6 April 2013

Miette: Attach the Waistband to the Skirt

How to sew the Miette skirt - Attaching the waistband

Right, let’s get the waistband onto the Miette skirt so we can do it up. Catching up? Download the pattern and check out the previous steps.

Pin the (interfaced) waistband to the top edge of the skirt, right sides together. The centre panel of the waistband spans the front skirt (both pieces) - align the centre panel side seams with the skirt side seams. The gap in the waistband should go on the right side seam (if you’ve put it on the left, it’s not the end of the world).

Note that the back edges of the skirt are not meant to match up with the seams where the waistband joins the waist ties (see pic below). And don’t worry that the waistband doesn’t lie flat on the skirt, as the waistband is straight, while the top of the skirt is slightly curved – just make sure the edges are aligned.

Stitch the waistband to the skirt along this top edge that you've pinned. Take care that the pressed down seams don’t fold the wrong way as they move through the machine – you can hold them flat either side of the needle, minding your fingers!

Now press the waistband up and away from the skirt.

How to sew the Miette skirt - Attaching the waistband

Place the facing on top of the waistband, right sides together, matching side seams. Pin the raw edges together (the raw edge of the waistband should now be at the top) and pin all along the ties. Make sure the gap in the waistband seam lies exactly on top of the gap in the facing seam.

How to sew the Miette skirt - Attaching the waistband
Stitch all the way around the waistband and ties from the point where the bottom of one tie meets the skirt, to the same point on the opposite side, pivoting when you reach 15mm (5/8in) before the corners of the ties (read this if you need to brush up on pivoting a corner).

How to sew the Miette skirt - Attaching the waistband

Before we turn the waistband and ties right sides out, we need to get nifty with the scissors and iron so we end up with a nice, smooth-looking finish from the outside. If we leave the seams as they are, they’ll feel (and possibly even look) a bit bulky from the outside of the garment and won’t lie flat. So the aim of the game is to reduce some of that bulk.

Trim both seams down, leaving one of them slightly wider than the other so the raw edges aren’t lying directly on top of one another.

Snip off the corners of the waist ties. Be really careful not to cut through your stitching. You may want to reinforce the corner with some extra stitching if you’re concerned about it coming apart later.

How to sew the Miette skirt - Attaching the waistband

Clip the seams down shorter above and below the gaps in the waistband and facing, taking out a little rectangle if you need to, so the seams don’t show through the gap when the skirt is turned right sides out.

Press the trimmed seam open. This will help define the seam line and make it look a bit smoother on the outside.

How to sew the Miette skirt - Attaching the waistband

Now we’ve done the prep, we’re ready to turn the waist ties right sides out. My method of doing this is to use a long stick with a smooth end, such as a chopstick or knitting needle (don’t use the sharp end or it could pierce a hole in the fabric). Hold the smooth end of your chosen implement against the end of the waist tie, then gradually smooth the wrong side of the waist tie over it.

It’ll bunch up more and more, and feel like a bit of a chore for a while, but eventually you’ll see the end of the waist tie emerge out of the top of the tube. (No giggling now!)

Grab this end, discard the stick, and gently pull it through (don’t yank it too hard!) so it’s right side out and looks a bit like a deflated snake.

Use a pin to gently ease the fabric out at the corners of the waist ties to make them look more right angled.

How to sew the Miette skirt - Attaching the waistband

Press the waistband and ties to flatten and neaten them.

Where the skirt joins the waistband, press the seam up towards the waistband.

Where the waistband joins the facing, press the seams open on both wrong and right sides.

How to sew the Miette skirt - Attaching the waistband

Fold the facing to the inside of the skirt, wrong sides together, rolling it a couple of mm further so the facing won’t show on the outside, and press it down. Tip: You can use the steam of your iron, without touching the iron to the fabric, to soften the seam a little before rolling it with your fingers – this will make it a little easier to mould.

Press the raw edge of the facing under by 15mm (5/8in), wrong sides together. Pin it to the inside of the skirt, ensuring the fold line overlaps the waist seam.

How to sew the Miette skirt - Attaching the waistband

Stitch the facing to the waistband at this seam. You can either slip stitch it by hand if you have the patience, topstitch it by machine if you don't, or try "stitch in the ditch", which I'm going to show you now. This method requires a bit of precision, but is quite fun when you get the hang of it.

Insert some pins in the right side of the skirt, exactly within the seam line – then look at the inside of the skirt and check that the pins are holding down the seam on the other side. If they’re not, adjust, press and repin as needed.

Carefully stitch from the right side, exactly within the seam line (the “ditch”) so that the stitching is hidden, catching the pressed up waistband on the other side. Once you're done, check the waistband is stitched down from the other side - you can always unpick a bit and try again.

How to sew the Miette skirt - Attaching the waistband

Reinforce the gap in the right side seam by sewing a rectangle around it. You can do this by machine or by hand, it’s up to you. Just double check that your hole is big enough for the waist tie, when folded in half lengthways, to pass through it.

Phew! That was a long post. But you're so nearly there! All that's left is the hemming...

We'd love to see what you're making - share your Miette skirts on Instagram, tagging us @TillyButtons and using the hashtag #SewingMiette so we don't miss it!

16 comments:

  1. Beautifully explained Tilly!

    Your photographs are lovely, btw... really clear and attractive. I am dabbling with such prettiness on my blog!

    Hope you're well and the anxiety of Tuesdays show isn't getting too high!

    Bundana
    @ http://www.bundana.blogspot.co.uk

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  2. I just love how clear you instructions are the the photos are so lovely.

    Claire
    @http://ragbagsandgladrags.blogspot.co.uk

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  3. I have to say, I'm really impressed with you for doing this. Releasing a pattern and then going step by step through it is wonderful. There are a lot of novice seamstresses and I think this really helps them. Last year I watched someone release some patterns and then never refer to them again, unless it was to remind everyone to buy them. You're on the right track. Good luck!

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  4. Great detailed tutorial darling x

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  5. Great visual instructions.

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  6. Yes, Tilly - I agree with those above!! This is such a great way to grow the sewing community. Not do you offer these beautiful beginner patterns, but you walk us through them step by step!!

    Tasia from Sewaholic Patterns made such an impact for a couple of years ago when I first started sewing. The sewalongs for her patterns were so clear and well-written that I felt like I had a teacher by my side, and I'm so grateful for that. These kinds of posts help break down such a daunting task (construct a garment) into manageable baby steps (sew a seam). :)

    I can't wait to see what else you have in store!!

    (BTW... will you show ever stream online?? I'd LOVE to see it here in America if I can!!! Everyone else's comments from last week are making me a little bit jealous..). ;)

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  7. Thank you so much Tilly, I have just completed my skirt, your tutorials were wonderful, every step explained in detail, it stitched up like a dream, I've been dancing around the house in my new skirt!

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  8. Tilly - great pattern (and loving the GBSB!!). Quick question - I'm not a huge fan of front seams in skirts. Could the front piece be cut on the fold, eliminating the seam allowances? Many thanks. Bought the material for mine today!

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  9. I just watched the great british sewing bee and got a little excited when I saw that you were on it! I guess it's all been pre-recorded but wanted to wish you luck anyhow!!

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  10. I'm a patchwork sewing, and always afraid to start with real cloths, but yours tutorials are so easy and clear...so I will have a try. Thank you for an inspiration!

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  11. Really wish I had read this as well as the booklet with the pattern. Messed up attaching the waistband. Trying to figure out if I can fix it without taking it off.... I fear not though.... :-(

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  12. Thank you very much for these photos because I am french and not very good in english, almost with sewing terms. It's very simple to make this clothes with you ;-) and I love this skirt, so easy to wear !

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  13. Hi Tilly,
    I just started to sew a month ago, and I have to say your book helped me a lot! I even think most of my projects are made with your patterns! I do am a bit apprehensive to try and sew another skirt though, since I seem to have problems with waistbands... I've already tried to make a skirt and a pair of pants with a waistband, and I use the method you describe here. Although when I try the garment on, the waistband 'stands up' and does not follow the curve of the rest of the garment, or my body for that matter. Is this a problem you know how to fix?

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    1. I'm so glad the book has been helpful, Anne! Do you mean that the waistband on your trousers stands out from your waist? Before you sew it, pin it around your waist and try adjusting the side seams. They might need curving in a bit to fit your body. I hope that makes sense.

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    2. Thanks for the comments, I've had the same issues with the Delphine and Clemence skirts. When we taper in the sides, does this affect how waistband attaches to skirt? Maybe a tutorial on this adjustment would be a good idea! :) Thanks for your awesome blog and book! Can't wait to see what comes out next.

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