Design Variations : Ruched Waistband, In-Seam Pockets, and Optional Appliqué
I love in-seam pockets. They’re invisible from the outside, but they’re always there when you need them to help keep important items close at hand. This waistband features a feminine gathered panel that’s easy to stitch and still packs a stylish punch. And the appliqué is a simple way to add personality to any skirt, or even breathe new life into an old favorite in your closet.
Draft the Pattern
- Trace your basic wrap skirt slopers onto drafting paper. Make sure the patterns don’t have any seam or hem allowances included yet. Complete steps 1 and 2 as for the basic wrap skirt, which includes adding a 3″ extension (add a wider extension if desired).
- Lower the waistline, if desired. Then, draw the waistband seamline the desired distance from the top edge on both front and the back skirt patterns. (The waistband shown is about 2½” wide.)
- Make the waistband. Cut off the waistband along the newly marked lines and follow the directions for a contour waistband, but do not add seam allowances yet. Use a curved ruler to smooth out the bend where the darts have been closed.
PATTERN DRAFTING NOTE
This dress has a complete waistband (front and facing) made out of the main fabric. A ruched waistband, made from the contrasting fabric, is drafted wider than the original waistband, gathered top to bottom, and stitched on top of the front waistband.
4). Draft the ruched waistband. Trace the front and back waistband pieces onto pattern-drafting paper. Working on one waistband at a time, draw a line through the center as shown and cut the pattern in half along the line. Spread the two pieces apart at the cut line, until the new width is about 1½ times the original width (for a 2½” waistband, add 1½”). Tape the spread pieces to paper. Neaten the side edges by drawing a new line from the original bottom edge to the original top edge. Repeat for the remaining pieces and label them.
5). Draw the in-seam pocket. Trace a copy of the skirt front, especially the top and side seam edges. Draw your desired pocket on the traced skirt, making sure it’s as deep and as wide as you would like. Then, trace the pocket only, following the top edge of the skirt for the top edge of the pocket, and the side seam of the skirt for the side edge of the pocket.
6). Draft two ties as wide as the ruched waistband patterns and 36″ long.
7). Complete the pattern. Add ½” seam allowances around all the patterns and a 2″ hem allowance to the bottom edges (or as wide as desired, depending on the fabric weight, pages 45–51). Just remember that any raw edge that will be joined to another needs seam allowance.
TIP : If you want to be sure the pocket will accommodate your hand, simply place your hand on the paper, and draw around it.
Sew the Spring-Loaded Wrap Skirt
1). Cut out the fabric. Use the newly drafted pattern pieces to cut the following:
- From main skirt fabric: two skirt fronts and one skirt back on the fabric fold, four front waistbands and two back waistbands on the fabric fold, and four pockets.
- From contrasting fabric: two ruched front waistbands, one ruched back waistband on the fabric fold, two ties, and appliqués as desired (see How to Appliqué,).
- From interfacing: two front waistbands and one back waistband on the fold.
- 2 yards of 44/45″ fabric
- 1⅓ yards of contrasting 44/45″ print fabric
- ¾ yard of fusible interfacing
- Double-sided fusible web (for optional appliqué)
- 1 snap
- Matching thread
2). Apply interfacing. Following the manufacturer’s instructions, fuse the interfacing to the wrong side of two front waistbands and one back waistband.
3). Stitch the darts. If the lower portion of any darts remain after lowering the waistline and cutting off the pattern for the waistband, stitch the darts in the skirt front and back (for help on darts).
4). Attach the pockets. With right sides together and raw edges aligned, pin one pocket to the upper side seam corner on both skirt fronts and to the upper side corners on the back. Stitch the side seam, and then press the pocket and seam allowance out to the side of the skirt.
5). Sew the side seams. Both sides of the skirt fronts and skirt backs should now have pocket pieces attached. With the right sides together, side seams aligned, and pockets extended, stitch the two fronts to the skirt back from the bottom edge, up the side seam to just above the pocket, and then pivot to stitch around each pocket. Then, stitch the side seam from the top edge down for about 1″. Press the seam allowance open. Then press the pockets toward the skirt front and baste them in place across the top edge.
6. Finish the skirt front and bottom edges. Press under and stitch a 1″ double-fold hem to hide the raw edges. Press the hem allowance to the wrong side and hem as desired.
7. Gather the waistband.
a) Run one or two rows of basting stitches along each short end of the expanded waistband pieces, backstitching
at one end.
b) Pull the bobbin thread to gather the waistband until it is the same width as the waistband facing. Knot to secure the pulled basting stitches.
8). Make the ties. Turn under a narrow ¼” hem on one short and both long edges of each tie and stitch.
9). Pin each gathered waistband to a corresponding interfaced waistband piece with wrong sides together and raw edges aligned. Baste around the edges to secure the layers together. With the right sides together and raw edges aligned, pin and stitch one tie to the right front waistband at the center front edge with the finished edges of the tie ½” from the top and bottom of the waistband. Save the remaining tie for a later step.
10). Assemble the waistband. Pin the three outer waistband pieces from step 9 at the side seams with right sides together and raw edges aligned and stitch the sides to make one long waistband (with the right front tie end attached). Then pin the waistband to the skirt with right sides together, so the side seams match up, and the raw edges align. The tie end-seam should line up with the hemmed edge of the right front. Stitch, and then press the seam allowance toward the waistband.
11). Face the waistband. With the right sides together, stitch the remaining waistband facing pieces together at the side seams to create one long waistband facing. Press under one long edge and both short edges ½” to the wrong side. Pin and stitch the waistband facing to the attached waistband along the top edge with right sides together and edges aligned (see page 68). Press the seam allowances toward the facing and understitch. Fold the waistband to the wrong side so it covers the waistline seam; handsew the pressed facing edges to the waistband at the front edges and along the waistline seam. This will encase the tie end/waistband seam.
12). Attach the remaining tie end. Press the raw edge of the remaining tie end to the wrong side. Edgestitch the folded edge at the left side seam so the tie end extends toward the front of the skirt.
13). Finish the skirt. Try on the skirt, tying the tie ends. Mark the desired location for a snap at the left front edge. Take off the skirt and hand-sew a snap in place.
HOW TO APPLIQUÉ
Appliqué is one of my most favorite embellishment techniques. It’s easy to master and breathes new life into any old (or new) clothing. Use a bold print and simple stitching for extra pizzazz. It’s also a great technique to use in craft and home décor projects.
- Select and cut out the desired motif from your print fabric. Cut so there is about a 1″ border around the motif. Then, cut a piece of double-sided fusible web in the same shape.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to fuse the web onto the wrong side of the appliqué. Do not remove the paper backing yet. Trim away the extra border of fabric around the motif to define and shape the actual appliqué.
- Follow the manufacturer’s instructions to fuse the appliqué to the desired location on the garment.
- Machine zigzag around the edges of the appliqué to secure it to the garment and prevent the edges from fraying. You can use matching or contrasting thread for extra detail.
TIP : When selecting your appliqué fabric, keep the care instructions for your project in mind because you don’t want to add a dry-clean-only appliqué to a garment you want to throw into the washing machine.
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