Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Hollyburn Sew-along - Zipper (Lined Skirt)

Welcome to the next post in the Hollyburn Skirt Sew-along! Incase you've missed any, here are all the posts so far:
Inspiration (Part 1)
Inspiration (Part 2)
Choosing a view
Choosing and Buying Fabric
Changing the Length
An Interview with Tasia
Pattern Alteration - Removing the Pockets
Pattern Alteration - Piping on your waistband
Prewash and Prepare Fabric
Thoughts on Grading Up in Size
Choices to make before starting to sew
Cutting Layout and Cutting
Sewing the Pockets
Skirt Seams
Zipper (Unlined Skirt)

Today I'm going to go through the steps for adding the zip if you've lined your skirt. You need to modify the method we showed yesterday for the unlined version, so that the skirt is finished nicely on the inside with the lining. The technique I'm going to show you is based on the method that Tasia showed us in the Crescent Skirt Sew-Along (Part 1, Part 2), but modified slightly to accommodate that we have a folded waistband and lining rather than a facing.

Prepare the Lining
First, you need to prepare your lining. Sew the two skirt front and two skirt backs together, much like the skirt, it will look something like this:

Sew lining to waistband
Now, we want to attach the top of the lining to the other side of the waistband. If you added the extra notches that I suggested last week, then line up the notches on the waistband with the centre front and side seams of the lining, right sides together:

Stitch the seam with a 1.5cm (5/8") seam allowance, and press the seam allowance towards the waistband. It should look something like this:

Sew the centre back seam
Now stitch up the centre back seam for the skirt (but NOT the lining), as we did yesterday, matching notches. Finish the two edges separately, all the way up to the waistband. I finished mine like the centre front, with binding around the raw edge like my centre front seam.

Check the size
Now, similar to yesterday we're going to pin the zip in place and try on the the skirt to check the size.

First, fold the waistband in half lengthwise, matching the skirt and lining waistband seam, and press the waistband in half. Now, with the skirt and lining together, fold back the seam allowance of 1.5cm at the centre back seam and press lightly. Now pin the zip in behind the fabric so you can try the skirt on.

As with yesterday, spend some time to make sure that your skirt is the right size at this step.

Once you're happy with the size, repress the fold, as this will act as a marker of where your seamline will be. If your fabric doesn't hold a crease-line then mark it with a marking pen/pencil instead. Below you can see my fold-line, as you can see I've taken the skirt in slightly as it was a bit big, so the seam allowance is bigger than the standard 1.5cm:

Now we're going to pin the zip into place to first stitch it to the lining, and then the outer skirt.

Sew the zip to the lining
Take your zip, and place it right side up, with the skirt lining right side up too:

Open up the zip and pin it so that the zipper teeth line up with the fold-line, with the zipper tape on the seam-allowance side. The top of the zipper should be just below the fold-line of the waistband:

Quick Tip: Make sure that you're only pinning the zip and lining, and not the skirt fabric.

Now close up the zip and make a mark where it crosses the waistband seam (marked in pink):

Now we're going to pin the other side of the zip to the other side of the skirt. First, line up the other side of the centre back seam next to the first one:

Now fold over the zip so that its orientation is a mirror image of the first side of the zip, with the teeth next to the fold-line and the tape in the seam allowance:

And line up the mark you made on the zip with the waistband seam (marked in pink):

And then pin the rest of the zip to the lining:

Now we're going to sew the zip to the lining. Using the zipper foot on your sewing machine, sew a line of stitching slightly to the side of the teeth down both sides of the zip:

Once stitched it should look something like this, the zipper pull should have naturally rotated to face the outside of the skirt:

Now close up the zip, and give the lining a light press, so that it's folded back across the seamline that you just stitched.

Sew the zip to the skirt
If you turn the skirt right sides out, the outside of the zip should look something like this:

First, we will fold back the top of the zipper, so that it's enclosed in the top of the waistband. Fold back the top like this:

And slide it inside the waistband, now adjust the folded edges so that the outer edge meets the edge of the zipper teeth, and the inner edge is a little further across so the zipper tape is slightly visible. Now pin it in place:

Resume pinning the zip to the skirt making it so that the folded centre back edge just meets over the centre of the zip. Make sure your waistband seams line up on either side of the skirt. It should look something like this:

And on the inside it should look something like this:

As with yesterday, you can choose to baste the zip in before you sew the line of top-stitching, it's your choice.

Now, again using your zipper foot, stitch a line of top-stitching around the edge of the zip:

And that's it! A lovely zip that's neatly finished on both the inside and the outside!

How's everyone going with the Sew-Along? We're coming into the home stretch now, not many steps left to go!

Missed any of the sew-along posts, or just want to re-read them? You can find the full list here.


  1. Great stuff, the finish of the zip is divine!

    Love it!

    Bundana x

  2. That's great! I'm eager to try this out, as I'm lining my skirt and haven't ever tried inserting a zip in a lined skirt. Wish me luck!

  3. Looks great! I just can't get over how much I love that fabric! So summery!!

  4. Yours is much neater than mine - why am I not surprised? ;-)
    My zipper is now in, and I tried on the skirt and realized I have waistband gapage - the top of my waistband stands off slightly. More so near the zipper. Am I the only one, or is this a common problem? Did I pull too much during zipper insertion? (I struggled, I'll admit it!) I was pondering putting two little darts into the waistband on top of the side seam. Any other suggestions, apart from re-sew the zipper (nooooo!)?

    1. If you go in above the waistband then it's going to stick out slightly as it's a straight waistband. If you're wearig it below your natural waist, or your waist isn't actually your narrowest part this might happen (eg if your ribcage is narrower than your waist). Putting little darts in the waistband at the side seams might work, but also would probably be fairly bulky, and could be uncomfortable. You probably don't need to re-do the whole zip, but maybe unpicking just the waistband part and re-folding it in a bit more there might fix your problem?
      Or to be honest, is it bad enough that you even need to worry? (that's my lazy answer).

  5. Huh, might be the ribcage thing I think. Weird bodyshape things I never thought about before! I'll have a look tomorrow with fresh eyes, and see if I can get away with the lazy way! I was also wondering if maybe the topstitching would sort out the zipper ;-) with a tendency to 'probably'... Thanks for the ideas!

  6. This way of sewing a zipper with lining really is neat, and your tutorial of it really gr8 :-). Thanks!

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  8. I used an invisible zipper, and my back seam is distorted. I redid the zipper a few times, but I am yet to figure out how to deal with the distortion. I even stabilized the fabric with interfacing. I wonder if this is a lost case...

    1. I found atraching zip to outer first worked better with invisibke zip. I am a near beginner so I have no idea why had probs but I couldn't get the main skirt to lie flat otherwise. There was a good video on You Tube. This was the only bit of the sewalong that I had a real problem with, rest of it's great!

  9. Ahh no!! I didn't see the bit earlier in the sewalong where you were supposed to NOT press under and trim the waistband and I finished it in a way where I can't go back! How am I going to line it now ;_;

  10. I just found your blog by clicking over from sewaholic.net. I'm excited to make the Hollyburn skirt and so happy that I can use your blog for tips! I'm a new follower!


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