Now that we’ve got the main part of your waistband/tie ends constructed, we just need to add the facings to the waistband, do some hand-stitching to finish the waistband invisibly, then complete the skirt with buttons and buttonholes. We’re almost done!
Note: After looking at the dozens of photos I took while finishing my skirt, I’ve decided to split the completion of the skirt into 2 parts. This one will get you through the waistband/tie end facings (including instructions for doing the hand-stitching), and the second will cover the buttons and buttonholes.
Let’s start by sewing our remaining pieces together.
Tip: You’ll notice I’ve pressed my seams open, rather than serge the edges and press them to one side. There are 2 reasons I chose to do this. 1: These seam allowances will be completely covered; they won’t show at all. And 2: My fabric is fairly substantial, and I decided that pressing the seams open would result in less bulk at the seams.
This is an individual choice, based on your particular set of circumstances. If, for example, your fabric is inclined to ravel a lot, you may want to serge the edges to control this. But do think about the additional bulk, not only from the 2 layers of seam allowance pressed to one side, but also from the serger threads. It does make a difference.
Now let’s sew the facing to the skirt. Make that pin the facing to the waistband already in place:
I know it’s a lot of pinning (and don’t forget to match the side seams), but stick with it! All this preparation really does make the sewing part easier.
Now, starting at the short end (the end without the long tie end extension), sew the facing to the waistband, beginning where the pink arrow indicates in the above photo. Go all the way across the waistband, and around the end of the tie.
Tip: Remember to back-stitch in the corners, before and after pivoting, to reinforce them:
When you’re done sewing all the way around, trim the seam allowances around the corners of the tie end, and the 1 corner at the opposite end of the waistband, gradually trimming closer to the stitching in the corners (see above photo). This helps reduce bulk in those corners.
One more thing to do before turning everything right-side out: Clip the waistline, in the seam allowances:
Tip: Why clip this seam? You’ve probably already noticed that the waistband is actually curved (not just a long rectangle); clipping eases that curve as it goes around your body, making it fit better, as well as feel more comfortable.
Go ahead and turn everything right-side out now, including the long tie end. (If you need help turning those tight corners on the end of the tie, see my tips in this previous post.)
Are you ready for some hand-stitching?? This is a very nice way to finish off the facing, plus, if you’re not yet familiar with the slip-stitching technique, this is the perfect way to practice it! (It’s the same stitch I use to do a hand-stitched hem, and various other sewing tasks.)
The pattern instructions merely say to slip-stitch the facing down; I’m going to show you not only exactly how to slip-stitch, I’ll also show you my tricks for making all your thread ends disappear inside the facing!
Tip: Don’t start with too much thread— it will only get tangled up and frustrate you. (Don’t ask me how I know this.) I usually pull out about an arm’s length of thread to start.
Now to show you the slip-stitch! (If you’re already familiar with this, go on ahead; you may want to see how I finish it off at the end so no thread ends are left in the open.)
There! A perfectly-finished waistband facing!
How’s your skirt coming along? I’d love to see it, and would be thrilled to post your photos in a sew-along follow-up post! Just e-mail me (firstname.lastname@example.org) to let me know, okay?
Homework: If you’ve completed your skirt with the waistband shown in this post — no homework! Oh, you might just make sure you have 2 buttons that are nice and flat, since they’ll be going on the inside of your skirt’s beautifully-finished waistband.
Coming up next: Yes, we will actually finish this skirt next time! We’ll be making buttonholes and sewing buttons to the inside of the waistband, and that’s it!
Want more sewing stuff from Colormusing? Check out myBratelier (lingerie sewing, including bras!), and Changing Your Clothes, which covers everything from repairs & alterations to dyeing and remaking thrift-shop finds.