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Denim skirt tutorial

I’m so happy with how this turned out!

I’ve had this skirt for a while, but it has a hole I can’t fix now at the bottom of the center front seam, and it’s a little faded for work. But I love the way it fits, so I decided to make a copy.

I made a pin pattern copy of the skirt, using the same method as the Blazer Pattern Tutorial. But I did want to show you how I did the fly on the pattern. First, I pin traced the topstitching of the fly. Then I cut out that line, and folded it over.
I traced around the piece and added 1/2″ for seam allowance. This is what the pattern looked like:

I bought this stretch denim and washed and dried it.

Laid out my pattern, and cut. For the facing of the front pockets I used a little bit of cotton lawn I had.

First I sewed each side of the back to its yoke, then I sewed the center back seam. I used a large needle (90/14) and upholstery thread. These are both key if you want to get a professional look for your denim. I also switched the slit from the center front of my original skirt to the center back of this one. For some reason I have no pictures of constructing the back, sorry! Anyways, I serged the raw edges of the pockets

Ironed the serged edges under, sewed the top edges, then pinned in place and sewed onto the skirt.

I did flat felled seams on this, and I was all excited to use a twin needle for the topstitching part of flat felled seams. Well, that was a bust, literally! After stitching only the right yoke seam, the needle broke. Not because I hit a pin or anything, the part that goes into the needle holder just broke off when I went to switch back to a single needle. What’s up with that? I think it must’ve been defective.

However, I think it turned out better without a twin needle. First of all, something about the way the bobbin thread had to move was making the fabric stretch and wrinkle funny. It’s barely noticeable on the one seam, but it’s there, and who knows if it would have been worse elsewhere on the skirt.

Here’s what the backside of that stitching looks like.

Also, I think my lines were actually straighter when I stitched twice than when I was using the twin needle. However, I bet there’s more stretch in this stitch, and that means I will probably try it again on a t-shirt hem.

Back to the skirt. I did the front pockets next. Laid the lawn right side down on the front of the skirt,

Sewed in place, then serged the denim pieces all around the curved edges

Flipped and pressed the pocket

Then I topstitched the pockets

How to sew a Zipper Fly tutorial by Melly Sews

Now for the fly. Fly front openings are one of those things that always seem hard, and I often have to remind myself of the directions, but in reality it’s one of the easiest ways to install a zipper.

I stitched the center front seam to the bottom of the fly area, backstitching where the fly would end. From that area to the top of the skirt, I switched to the longest stitch on m machine. And at the backstitch area I clipped to the seam.

Open up the fly extensions and press

Now, fold the skirt so the right extension sticks out. Place the zipper on it face down, making sure the teeth of the zipper are to the right of the center seam. Stitch close the the teeth.

You can see the stitching to the left of the red line in this picture

Now, fold the zipper and extension under like this

So that you are looking at the right side of the zipper

Now you need to make a fly shield for the inside of the skirt if you plan to use one, which I recommed, so you don’t have zipper teeth right against your belly. I just used the fly extension part of the pattern and traced it on the fold. And I technically did it wrong, the correct way would be for the opposite edge to be serged and the serged one to be the fold. But it works.

So you need to lay the fly shield under the zipper as you top stitch. You want the catch the long edge of the shield as you topstitch. And your topstitching should be between the teeth of the zipper and the center front seam, which is where the red line is on this close-up

Now it should look like this. The fabric to the right of the zipper is the fly shield

Turn the zipper onto the left side of the fly extension, right side down. Like this

Pin the fly shield back out of the way

And fold the left front of the skirt out of the way so you’re just working on the fly extension

Now stitch close the the teeth, then open the skirt out and place it face up. Topstitch the curve of the fly extension into place, making sure not to catch the fly shield in this stitching.

And now you have a fly front with a covered zipper.

You can see I used a longer zipper than I needed. I cut the zipper between the teeth even with the top edge of my skirt. The more correct way to do it would be to cut off the bottom after sewing in a new stop by doing a very closely spaced zig zag across the new bottom. I don’t know why I did it this way, but it still works since this zipper has fairly big teeth that were far enough apart to get my scissors in between. If you do it my way, make sure not to zip the pull off the top of the zipper until you get something that will stop it. In my case it was the waistband. I cut a piece of fabric two inches longer than the circumference of my skirt waist, and serged one long end to finish it. Then I sewed  the raw edge around the top of the skirt with right sides together. Then I folded over to the inside of the skirt.

I topstitched close to the seam to keep the facing to the inside of the skirt, and sewed on a big hook and eye above the zipper; I just didn’t want to mess with a buttonhole. Then I hemmed it, and here’s the finished product

I think I’m going to use the same pattern to make a black pencil skirt out of stretch twill.

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Comments

  1. says

    That is truly impressive! (well, for me certainly) Thanks for the tutorial – I hope I could be brave enough to try at least an adaptation. The zipper fly is a little intimidating for sure.

    Looks so cute on you!

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