piece most of the time (there was a little bit but I left it because it wasn’t too bad. The stitching in the ditch leaves a neat front finish.

My elastic was trimmed to 1″ wide from 1 1/2″ wide, so if you have wider elastic then it doesn’t matter, it will work. I attached a safety pin to one end to make it easier to feed through the channel. I really recommend this! I fed it through to the front band slightly at both ends and then zigzag stitched over the openings.


I used blind hem stitch which looks a bit like this:
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It can be a bit of a nightmare figuring out how to fold the fabric for this at first so hopefully lots of pictures is the answer here. First though, I pressed the hem up on the inside by 1/2″. I could have gone bigger to be honest as the skirt sits just below my knee, so be brave!

DSCF0456The fabric is then folded so that the pressed edge is folded to the back (fabric right sides together) but a bit of the seam allowance is still poking free like the above picture. The pressed fold is underneath to the left of the presser foot and well out of the way of the needle.

DSCF0454 copyThe straight stitches just go into the flap of the seam allowance (i.e. they don’t hold anything together) and the little points should just go into the fold you created on the top. My top thread is orange and the bobbin thread is white so hopefully you can see what is going on here.

The top two pictures show what it looks like when you fold the fabric back flat so that the pressed fold is back at the bottom. And the bottom picture shows what the front of the fabric looks like. The smaller the amount of fabric you grab with the point, the neater it will be, but it takes practise!

Press your skirt seam well. Ta da!

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