* 1 pillowcase
* 1 zipper (7″ or 9″)
* Sewing machine (You can also sew by hand.)
* Seam ripper
* Straight pins
* Fabric scissors or rotary cutter
* Fabric pencil/tailor chalk
* Measuring tape/ruler
1. Iron your pillowcase flat. Cut off the finished (open) end just below the seam. You will use this piece to create the waistband later.
2. Center the seam at the back, and press the pillowcase. Open the back seam from the top, creating a space long enough to fit your zipper.
At this point, to avoid unraveling the rest of the back seam, you should stitch a few times back and forth over the bottom of the opening you just made to secure any loose threads. (You can see my stitches in the photo below.)
Note: If your pillowcase has two side seams, you can insert the zipper in either of the sides instead of the back.
3. Before laying the zipper in place, turn skirt inside out and fold back the unfinished edges of the opening about ¼” and press.
4. Lay the zipper in place, taking care to center it in the opening. (Please excuse the magical color-changing zipper. I was working on 2 skirts at the same time.)
5. Pin the zipper into place.
6. Stitch around the edge of the zipper, securing it in place.
7. Turn skirt right side out, centering the zipper in the back, and press.
8. Find the center of the top of the skirt and mark it.
9. Either using a dress form or yourself (with a steady-handed friend to help pin), dart the front and the back of the skirt to make the waist the correct size and the skirt the correct shape.
|Back Dart Placement|
|Front Dart Placement|
Take care that the darts are evenly spaced from the center, and that they are angled slightly out to follow the natural curve of your body. In the front, place the darts farther from the center, towards your hips. In the back, place them closer to the zipper. For a flattering fit, the dart placement is very important, so start over again if you don’t get it right the first time (it took me more than a few tries).
10. Remove the skirt from the dress form and turn it inside out. Place a vertical pin at the top of each dart, then use a ruler to draw a line about 8″ long from the pin to the folded edge of the dart. (Don’t let them intimidate you—darts are nothing more than pinched together flaps of material.) Repeat this process for all 4 darts.
11. Pin along the line for each dart.
12. Sew each dart in place along the line you drew in step 10.
13. With the darts in place, it’s time to add the waistband. Cut the finished seam off of the material that you set aside in step 1, creating a long strip of fabric. Cut the bottom off of the strip, leaving ¾” of fabric. (Remember, the strip is folded in half at the center, so you really have a 1½” wide strip of fabric.)
14. Fold the unfinished edges in ¼” towards the center fold, and press into place.
15. Measure around the waist of the skirt. Cut the waistband strip to size, leaving an extra ¼” on each side to finish the ends. Fold each end under ¼”, then fold in half and press.
16. Starting on one side of the zipper, line up the folded end of the waistband with the edge of the zipper opening and pin into place.
17. Pin the rest of the waistband into place around the skirt.
18. Stitch down the edges and around the waistband to secure it in place.
19. Hem the bottom to length, folding the unfinished edges under and pressing into place.
|Hemmed Skirt: Back View|
|Hemmed Skirt: Front View|
20. Stitch around the top fold of the hem, finishing the edges.
|Finished Skirt: Front|
|Finished Skirt: Back|
Press the skirt to get rid of any remaining wrinkles, then hit the town. Or, you know, the library.