Friday, August 22, 2014

Elasticated Skirt Tutorial - Sewing in Cape Town

One of the things we cover in our level 1 sewing lessons is how to insert elastics. 
This tutorial is specially dedicated to my students. :)

Here is a fun and easy sewing project for you to do:

We will be sewing up a skirt with a waist elastic. 

-1,10m of fabric (width 140cm) 
* Tip: A light weight, none stretch fabric will be easier to work with.
-1m of 6cm wide elastic
-Matching cotton 

Measurements you will need:
-Length of skirt you would like

I chose to do a floor length skirt with a printed viscose lycra fabric, as it has a heavier drape and is soft and comfortable . 

Step 1)
Cut your elastic the length of your waist measurement, minus 3cm. (My waist was 62cm, I ended with 59cm).
Then stretch it out as far as it will comfortably stretch, and see what this measurement is. Make a note of this measurement. (My elastic could stretch to 117cm)

Step 2)
Measure the length you would like your skirt to be. I wanted a floor length skirt which measured 107cm. 
Add on 1cm for seam allowance and 1cm for hem allowance.(End length: 109cm)

Step 3)
Time to cut your fabric. For the cross wise grain us the stretched out waist measurement (117cm) and for the length grain use the skirt length measurement (109cm).

Step 4)
If you have used a cotton voile zig zag or overlock your rectangle edges. 
If you are using a viscose lycra like me, you can overlock the edges as you close up your garment.

Step 5)
Pin the elastic to your cross wise grain edge. (This is the edge that will end up in your waist).
To ensure even gathers, pin the elastic in even ratios to you fabric.
If you have 7 evenly spaced pins on your elastic, match these up with 7 evenly spaced marks on your fabric.
Pin the elastic to the right side of the fabric with the edge of the elastic against the fabric edge. 

Step 6)
Sew the elastic in. When sewing in the elastic, ensure you are pulling the fabric out toward the back and the front, stretching the elastic into the fabric while you are sewing. Work from pin to pin. 
If you are using a overlocker you will overlock the edge of the elastic to the edge of the fabric. 
If you are using only a sewing machine, use a 1cm seam allowance to sew the elastic to the fabric.

Once the elastic is sewn in and you flip it up, it will look like this:

Step 7)
Lay your side seam on top of each other. Match the elastic edges up.
Sew closed your side seam. 

Step 8) 
If you have not overlocked your bottom edge yet, do this now. 
Once the edge has been overlocked, turn the edge in to the wrong side of the fabric and stitch the fold down with a straight stitch.

Step 9)
Give your garment a final press with the iron.
Well done, your skirt is now complete!! :) :) 

*Tip if you only have a sewing machine, use the overlocking foot and stitch to finish of the raw edges of your panels. 
All other stitching is done with your all purpose foot and a straight stitch with stitch-length 2.5-3. 

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