Design Variation : Sheer Overlay and Longer Underlay
I love layering fabrics over one another. You can soften a bright print with a sheer solid, or add contrast with an unexpected under-layer. You can even use this method to create a lace layer over a lining. Go to the fabric store and play with stacking swatches. You may be surprised at all the fun fabric combinations that are at your disposal.
Draft the Pattern
1). Trace your basic flared skirt patterns onto drafting paper. Do not include seam or hem allowances yet. Trace the darts and lower the waistline, if desired. Plan for a center-back zipper.
2). Make the waistband. Draft a two-piece contoured waistband that is wide enough for the design line to be below the darts (the waistband shown is about 2½” wide), but do not add seam allowances yet. Use a curved ruler to smooth out the bend where the darts have been closed.
3). Draft the ruched waistband. As with the Spring-Loaded Wrap Skirt, this skirt has a gathered waistband that is drafted wider than the underlying waistband, gathered top to bottom, and stitched on top of the outer waistband. To draft it, follow the instructions.
4). Draft the underlay (optional; see Pattern Drafting Note). For most lined skirts, the hemline of the outer layer should be about ¼” longer than the lining. However, if you want the underlay to peek out the bottom, make it longer than the overlay. (The underlay of this skirt is 2″ longer than the outerlay.) Clearly mark the different hemline cutting lines, especially if your layers have drastically different hem allowances.
Depending on the weight of your fabrics, you might want to make the overlay wider at the hem than the underlay. To do this, extend the side seam at the bottom/hem edge of the skirt between 1″ to 2″ out from the original side seam. Do this on both the front and back slopers. Connect the new hemline to the original waistline by drawing new side seams.
5). Complete the pattern. Add ½” seam allowances and ½” hem allowances. Add grainlines and registration marks to all of your pattern pieces.
PATTERN DRAFTING NOTE : Some designers feel it is beneficial to create an underlay pattern that is different in size from the overlay. I typically do not draft separate patterns. Instead, I mark the variations on one pattern piece (see step 4 at right). However, if you find it easier, you can draft separate pieces. Just make sure you clearly label all the pattern pieces.
Sew the Lone Star Skirt
1). Cut out the fabric. Use the newly drafted pattern pieces to cut the following:
- From overlay fabric: one skirt front and one front ruched waistband on the fabric fold, two skirt backs, and two back ruched waistbands.
- From underlay fabric: one skirt front on the fabric fold, two front waistbands on the fabric fold, two back skirts and four back waistbands.
- From interfacing: one front waistband and two back waistbands.
2). Assemble the skirt overlay. Stitch the overlay pieces together at the side seams using French seams and stitch the centerback seam, leaving the zipper area unstitched.
3). Assemble the underlay. Stitch the front to the back underlay along the side seams with the right sides together, using traditional seams. Stitch the center-back seam, but leave the zipper area unstitched.
4). Join the underlay to the overlay. Pin the wrong side of the overlay to the right side of the underlay at the top edges. Make sure the side seams are aligned. Baste them together along the top edges, using a ¼” seam allowance. Hand-baste the layers together along both sides of the zipper opening.
CONSTRUCTION NOTE : When making a skirt with an overlay, you basically sew the two skirts (overlay and underlay) together at the top edges. For the sheer overlay shown here, I used French seams to finish the inside side edges.
›› 2 yards of 44/45″ sheer overlay fabric
›› 2 yards of 44/45″ underlay fabric
›› ½ yard of fusible interfacing
›› 7″ zipper
›› Zipper presser foot
›› Hook and eye
›› Matching thread
5). Assemble the waistband.
a) Run basting stitches along the short ends of each of the ruched waistband pieces and at the center front of the front ruched waistband; backstitch at one end of each row of basting. Pull the bobbin thread to gather and reduce the width of the overlays until they are the same width as the underlying waistband pieces. Knot to secure the threads.
b) Following the manufacturer’s instructions, attach interfacing to the wrong side of one front and two back underlying waistband pieces.
c) Pin a gathered overlay to a corresponding interfaced waistband with the wrong side of the overlay on the right side of the waistband and with the raw edges aligned. Baste around the edges to secure the layers together.
d) With the right sides together and side seams aligned, stitch the assembled waistband pieces together at the side seams. Repeat for the remaining waistband facing pieces.
6). Attach the waistband. Pin the gathered waistband and facing to the skirt along the top edge with right sides together and side seams aligned. Stitch them together along the top, and press the seam allowance toward the waistband and press the waistband up and away from the skirt.
7). Install a centered zipper in the back seam, following the instructions. Align the top of the zipper tape with the top of the waistband to install the zipper in the waistband and the skirt opening, through both fabric layers.
8). Attach the waistband facing. With the right sides together and side seams aligned, pin the waistband facing to the waistband along the top edges, with the facing extending beyond the zipper ½” on each side of the center back. Stitch in place along the top edge. Press the seam allowance toward the facing and understitch it in place.
Press the seam allowance along the center backs and bottom edge of the facing to the wrong side and turn the waistband facing to the inside of the skirt. Slipstitch the pressed edges to the zipper tape and bottom of the waistband.
9). Add a hook and eye inside the skirt at the top of the zipper.
10). Hem the skirt. Make a narrow hem on both the overlay and underlay.
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