I am so excited because I just made a skirt! A real skirt! Without an elastic waistband (which is all I have tried up until now). It is a high-waisted, gathered skirt in royal blue and it wasn’t very hard at all. It literally took me forever because I am still so new to all of this and also I made it too big originally and had to take it in a bit. This was my very first time installing a zipper, so that took me a while to get right also. It isn’t perfect, by any means, but I am still very pleased with the results.
To make this skirt I did not use a pattern but I did follow a tutorial on YouTube. (Tutorial here.) I made a practice one first which did not turn out too well, but I learned from my mistakes and the second one turned out so much better. I just did a couple of things different than the tutorial. For one thing, I sewed my waistband down first, before I sewed the skirt seam in the back. Another thing I did different was in order to keep the waistband down and secure (after I folded the waistband down on the wrong side being sure to cover where the waistband was attached to the skirt) I turned it right-side out and stitched in the ditch being sure to catch the back of the waistband at the very bottom.
I thought this was going to be difficult or that I was going to do a sloppy job with it, but actually it turned out just fine. I made sure to go real slow and that helped. Other than that I followed the tutorial and it was very easy to follow so I recommend you checking that out. I did look up how to instal zippers and referred to my manual since it was my first time doing a zipper. I also looked up how to stitch in the ditch. (I liked this video.) So all in all I am very happy with the results and I definitely want to make this skirt again.
As a reference, below are some drawings and what exactly I did to make the skirt. But all credit goes to CheapButChic who put up this tutorial, which really helped me be able to visualize how to make this.
1. Cut out your parts. The waistband is your waist measurement plus 1 inch (for 1/2 seam allowance on both sides) by 4.5 inches. For the skirt, you simply cut out a rectangle that is double the amount of the waistband for the width and for the length measure how long you want the skirt to be and don’t forget to add the 1/2 inch seam allowance on the top and the hem amount for the bottom. Also, cut out some interfacing the same size as the waistband and iron on to the wrong side of the waistband. This will make it more sturdy.
2. Now baste stitch two lines across the top of the skirt.
3. Pull the bottom threads and gather skirt. Adjust to match the length of the waistband.
4. Pin waistband to top of skirt, right-sides together. Sew with a 1/2 inch seam allowance on the top then iron seam facing up and finish the edge.
5. Fold the skirt in half lengthwise, right-sides together with edges lined up and pin. Figure out where the zipper will be placed. Make sure you leave room at the top where the waistband is going to be folded over later. Mark where the end of the zipper will be. Straight stitch with a 1/2 inch seam allowance bottom to top stopping at the mark you made for the zipper, then baste stitch to the top. Iron seams out flat then finish the edges.
6. On the wrong-side, place zipper facing down and tape sides down, or use double-sided tape to hold the zipper down.
7. Turn right-side out then sew your zipper down. Switch your foot to a zipper foot. Start with the right side from bottom to top. When you get close to the top of the zipper, with the needle in the work, raise the foot (rip the basted seams out) and push the zipper back (opening it up) to get the zipper clasp out of the way to finish the top. Switch the foot to the correct position and repeat for the left side and make sure to get the bottom also.
8. Now, with the skirt inside out, fold the top of the waistband down around halfway, iron, then fold again, being sure to cover the original seam where the waistband is attached to the skirt. Iron and pin. Then turn the skirt right side out and re-pin then stitch in the ditch (stitch into the seam.) Last you just need to hem the skirt ( I did a large hem about 3 inches) and, oh I almost forgot, add an eye and hook at the top, and you are done.