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Invisible zipper, Interfacing

1. Select your size from the size chart and trace your pattern pieces in your selected size. Transfer all the markings and add in the seam allowances as follows:

  • 2cm unless otherwise noted
  • Waistband 1cm at top and bottom and 2cm on the sides/back
  • Hem and slit 5cm

To create hanger loops, cut a strip of lining fabric in line with the grain around 50cm in length and 4cm in width.

2. Fold up the marked seam allowances on your traced pattern pieces and connect the lines. Connect the lines on the right side of the skirt piece with a horizontal line, this will result in a spike. Lay your fabric out flat and cut out 1 each the pocket pieces and front skirt piece.

3. Cut out the remaining pattern pieces. To cut the waistband accurately, you can cut a larger piece of fabric, attach the pattern piece with adhesive and then cut it to size. Be sure to mark the dart and where the lines intersect with a pin. Snip the end of the darts and mark the point with a tailors tack. (See how towards the end of this post)

4. Interface the pocket opening, zipper opening as well as the top and zipper opening edges of the waist band pieces. Mark the oblique folds on the front skirt piece. The easiest way to do this is by marking the end point and using a copy wheel and tracing paper to mark them out.

5. Align the center back and stitch until the zipper opening. Leave 20cm unstitched for the zipper opening. Overlock the raw edges. Press the seam open. Pin and stitch the darts, knotting the threads at the end. Press the darts towards center back. If preferred, you can stitch them down on the angle.

6. Right sides together, align the edge of the smaller pocket bag on the pocket opening of the front skirt piece. Stitch at the 1cm seam allowance. Press the seam open and then flip the pocket piece so wrong sides are together and press.

7. Top stitch the seam you have just pressed. Align the larger pocket bag piece and mark a line where the pocket opening lies.

8. Pin the pocket bag in place and stitch around the curved hem at the 1cm seam allowance. Reinforce this seam by sewing over the stitch line again. Overlock the seam allowances together.

9. Use a ruler and chalk to transfer the oblique fold markings to the right side of the front skirt piece if you haven’t already. They should be parallel with the sloping pocket opening. The marks should align with those you made on the wrong side.

10. Using the markings as a guide, fold and pin from the left towards the right (as you look at the pattern piece). Pin so that you can sew the pleats on the wrong side.

11. On the wrong side, sew close to the edge from the end point towards the waist, making sure to stay stitch and fix the start of each line of stitches. Press the folds. Fix both the folds and pocket bag in place along the waist line and side seam at 5mm seam allowance.

12. Align the waist band pieces with the front and back skirt pieces (be cartful to ensure there are no puckers as you sew). Attach with a 1cm seam allowance. Press the seams towards the waistband. Fold and press the middle back pieces away from each other at 1.5cm.

13. Open the invisible zipper, place the first side right sides together, directly inline with the inside edge of your overlocked edge. Pin in place up to 2cm below the top of the waistband zipper opening.

14. Use a zipper foot, spreading the zipper teeth flat and stitch as close as you can to the zipper teeth.

15. Close the zipper, place a cross-pin on the zipper tape at the seam intersection point and the waistband seam. Open the zipper again and align the pins with the intersection point and waistband seam on the side it will be attached to. Pin in place.

16. Stitch the second side in place up to 2cm below the zipper opening.

17. Press the zip in place. Check the inside of the zip is sitting nicely.

18. Trim the 2cm seam allowance of the inner waistband outside edge for both the inner back waistband pieces. (I actually leave this until step 20 and trim the excess once it is attached).

19. (Right sides together, align the inner waistband with the zipper seam allowance). Sew the inner waistband at 0.7cm to the zipper fastener seam allowance and press.

20. Fold the center back so that the zipper teeth are sandwiched by the two waistband pieces. Since you trimmed the seam allowance earlier this should line up exactly.

21. Stitch the waistband in place at 1cm seam allowance. Snip the curve of the seam allowance to allow for movement (be careful not to go through the stitches). Repeat this step to attach the inner waistband to the front skirt waistband.

22. Press the seams open (using a tailor’s ham or clapper will make this easier) then press to the side.

23. Overlock and press the 5cm hem of the front and back skirt pieces.

24. Fold the point on the hem into a mitered corner (also known as ‘tablecloth’ or ‘letter corner’ in German!). Mark the connection point with pins on each side of the hem (do not pin together).

25. Carefully unfold the corners so the pins don’t fall out.

26. Turn the corners to the back so that the right side of the fabric is on the inside. Align the two pins back on top of each other. The remaining edges do not have to match. If you like, mark the line from the pressed seam allowance to the pins.

27. Stitch along this line to make the mitered corner. Do not cut the seam allowance in case you want to make adjustments in future. Open the seam allowance up and use the tip of your iron to press flat (on a tailor’s clapper if possible). Flip it right sides out and press the mitered corner flat.

28. Unfold the waistband and hem at the sides. Align the waist band seams and mark with a cross-pin. Pin and stitch the left side seam together at 2cm seam allowance. Overlock the seams to 1.5cm and press open.

29. Attach the hem with an invisible hand stitch. Reinforce it at the side seam with cross stitches.

30. For the right side seam with pocket, unfold the waistband up but do not fold the hem down. Insert a cross-pin where the waistband seams align.

31. Pin and stitch together at 2cm seam allowance. Overlock the seams to 1.5cm and press open.

32. For the hanger strip, stitch right sides together along the one edge at 5mm seam allowance. Trim the seam allowance to approximately 4mm. At one end, knot a threaded needle and push it through the fabric. Push the needle backwards through the tube so that it turns right sides out and press flat (alternatively, use a loop turner or bodkin if you have one).

33. Cut the hanger strip into two lengths of approximately 23cm. Place them near each side seam, on the seam allowances at the bottom of the waistband. Stitch in place.

34. Press the waistband flat, it will overlap the seam line. Secure in place on the right side with pins in the seam line.

35. Stitch in the ditch along the seam line. Make sure the hanger strips are laying flat towards the skirt so you don’t accidentally sew them up.

36. Top stitch the waistband at the top and bottom. Stop when you get close to the invisible zipper. Now wear it with pride!


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