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  • Writer's pictureSew Retro

The Willow - A stunning 70's inspired Midi Skirt

Sew Retro is very excited to share with you the Willow - A Seventies inspired relaxed midi skirt with a tie belt, in size's 8 to 18. Sew Retro has collaborated with DOVETAIL LONDON using some of their stunning African Wax Cotton to create the Willow. DOVETAILED LONDON is offering you 10% off your first order. Scroll down for the link. If you have made the Nancy Kimono or the Bella Beach Robe, this would be a great new project. Experienced sewers will have this sewn up in no time at all.

The Willow is a free PDF pattern and tutorial for your personal use only and not be too be reproduced


Materials and Equipment

2 meters x 120cm of Wax African Block Print, I got mine from Dovetailed London

Use the code WELCOME 10 and receive a 10% discount on your order.

50 cm of iron on interfacing medium weight.

Matching thread 24cm invisible zip, iron and ironing board,pins, tape measure, chalk and scissors.

Tips for beginners

Seam allowance 1 cm this is the distance between the edge of the fabric and the stitch line. You will find a series of parallel lines engraved on the needle plate of your sewing machine pick the one marked with the measurement you need and keep the edge of the fabric to this guide

RS = right side of fabric WS = wrong side of fabric.

Machine-wash your fabric first on a 40 degree wash.

Neaten the seam = using a zig zag stitch or an over locker neaten the seam.

Down load the pattern and join the sheets together, cut out in your size and follow the fabric layout

place the pattern on the straight of gain, chalk on the waist band, tie belt and belt loops.

No 1. With RS together pin the centre front seam and using a 1cm seam allowance stitch the seam together, press and neaten the raw edge.

No 2. With the RS of the front skirt facing you, lay the RS back panels on the front, and pin the front side seams to the back, side seams. Repeat on remaining side.

Stitch the seams together using a 1cm seam allowance neaten the seams.

No 3. Pin the remaining seam together the centre back, leave a 20cm gap for the zip. Machine stitch using a 1cm seam allowance. Press and neaten the seam.

No4. Leave the skirt to one side and start making the belt loops,

4. Press the belt loops in half, on the long edges, then press the raw edge to the middle on both sides, fold in half.

5 and 6. Machine close to the folder edge and on the opposite edge, cut the 2 strips into four.

7. Position the belt loops. Press your waistband in half length wise, open the waist band and with the RS facing, measure from the pressed line out, 10cm pin a belt loop into place, measure 20cm on from the first belt loop and add another belt loop, pin into place. Repeat on the other side, starting from the fold line 10cm out pin a belt loop, 20cm from the loop pin another belt loop. 4 belt loops in total.

8. Machine stitch or tack the top and bottom of each belt loop, this line of stitching needs to be very close to the edge as it should not show when the skirt is finished. Trim the belt loops to match the width of the skirt.

9.With RS facing pin the belt onto the skirt, machine stitch into place using a 1c seam allowance. Press.

With the RS to the belt facing the RS of the skirt pin the waist band from one end to the other. Using a 1cm SA machine stitch the waist band into place.

10. Insert the zip. Please watch the two short videos. Pin the RS of the zip to the RS of the back seam, matching the top of the zip to the top of the waistband, using a invisible foot, stitch into place. Repeat on the remaining side.

!0. You will now find that under the zip you have a gap, pin this gap together and lifting the zip out of the way as shown, stitch the gap, starting on the original line of stitch and sewing until you meet the stitching on the zip. Press.

11. Cut out a single layer of interfacing and iron it on to the WS of the remaining piece of the waistband. Pin the RS of the waistband onto the RS of the waistband that is sewn onto the skirt. You can machine over the zip if you have used a plastic zip. With the zip lying flat and facing to the skirt, machine from one end to the other using a 1cm seam allowance.

12. Pres the seam you have just sewn open and flat. Neaten the long raw edge of the waistband.

Fold the seam back as show and pin the seam together by the zip. Change to the zipper foot and stitch that seam making sure you do not catch the zip.

13. Clip the corners, and turn the waistband inside out. Press. When you are pressing the waistband press the raw seam up into the waistband and allow the neaten edge of the waistband to hang down as show.

14. With the RS facing pin along the seam as shown, you are now going to stitch

along that seam using the zipper foot. Do not sew over the zip. Starting from one end of the skirt stitch to the other end making sure you have caught the waistband.

15. Neaten the raw edge on the hem of the skirt, and turn up and press a 1cm hem. Change from the zipper foot to the straight stitch foot on your sewing machine. Machine stitch or hand sew into place. Press.

16. Make the tie belt. With RS together join the short seam, fold the belt in half and press. Stitch the short seam the long seam leaving a gap in the middle to turn the belt through, stitch the remaining short seam. Clip the corners for a neat finish. Turn the belt out through the gap. Press. Top stitch the edge of the belt. As a guide use the foot of the sewing machine to the edge of the fabric. Press. Thread the belt through the belt loops.

AWESOME, you’re a super sewer, congratulations on making the Willow Skirt.

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