Thursday, May 31, 2012

Pencil Skirt Part Four: Sewing the Zipper

This is part four of my "How to Make a Pencil Skirt" series. For earlier segments see

Okay, it's time to install the zipper! 
First you will need to sew your back pieces together using the widest stitch length on your machine (This is called "basting" and is a temporary seam). Remember you gave yourself a 1" seam allowance, so sew it 1" from the edge!

Open the seam and press it open with an iron.

Take one side of the seam allowance and fold the skirt aside.  You are going to baste your zipper to this flap (this temporary stitch will hold your zipper in place). Line up your zipper right along the seam allowance. Take your time and make sure it is perfectly straight.
Pop on your zipper foot, and sew up along the zipper.

Now fold the skirt to the other side and baste the other side of the zipper down (on the seam allowance edge and not to the skirt).

Now that the zipper is basted to your seam, you are ready to sew the zipper on for reals. Turn your stitch length back to normal (2.5)  and flip your skirt right side out. Because your zipper is basted on, you do not need to work with pins or have any fear or your zipper slipping!
Starting on the bottom of the zipper (feel for the closure) sew across the bottom, and up along the seam.
Then go back to the bottom and sew up the other side.
Grab your seam ripper and unpick the basted seam to reveal your zipper! (be soooo careful to only cut threads and not your fabric!)

And your zipper is done!

Now while we are on this seam, we are going to go ahead and sew the slit.  You are going to want a slit or you will have a hard time walking in this skirt! I did a conservative 2" inch slit, but you can make it higher if you'd like.

Start my marking 3" (height of slit plus 1" for hem) with your tailor's chalk. Now sew your back seam right on top of your basted seam up from your zipper down to your slit marking. (remeber basting=temporary. you definitly don't want the back of your skirt to be held together by a temporary stitch!)

Now that your seam is permanent. Sew along the outside of the seam, going back and forth along the top to secure that slit.

Next up: we are finally finishing this skirt!

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