Simple Skirt ~ Fancy Hem Band
It’s time to make a skirt for the band I wove in this blog. This particular skirt pattern calls for trim to be added at the hem. Trim, I quickly found out is expensive. I’ve been using this same pattern for quite a while and simply cutting it a tad longer and turning a hem. This time I decided I wanted to use trim, and not just any trim, but one I made. Since I produce trim by the yards, this wasn’t a problem. I want to bring this with me to a workshop to show participants some examples of end uses for their bands. I’ll have it done in time thankfully.
This garment starts off as any other: launder and press the fabric and trimming the way it will be laundered normally (allowing it to shrink before it’s cut and sewn), press the pattern pieces flat, lay out pattern and cut out, and transfer pattern marks. I’ve gotten in the habit of finishing my seam allowances before I sew my first seam, and so far I see no reason to change. It’s so easy to run each piece through the serger reinforcing the shape, enclosing the raw edge, and trimming the cut line even. As long as I’m sewing straight seams, this method works for me. It’s much easier for me to finish the fabric’s edge before seaming, doing it after makes it easy to get this part sloppy.
While the construction for this skirt is fairly straight forward, I can’t help but change the sequence to make it even more fool-proof. It calls for sewing the back and front seams together, then the side seams (creating a circle). There is a yoke that should be sewn together into a circle. These two circles are then sewn together, but I know that it’s next to impossible to get these two circles the exact same size and matching the seams. My fix for this is to sew the back seam together and sew this piece to one of the yoke pieces, then do the same with the front pieces. Now I have two long pieces to sew together at the side seams. This way everything lines up with no easing and no seam lines askew. I press the top over and sew a casing to hold elastic (don’t hate me – elastic is my friend) at the waist. This skirt is essentially done, all that’s left is to attach the trim to the bottom.
I want to leave a little extra trim – just in case it shrinks more and I need to remove and re-attach it. I wanted to machine stitch the band to the skirt, but I couldn’t prevent the band from sliding around under the presser foot. I realized the only way is to hand-stitch it to the band. I fold over the band’s end and attach the band using a “Vertical Hem Stitch”, I can remove this stitch easy if needed without damage to the fabric or band. When I come to the end or rather back to the beginning, I sew over a bit so there is an overlap of the band. I fold the opposite side of the band over and hem stitch it. I attach the two ends together so they don’t flop down. I have given myself some extra trim this way, just in case. If the band shrinks more, I can pick out this row of stitching, and have some extra length to adjust it back in place.