Design Variation : Ruched Panels and Faced Waistline
Gathered panels are a snap to draft, and can be added anywhere on any skirt. The waistline on this skirt is finished with a facing instead of a waistband. A facing is a separate pattern piece that is sewn to the garment’s edge and turned toward the inside, for a neatly finished edge.
Draft the Pattern
1). Trace your basic flared skirt front and back pattern onto drafting paper. Do not include seam or hem allowances yet and leave space all around for design features. Trace the darts.
2). Waistline and facing. Lower the waistline and lengthen or shorten the skirt as desired. Instead of a waistband, draft a facing to finish the skirt waistline. Start by pinning any remaining darts closed.
Trace the top edge of the skirt front and back, and for 2½” down the side seam and center front. Connect the lines. Trace the drafted facing (do not cut it off). Indicate that the center front of the skirt and facing should be cut on the fabric fold.
3). Plan the gathered panel. Decide the shape and location for the panel and draw the design lines on the skirt front. If you want the panel to extend to the back of the skirt, position the skirt back next to the skirt front so the side seams are together and draw continuous design lines from the front to the back. Add registration marks.
4). Cut away the panel pieces from both the front and back skirt patterns and tape them together at the side seam.
5). Slash and spread the panel the desired amount by drawing vertical lines, cutting them, and spreading the pattern. Tape the spread panel pieces on drafting or patternmaking paper and trace over them to create the pattern piece. (For this skirt, the panels were spread 2½ times the original width.)
6). Complete the pattern. Add grainlines; the skirt front is cut on the fabric fold and an invisible zipper is installed in the center-back seam. Add ½” seam allowances to all edges, including the panel edges. Add 2″ hem allowance.
PATTERN DRAFTING NOTE : Create gathered panels by slashing and spreading a specific area within a pattern. Simply decide where you want to add the gathered, or ruched, detail, then slash and spread the piece as much as you would like. Trace the new pattern and add registration marks so you’ll be able to sew the fabric pieces together.
›› 1¾ yards of 44/45″ fabric
›› ¾ yard of fusible interfacing
›› 7″ invisible zipper (regular zipper works too)
›› Invisible zipper presser foot
›› Hook and eye
›› Matching thread
Sew the Piece Gathering Skirt
1). Cut the fabric. Use the newly drafted pattern pieces to cut the following:
- From fabric : one skirt front and one front facing on the fold, two skirt backs, two back facings, and two side panels.
- From interfacing : one front facing on the fold and two back facings.
2). Apply interfacing. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of each facing.
3). Install the zipper. Stitch the center-back seam with the right sides together and insert the invisible zipper.
4). Assemble the skirt. With the right sides together and raw edges aligned, stitch the skirt back to the skirt front at the side seams.
5). Gather the panels by running one or two rows of basting stitches across the top edge of each side panel. Backstitch at one end.
6). Attach the panels.
a) Pull the bobbin basting thread on one skirt panel to gather it until it matches the skirt opening. Pin the side and top edges of the panel to the skirt opening with the right sides together and raw edges aligned.
b) For help on sewing corners. Stitch the panel to the skirt.
7). Assemble and attach the facing. With the right sides together and raw edges aligned, stitch the two back facings to the front facing at the side seams. Press under the center-back edges of the facing ½” to the wrong side.
Stitch the facing to the top edge of the skirt with the right sides together and raw edges aligned (pressed side edges align with zipper opening).
Press the seam allowance toward the facing and understitch it in place. Hand-sew the facing to the zipper tape at the center-back edge, and hand-tack it at each side seam. Sew a hook and eye above the zipper.
8). Hem the skirt. Press under the lower edge of the skirt ½” to the wrong side and then press under 1½”. Topstitch close to the inner folded edge, or sew the hem as desired.
CONSTRUCTION NOTE : You can make the gathered panels from the same fabric as the body of the skirt, or a contrasting fabric. Be sure to stitch the skirt side seams before attaching the panels.
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