Are you ready to finally get sewing on your Casey Skirt? So am I! Let’s dive right in.
Cutting is rather straight forward, and also rather hard to photograph, so we are going to start with our pieces all cut out, and get straight to marking. I am making View 2 of the Skirt, and will be doing ALL of the top-stitching. 😉
At the top of your front and back pieces you will see two pleat lines. We are going to need to mark these in some way, either with a pin, a chalk mark, or, my favorite and fastest…
Snip the seam allowance! Just make two small snips into the seam allowance directly above the pleat lines.
With the top of your pleat lines marked on your fronts and backs, the last thing we need to mark is our zipper dot on our Back pieces. This is where our seam stops, and our zipper opening starts. I like to use a pin to mark this point.
Center Back Seam
Now, hop over to the sewing machine, and stitch your center back seam, starting at the hem, and stitch all the way up to the pin. Stop and back-tack, but DON’T remove your work from the sewing machine yet. Re-adjust your stitch length and tension for basting, and keep sewing all the way to the top of the Skirt Back. Don’t back-tack at the top though.
See? Now we have our back seam sewn, and our zipper opening basted shut all in one go! Brilliant!
I am going to show you one of my favorite ways to finish the center back seam so it is finished under the zipper and all down the seam. Press your Center Back Seam flat, and then press one seam allowance towards the seam about 1/4″. Do the same for the seam allowance on the other side of the seam.
Using either a zig-zag or a straight stitch, sew this “hem” down on both seam allowances.
Press your seam open, and your Skirt Back seam is all nicely finished, with still enough room to insert the zipper.
Speaking of zippers… Let’s insert ours, shall we?
First, mark where your zipper opening stops with a pin. Make sure the pin goes through the fabric, behind the seam all the way.
Match the bottom stopper of your zipper to the pin. Pin the entire zipper in place, making sure the teeth are centered underneath the seam.
Baste your zipper in place by hand. I know this step sounds tedious, but believe me, it makes all the difference when you are top-stitching a zipper in place. And it is much easier to take out hand-basting if your zipper is crooked, than it is to take out machine top-stitching.
Top-stitch your zipper in place. If you are using a piled fabric, like velvet, or just don’t want your zipper’s stitching to show, use a pick-stitch to stitch it in place. I have applied several zippers this way, and I have yet for one of them to come out.
Open up your back seam above the zipper, and remove any remaining basting threads. Well done! You inserted your zipper! Now stitch together your Skirt Fronts, and let’s move on to the pleats.
You can do your pleats one of two ways. You can either do soft pleats, or crisp pleats. I am going to demonstrate how to do both.
Put a pin at the outer clip marking of your pleat lines.
Pull both pins in to meet at the Center Back (or Front), and pin. Baste in place.
Mark the top of your outer pleat lines with a pin, as for soft pleats. Measure from your Center Back (or Front) seam out to the pin. This should be 4 inches.
Moving on down the skirt seam, place pins 4″ away from the Center Back (or Front) seam, all the way down to the hem.
Fold your Skirt Back (or Front) along the pin-line and press.
Bring the pressed fold to the Center Back (or Front) seam, and pin the top in place. Repeat for the other side of the pleat, and the remaining box pleat.
Baste the top of the pleats in place.
Pin your Skirt Front and Skirt Back together at the side seam, matching the notches and top edges. The hem edges are not the most important to match up, so match up the waist edges before you match up the hem edges.
Stitch the side seams, starting at the hem, and heading towards the waistline.
Press your seams flat. Finish your seams as desired, or if you want to do flat-felled seams, keep reading. Press your seams towards the back of the skirt.
Trim the Back seam allowances down to 1/8-1/4″.
Fold the top (Front) seam allowance over the Back seam allowance.
Press, pin, and stitch.
Whew! That was a long post. But, our skirts are finally starting to look like skirts, and next week we get to move on to pockets. Yay!
Remember, if you are following along with the Casey Skirt Sew-Along and are on Social Media, share your progress by using the hashtag #caseyskirtsa and tagging me @brijeepatterns on Instagram and Facebook.
Author, Graphic Design, and Photography: Brigid Everson