Stephanie Sewalong - Finishing touches

Stephanie Sewalong - Finishing touches

Hello sewists,

You are so close to having completed your Stephanie Skirt, only a little bit of hand sewing left. So put on your favorite TV show or podcast, grab a warm drink and let’s get started!

Before I get on with today’s topic, if you are new to this series, you can check out previous posts here and get the sewing pattern in our shop. I also curate a resource page for each of our patterns, with tutorials from around the web in case you want to explore other techniques!

For many years, I used to dread hand sewing, especially for things like buttons and hooks but I knew they would almost immediately fall off. Until the day I started 1/ doubling my thread and 2/ using beeswax. It was life changing, buttons don’t fall down anymore! So in case hand sewing has been an issue for you too, don’t fear! Also, if you really really hate hand sewing, you can also stitch your hem by machine…

Gather your tools

  • Hooks and bars: I always have different kinds in my stash (usually black and silver). I make a lot of skirts with waistbands so it’s definitely one of those basic notions that I cannot really live without.

  • Needles: I’m not specific about them but I like the Tulip Needles I picked up years ago in Ottawa.

  • Thread and beeswax: I use regular all purpose thread. I cannot recommend highly enough buying a small block of tailor’s beeswax. It’s inexpensive one block will probably outlive me. Because I use mine a lot, it’s definitely not pretty looking anymore but it does the job. After cutting a length of thread, I just pass it on the block of wax and start sewing!

Sew the hooks and bars

To determine the position of the hooks and the bars, close the zip up and place the side of the waistband extension under the other side.

Start by sewing the hooks on the wrong side of the overlapping part of the waistband. They should be close to the edge but not so close that they show when the skirt is worn. A good rule of thumb is usually to place them ⅛” (0,3cm) to ¼” (0.6cm).
The bars can then be positioned on the right side of the overlapped extension, making sure that everything is aligned and not puckering when the waistband is closed.

Thread your needle with waxed thread, and knot the two tails so that you work with a double strand. Sew the hooks and bars while ensuring that your stitching does not show of the other side of the waistband.

Slip stitch the hem

Press the hem in place by folding it twice by ½” (1.3cm). This step will ensure that your hem is crisp and regular. For the mid-weight cotton I use in this sew-along, I decided to use a slip stitch rather than a catch stitch. The pros of the slip stitch are that it’s slightly faster and I personally tend to achieve a smoother result than with a catch stitch. The main con is that it’s a bit less durable. But in the case of a fabric that holds the pressed hem well and is not slippery, it’s usually not an issue.

I need to warn you that I am left handed, so working on the wrong side of the fabric with a slip stitch, I sew from left to right. If you are right handed, you need to reverse it!

Using only one strand of thread this time (not waxed), tie a not and start by anchoring your stitches in the hem. Then sew a stitch inside the upper fold of the hem of about ⅜” (1cm).

When coming out of the fold, pick up the smallest amount of skirt fabric possible, 1 to 3 threads usually depending on the strength of your fabric. The stronger the fabric the less thread you need. Re-enter the hem fold for another ⅜” (1cm) stitch and repeat until you have hemmed the entire skirt.

Congratulations you completed your Stephanie Skirt! Enjoy wearing your beautiful new skirt and don’t forget to share it with us on social media using the hashtags #stephanieskirt and #madewithjustpatterns !

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