Design Variation: Patch Pockets and Contoured Waistband
If you don’t like wearing garments that come all the way up to your true waist, don’t worry, lowering a waistline is an easy alteration that can be completed in a snap. Once you drop the waistline, you can add a wide, contoured waistband and a patch pocket. If you’ve ever tried on garments and found a gap between the small of the back and the garment’s waistband, try this contoured technique for a waistband that is custom-cut to fit yourbody and follow your curves.
Draft the Pattern
1). Trace your basic wrap skirt slopers onto drafting paper. Make sure the pattern doesn’t have any seam or hem allowances included yet. Complete steps 1 and 2 for the basic wrap skirt pattern.
2). Lower the waistline of the skirt front and back by 1½”.
3). Draft the waistband. Determine how wide you want the waistband to be and measure down from the (lowered) top edge of both the skirt front and skirt back by this amount. (The waistband on this skirt is 2″ wide.) Cut off the waistband, but save it for help drafting the contoured waistband.
4). Adjust darts as needed. If the new waistband design line was not dropped below the dart points, measure any remaining dart width. Remove the measured amount from the side seam, and blend the new side seamline. Do this for both the skirt front and back.
5). Draft a two-piece contoured waistband using the waistband sections you cut off in step 3. Follow the directions to close the darts and finish the pattern. For the front waistband pieces, the waistband should extend to the edge of the extension. Repeat to draft the back waistband, and mark it so the center back is cut on the fabric fold. Ties will not be drafted on paper, but measured and cut from bias tape.
PATTERN DRAFTING NOTE
You can lower the waistline for a more natural fit on almost any skirt design. The waistline on the skirt shown here was lowered 1½”, but you can lower it as much or as little as you wish.
›› 1½ yards of 44/45″ fabric
›› 1 yard of fusible interfacing
›› 3 yards of double-fold bias tape
›› Matching thread
6). Add the seam and hem allowances. Add 1″ hem allowance to the skirt front edges, 2″ for the bottom edge, and ½” seam allowances for all other seams. For more help on hem and seam allowances.
7). Draw a pocket pattern as desired. You can leave the bottom edges as right angles or round them into curves. You can even make the top edge asymmetrical; it’s all up to you! It might help to measure the size of a favorite pocket on a skirt or pair of pants that you own. Once you are satisfied with the size and shape of the pocket, add ¼” hem allowance to the sides and bottom edge, and add 1″ to the top edge.
Sew the Spot On Skirt
1). Cut out the fabric. Use the newly drafted pattern pieces to cut the following:
• From fabric: two skirt fronts and one skirt back on the fabric fold, four front waistbands and two back waistbands on the fabric fold, and one pocket.
• From interfacing: two front waistbands and one back waistband on the fold.
2). Apply interfacing. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of two front waistbands and one back waistband.
DESIGN NOTE : I used double-fold bias tape cut from contrasting fabric for the ties and as a detail on the pocket. However, you can use premade bias tape, or even ribbon instead.
3). Sew the side seams. With the right sides together, machine-stitch each skirt front to the skirt back along the side seams. Press the seam allowances open.
4). Finish the skirt front and bottom edges. Press a ½” double-fold hem on the two front raw edges. Repeat for the bottom edge, turning under 1″ twice. Topstitch the front edges in place. Topstitch or hand-sew the hem as desired.
5). Make the ties from bias tape by cutting a length of bias tape for each tie. Cut them both long enough to wrap around your waist. You can always cut them shorter once the skirt is made (the ties for this skirt are 24″ and 27″ long). Edgestitch the open edge of the bias tape closed. Save a long enough piece of bias tape to finish the top edge of the pocket.
6). Assemble and attach the waistband as for the basic wrap skirt, except substitute the bias tape ties for the fabric ties.
7). Make and attach the patch pocket. Cut a 1-inch strip of interfacing as wide as your pocket and fuse it to the top edge on the fabric’s wrong side.
To help with pressing under the edges, trace your pocket pattern onto Kraft paper and then cut off all hem allowances. Center the paper pocket on the fabric pocket’s wrong side and use it as a guide for pressing under the ¼” seam allowance on the sides and bottom and 1″ along the top interfacing edge.
Topstitch the top edge in place close to the raw edge (about ⅞” from the folded top edge). If you want to embellish the top edge with bias tape, add that now.
Place the pocket on your skirt and check that the top edge is parallel with the top of the skirt. Topstitch in place along the bottom and side edges.
MAKE YOUR OWN BIAS TAPE
You can purchase ready-made bias tape in a variety of colors and widths, or you can make your own from any fabric you like. It’s great to use bias tape to finish raw edges, whether it’s on a hemline or as a Hong Kong seam finish. The following steps explain a favorite method for creating a continuous strip of bias tape that you can use on almost any type of fabric. Decide how wide you want the finished bias tape and then cut strips as below.
- For single-fold bias tape, mark and cut the fabric strips 2 times the desired finished width.
- For double-fold bias tape, mark and cut the fabric strips 4 times the desired finished width.
1). Cut your fabric into a perfect square, and label the crossgrain and straight grain sides using a temporary fabric marker. Draw a diagonal line bisecting the square and cut along the marked (bias) line.
2). Stitch the two halves with the right sides and straight grain edges together. Draw lines parallel to the bias edge the predetermined width apart (see bullets above) with a temporary fabric marker, as shown.
3). Stitch the two crossgrain edges with the right sides together and raw edges aligned; however, offset the edges by one strip width as shown. To finish, cut the strips along the marked lines.
4). To create single-fold bias tape, simply fold the tape in half with long edges aligned and wrong sides together, and press.
For double-fold bias tape, fold the tape in half as you would a single-fold tape and press. Then fold the two raw edges in toward the center and press again.
SKIRT-A-DAY SEWING Create 28 Skirts
For A Unique Look Every Day