Design Variation : Button Tab Closure
This skirt uses a button tab to cinch in the waist, creating an hourglass silhouette. It flatters many body types, giving curves to those with straighter shaped bodies and creating a smaller waistline for full-figured ladies. The inverted box pleats at the waistline are not stitched in place; instead, by buttoning the tab and closing the snaps, the pleats are held closed and the skirt is easy to take on and off. The button tab is held in place with both buttons and snaps.
Draft the Pattern
1). Trace your basic flared skirt front and back patterns onto drafting paper. Do not add any seam or hem allowances, but do trace any darts. Draft a high waist following the instructions. Add a slash line extending from the dart point to the hemline on both the skirt front and back.
2). Decide how deep you want each pleat. (The pleats on this skirt are 2½” deep.) Then slash the pattern from the waist edge, along one dart leg to the hemline and spread it twice the desired depth. Tape the spread pattern onto drafting paper.
3). Mark the pleat foldlines as shown. Repeat for the skirt back.
4). Draft the pleat tab. Fold the pattern paper as you would the pleat. Then, using a separate piece of paper, draw the tab pattern (refer to illustration on the next page).
- Center the paper over the natural waistline (and folded pleat), extending from the center front (as shown). Make sure the tab pattern extends from the center front past the underlying pleat layers.
- Measure the diameter of your button and make sure the tab is long and wide enough to accommodate your button. (The tab on this skirt is 2″ wide.) Mark the button placement on the tab so it is about ¾” away from the outside edge (marked with the left X on the illustration). Mark the same button placement on the skirt pattern.
- Repeat to draft the tab for the skirt back.
- Add ½” seam allowance around the tabs except for the center front and center back, which are cut on the fabric fold.
- Draw the buttonhole centered on the tab, starting ⅛” outside the button placement. (For help determining the correct buttonhole length)
- Add a placement marking for the snap just to the right of the pleat foldine closest to the center front on both the skirt pattern and the tab.
5). Draft the facing pattern pieces. Unfold the pleat and trace the top edge of the skirt front. Draw a line 4″ from and parallel to the top edge to mark the bottom edge of the facing. Trace the entire facing on separate paper. Repeat for the skirt back.
6). Complete the pattern. Add grainlines and registration marks to all of your pattern pieces. Add ½” seam allowance for all the seams. Add 2″ for the hem allowance.
›› 2 yards of 44/45″ fabric
›› ¾ yard of fusible interfacing
›› 4 snaps
›› 4 buttons, about 1¼” diameter
›› Matching thread
Sew the Happy Hour Skirt
1). Cut out the fabric. Use the newly drafted pattern pieces to cut the following:
- From fabric, all on the fold : one skirt front, one front facing, and one front tab; one skirt back, one back facing, and one back tab. If desired, transfer the foldline markings onto the fabric.
- From interfacing, on the fold : one front and one back facing, and one front and one back tab.
2). Apply interfacing. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of the facings and the tabs.
3). Stitch the tabs. With right sides together, stitch the two front tabs, leaving an opening for turning. Clip/trim seam allowance and turn the tab right side out. Turn the raw edges at the opening to the inside and press. Edgestitch around all the edges of the tab. Repeat with the back tab pieces.
4). Stitch buttonholes. Referring to your pattern for placement and your sewing machine manual for instructions, stitch two buttonholes on each button tab. Make sure they are centered.
5). Assemble the skirt. With the right sides together, stitch the skirt front to the skirt back at the side seams. Press the seam allowances open.
6). Assemble the facing. With the right sides together, stitch the front facing to the back facing at the side seams. Press the seam allowances open. Press the bottom edge seam allowance to the wrong side and topstitch it in place to finish the edges.
7). Attach the facing. With the right sides together and raw edges aligned, stitch the facing to the top edge of the skirt. Make sure the side seams are aligned. Press the seam allowance toward the facing and understitch. Hand-tack the facings down at the side seams.
8). Press the pleats and add the tab. Refer to the marked foldlines to press the pleats into the skirt front and back and pin them in place (do not stitch them closed). Position the button tab over the skirt front and mark the placement on the skirt for the buttons and snaps. Repeat for the skirt back. Unpin the tabs.
9). Hand-sew the buttons and snaps at the marked locations on the skirt. Sew the coordinating snap pieces on the tabs. Button and snap the tabs in place; unbutton and unsnap to get in and out of the skirt.
10). Hem the skirt. Carefully press under the lower edge of the skirt ½” to the wrong side, then another 1½”. Hand-sew close to the inner folded edge, or sew the hem as desired.
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