Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Flirting the Issue Sew-Along {elastic/hemming}

flirting.the issue.1
image by Anna Maria Horner
Want to Sew-Along?  We're making skirts using Anna Maria Horner's free Flirting the Issue skirt pattern.  This skirt has an elasticized waist, so it's easy to fit and zipper-free.  Fits any size!

Aim to finish your skirt in time for the Link Party on Friday because two lucky participants will receive gift certificates donated by Fat Quarter Shop and Pink Chalk Fabrics!

::Materials::  May 2nd
::Cutting:: May 12th
::First Steps::  May 13th
::Elastic/Hemming:: Today!
::Link Party:: May 16th

It's time to finish these skirts!  Today we're gong to sew channels for the elastic, thread the elastic and hem the skirt.  It sounds quick... but actually the threading of the elastic is rather time consuming with this skirt.   Time consuming, but not at all hard.  Fortunately it makes an awesome waistband (at least I think so!), which makes that fiddling totally worth it.  Let's start!

::Sew Channels::

After step 3 your skirt layers should be resting wrong sides together with a pressed waist seam.  Follow the directions is step 4 to create 3/8" wide channels for the 1/4" elastic.  It's important here that the elastic is smaller than the channels (for threading purposes) so be sure not to let those channels get smaller than 3/8". 

If you're sewing a girl's skirt, you could definitely get away with 3 channels of elastic.  Women will enjoy the 4-channel design, which makes for a flexible, forgiving waistband.

Flirting the Issue skirt sew-along

As Anna suggests, mark your sewing lines all at once.  You may want to mark them at both side seams, just for added reassurance as you sew around that you're on the right track.

Flirting the Issue skirt sew-along

Load your machine with thread to match your main skirt fabric.  Sew the channels.  At first you can see marks on your sewing machine throat plate as you sew and use those to guide your channels, keeping them straight all the way around the skirt.  When they are no longer visible, consider sticking a piece of washi tape on the sewing machine to guide you.

::Thread Elastic::

Cut 4 lengths of 1/4" elastic at 2" shorter than your waist measurement (or 3 lengths if you've chosen to do 3 channels).  So if you're waist measurement was 35", cut 4 elastics each 33" long.

Flirting the Issue skirt sew-along

Follow directions in step 5 to thread each channel with elastic.  The above photo corresponds to Anna Maria Horner's illustration for step 5.

 Flirting the Issue skirt sew-along

I think it works best to thread all channels at the same time, bringing each a little bit at a time and keeping them about even.  This is going to be slow work, so watch a show or chat with a friend while you gather up the skirt.  The good news is that when you finish this step it will look like a skirt.  Super exciting!

 Flirting the Issue skirt sew-along

When (at last!) the elastic is threaded all the way around, see step 6.  If you have trouble getting the machine sewn/tacked elastic back into the channels, try using small scissors to slightly lift the channel open as you stuff. 

By the way, you can totally skip whipstitching the elastic openings shut, if you like.  That's not going to effect the durability of the skirt and no one would notice such a tiny opening on the inside of a skirt. 

 Flirting the Issue skirt sew-along

Don't skip step 7 though - stitch in the ditch at the side seam waistbands.  Anyone who's worn maternity clothes knows that twisted elastic happens and is a real pain to fix.  Best to secure it in place after making sure your gathers are evenly distributed around the skirt.

::Hem::

You're almost done!  Follow step 8 to hem the main skirt and lining.

 Flirting the Issue skirt sew-along

If you're an experienced quilter, you can probably eye the 1/4" hem pretty well, but what about a 1/2" hem?  I'm a fan of this easy hemming tool.  It's made of thin metal, so you iron right over it while measuring the correct fold.  Works great for hemming clothes and curtains too!

Ok, that's one skirt down and one to go.  I can't wait to see how the quilting cotton and voile skirts differ in drape and comfort.  I've already tried on my quilting cotton skirt and absolutely LOVE it.  Will show you both on Friday, at our Link Party!

13 comments:

  1. Hula skirts are made just like this. Very cute!

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  2. Pretty! Love the Leah Duncan fabric and the skirt looks really easy to wear as an everyday type skirt.

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  3. Does anyone have any suggestions as to how to make this work for maternity wear? I assume if you push the waistband down and wear it under your belly, the front hem would be too long. But I'm not an experienced clothing maker and don't know exactly how one would modify this. But it does seem like a perfect skirt for maternity wear this summer!

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    1. When I tried mine on today, I had the same thought - would be so good for maternity wear. You can cut your fabrics a bit long (extend the desired skirt length measurement) so that you have some play to cut the hem straight. After you've made the waistband, wear the skirt while someone cuts it straight. That's how Anna Maria taught us at a workshop I took with her! So, you'd stand on a stool or chair and they can cut it straight as it hangs. I know that's a bit challenging, but it's doable. After that, hem it up!

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  4. Your skirt looks good already. I started after lunch today and already ( before dinner) had made the elastic in the skirt. I still have to sew the elastics together. I was waiting for your tutorial and thought I was at the wrong day or wrong page, I could not find it. All of a sudden I realized I'm sort of 6 or perhaps 8 hours ahead, in The Netherlands (I know, stupid of me). So thanks for the tutorial of today. I hope to get the hem done in time and hope to link up Friday. ( I'm not sure if I can join in and have a chance to win a giftcertificate because I'm not living in the US?)
    Groetjes
    Annemieke

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    1. You'll be able to join in! A gift certificate can go to anyone, anywhere in the world. It cannot be applied to shipping though, so you will have to pay for that if you win. Don't worry, I'll leave the link party open a few days so that folks will have a chance to finish over the weekend too!

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    2. I should add that I think it would definitely feel comfortable under the belly. Take your waist measurement were you want it to hit. I think the elastic will grow with you as you grow or at least tilt out enough to accommodate a belly.

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  5. I bought and prepped some cotton lawn today! Can't wait for the little one to be in bed tonight.

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  6. Rachel, how long is the linky party going to be open? Just Friday?

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    1. It'll be open through Tuesday of next week (May 20th) with the winner announced on Wed.

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  7. Try using a bodkin - so much easier than a safety pin. I always sew down the seam allowances where the channels will be to prevent my bodkin from hanging up on them. N

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    1. Someday I'll grab me a bodkin. Sewing down the seam allowances is a great tip! It's easy for things to catch there.

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  8. Your skirt looks so great already! I'm sewing along with some AMH. :)

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