I just could not resist the powder pink stretch cotton with black and white roses when I saw it in the fabric shop. I feel increasingly girly now that spring has arrived and this fabric just shouted “Make a skirt out of me!”. So I did.
I used again the Zinnia pattern with the deepened pleats. If you want to do the same, just cut the pattern along the center of each pleat and add about two cm extra. However, you cannot add much if you want to be able to cut the pattern from lengthwise folded fabric.
To add some interest I added white piping between the waistband and the skirt and instead of a hook and eye I decided to use two little buttons as a fastening. While I was sewing the skirt I realised that the best way to sew the piping on was to use my Bernina’s appliqué presser foot. If you want to know how to do this, just scroll down for a little tutorial.
After the skirt was finished I thought it would look good combined with a black and white stripy top. I love this jersey I found again at Eurokangas and I used a pattern I drafted from an old store bought top. I did not want to do your basic top so I curved the hem and added little ribbon bows to do something special. I’m a bit disappointed since the top is quite snug on me. I guess this fabric is not as stretchy as the fabric in the old top I had. I must see how it behaves in the wash and hope for the best.
And now for the tutorial:
Fastening piping using an appliqué presser foot
My sewing machine is Bernina Activa 210 which is a very basic machine. I have bought a special appliqué presser foot (number 23) already years ago and used it for its obvious purpose – making appliqués. I have sewn piping using a zipper foot which allows stitching very close to the piping cord. The drawback in using a zipper foot is that, when you are attaching the second fabric to the seam, it is hard to stay at constant close distance from the piping cord since it is under the second piece of fabric. This is where the appliqué foot is very handy.
The appliqué foot is see-through plastic foot with a groove in the middle to allow the appliqué stitches glide smoothly. The groove is also about the width of a standard piping. Below you can see how the piping goes under the presser foot. You’ll have to adjust the needle position for the seam to go right next to the piping cord and then you are ready to go.
Please note that it is useful to sew the piping first to the piece of fabric that has the straighter edge. In my case, I sewed the piping to the waistband and added the skirt in the second phase. Otherwise you will have problems with the piping stretching and puckering in an ugly way. I know from experience!
Anyway, the groove in the appliqué foot acts as a guide and you don’t even need to pin the piping into position. You’ll only have to make sure that you are sewing at the seam allowance’s width from the fabric edge.
Here the piping has been attached and folded down. See how even the piping is! I swear to you that I have not hidden any ugly bits!
Here is how you’ll attach the second piece of fabric, in my case, the hem of the skirt. Pin the waistband to the skirt so that the waistband goes to the top the right sides together. The pins go to the waistbands side down next to the piping cord and up after the piping cord as in the image below. This again allows the groove in the appliqué foot to follow the piping as you sew. If you feel daring and sew carefully, you can sew over the pins laid this way. (Please do not blame me if you break a needle! You have been warned! I do sew over the needles but I keep a stash of sewing machine needles.) The needle position should stay the same but if necessary you can adjust it so that the second row of stitches goes right over the first one.
So here you are! The piping should look like the one in the picture below.
Let me know if this tutorial was useful for you! If you notice any mistakes or need clarification, contact me! (English is not my mother tongue, which is something that the English speakers have probably noticed right away!)