2-in-1 Sewalong: Skirt Construction

The pattern instructions for Simplicity 1880 (well, most pattern instructions really) tell you to construct the skirt last. I like to do this first. Why? Well, especially for a skirt that needs to hang, this is a great idea and Simplicity 1880’s skirt does need to hang and stretch out before you hem it. I like my skirts or the skirt part of a dress to hang for several days before I hem it. I’ve always noticed that if I only allow it to hang overnight, I’ll hem up the skirt and then it will stretch even more and the finished hem will be all wonky for the rest of the garment’s life because I ain’t gonna go and unpick it anytime soon. I’m lazy like that.

So I say, stitch up the skirt section first and then either put it on the dress form, or let the thing hang on a hangar until its time to attach it to the bodice. Remember that the double notches go down the center front and center back and that the left side (at least I like my zipper on the left) of the skirt should be left open for your zipper. I’ll be leaving the entire left side seam of the skirt open until after I’ve inserted the zipper as I’m doing an invisible zipper on both dresses. But don’t worry if you don’t want to mess with invisible zippers. I’ve got several resources for how to do other types of zipper insertions too.

Once done, you can put the skirt on the dress form or hanger and let it hang. We’ll move onto the bodice tomorrow. Yay!



13 thoughts on “2-in-1 Sewalong: Skirt Construction

  1. I never thought about making the skirt first, but what you said makes a lot of sense. I am currently working on a different dress right now, and I think I may do just that! Thanks so much for the tip!

  2. OMG, and this idea is the solution to a problem I just had with a dress that I still need to hem. I can’t get it on my dress form now that it’s sewn up, the zipper isn’t long enough to clear the shoulders (though it clears my shoulders just fine). If only I’d hemmed the skirt before sewing it all together it would be done now, not waiting for a 2-person job. 😛 Thank you!!

  3. I am a little behind now, as I still need to wash my fabric and press it and cut the pieces out but I will play catch up during the next couple of days! I love the idea of making the skirt first. When I make it last I just want to attach it and finish the dress and wear it, and like you said then the hem seems to stretch! Some things are just common sense! 😛

  4. Oh this is such an awesome tip, thanks!

    Y’all, can I pick your brains about this: I was thinking of having a contrasting band around the bottom of my skirt- would you hang the skirt for a few days then attach the contrast, hang and them hem, or attach the contrast to the skirt at the beginning, hang and then hem? I was thinking about the 1st method but then thought that maybe the contrast piece wouldn’t fit the skirt that has been hanging. I’m not sure if this has made any sense…. I hope so :p Thanks to anyone with thoughts & suggestions

  5. that is a great idea – i have a bias cut dress that i am dying to finish but need to let it hang. if i had thought about doing the skirt first i could have finished it by now!

  6. Hi, I’m running a little behind! I made my muslin yesterday and I’ve just put pictures on Flickr. (Flickr handle = nonlethalforce.) I’m at a stage in my sewing development where I can totally see the importance of making a muslin, and yet once I make one, I’m often confused about what alterations to actually do! Such is the case here. When I look at my muslin straight on from the front and the back, it looks pretty good (although I definitely need to add a smidgen more room in the waist). But from the side, though, there is some gaping happening, and I’m not sure what the reason is. Maybe the armscye is too high? Although the seam allowance is there, so maybe it’s hard to tell. Do I need to add a sleeve to see what I need to do? I would appreciate any words of wisdom!

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