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!