In this tutorial, we will cover the steps for upscaling a skirt with a zipper. Whether you have outgrown your favorite skirt or just want to update its closure, adding a zipper can be a fun and practical way to give it new life.
By following the steps outlined in this tutorial, you can transform an elastic waistband skirt into one with a zipper closure that fits better and looks more polished and professional.
Whether you are a beginner or an experienced seamstress, you can use this tutorial as a guide to help you upsize your skirt with a zipper. Let’s get started!
For this project, you will need:
- The skirt that you want to upsize
- A zipper that is long enough to fit the length of the seam where you will insert it
- Fabric for the added width, in color and pattern that matches or complements your skirt
- Scissors for cutting fabric
- A sewing machine and thread in a color that matches your fabric
- Pins for holding the fabric in place while sewing
- Other tools and supplies you might need include:
- Measuring tape or a ruler to measure the width of the skirt and the length of the zipper
- Fabric chalk or a fabric pen to mark the fabric
- An iron and ironing board to press the fabric before sewing
- A seam ripper for removing stitches or correcting mistakes
- A hand-sewing needle and thread for any finishing touches
- A zipper foot for your sewing machine, if you have one, to help you sew the zipper evenly.
Preparing the Skirt
To prepare the skirt for the zipper, you will need to remove the elastic waistband and part of the side or back seam to make room for the zipper. To do this, you can use a seam ripper to carefully remove the stitches that hold the elastic in place.
Once the elastic is removed, you can then unpick the side or back seam of the skirt to the point where you want the zipper to start. Make sure to leave enough fabric at the top and bottom of the zipper to create a new waistband and allow for any gathering that may be necessary.
Next, you will need to create a new flat waistband to replace the elastic. You can do this by cutting a strip of fabric that is the same width as the waistband and the desired length, plus seam allowances. Then, press the fabric to get rid of any wrinkles and fold it in half lengthwise, with the wrong sides facing each other.
Finally, you will need to gather the skirt to fit the new waistband. To do this, you can sew a basting stitch along the top of the skirt and then gently pull the thread to gather the fabric until it fits the width of the waistband. Make sure to distribute the gathers evenly along the waistband.
Other preparations that may be necessary include ironing or pressing the fabric to get rid of any wrinkles and marking the fabric with fabric chalk or a fabric pen to help you line up the zipper and waistband accurately.
Sewing the Zipper
To sew the zipper into the skirt, follow these steps:
- First, lay the skirt out flat with the right side facing up.
- Lay the zipper on top of the seam where you will insert it, with the teeth facing down. Make sure the top of the zipper is aligned with the top of the skirt.
- Pin the zipper in place, making sure to leave enough space at the top and bottom for the waistband.
- If you have a zipper foot for your sewing machine, attach it now. If not, you can use a regular foot and sew as close to the teeth as possible.
- Sew the zipper in place by following the edge of the teeth. You can start at the top of the zipper and work your way down, or start at the bottom and work your way up.
- Once the zipper is sewn in place, you can remove the basting stitches and press the seam to get rid of any wrinkles.
To avoid common mistakes, make sure to:
- Measure the width of the skirt and the length of the zipper accurately to make sure they are a good fit
- Align the top of the zipper with the top of the skirt and the bottom of the zipper with the bottom of the skirt
- Sew as close to the teeth as possible to ensure a clean, professional finish
- Take your time and double-check your work as you go to avoid mistakes that might be difficult to fix later.
If you do encounter any mistakes or problems while sewing the zipper, you can try troubleshooting by:
- Using a seam ripper to remove any stitches that are not straight or even
- Redoing the stitching slowly and carefully, following the edge of the teeth as closely as possible
- Seeking the assistance of an experienced seamstress or referring to a sewing tutorial for additional guidance.
Once the zipper is sewn in place, you can add any final touches to the skirt to complete the project. Some ideas for finishing touches include:
- Hemming the skirt if the fabric frays or if you want to clean up the edges. You can do this by folding the fabric under at the bottom of the skirt and sewing a straight stitch along the fold to secure it in place.
- Adding a lining to the skirt if you want to give it a more polished, professional look. You can do this by cutting a piece of fabric that is the same shape as the skirt and sewing it to the inside of the skirt, with the right sides facing each other.
- Adding any additional embellishments or details, such as buttons, beads, or trim, gives the skirt a unique touch.
When working with zippers, it is important to keep the following tips and precautions in mind:
- Make sure to use a zipper that is the correct length for the seam where you will insert it. If the zipper is too short, it will not close properly, and if it is too long, it will be difficult to sew in place and may look awkward.
- Pay attention to the orientation of the zipper. The teeth should face down when you sew it in place, and the zipper pull should be on the right side of the skirt.
- Use a zipper foot for your sewing machine if you have one, as it will help you sew the zipper evenly and get as close to the teeth as possible.
- Take your time and be patient when sewing the zipper. It can be a challenging task, especially if you are a beginner, so it is important to go slowly and carefully to avoid mistakes that might be difficult to fix later.
Steps for Upsizing a Skirt with a Zipper
Here is a table outlining the steps for upscaling a skirt with a zipper:
|1||Remove the elastic waistband and part of the side or back seam to make room for the zipper|
|2||Create a new flat waistband and gather the skirt to fit it|
|3||Sew the zipper in place, making sure to align it with the top and bottom of the skirt and sew as close to the teeth as possible|
|4||Add any final touches, such as hemming or adding a lining|
Here are some frequently asked questions that were not discussed in the previous sections:
It is best to use a fabric that is similar in weight and drape to the original fabric of the skirt, as this will ensure a smooth, seamless look. You may also want to consider the color and pattern of the fabric to make sure it matches or complements the original skirt.
To choose the right size zipper for your skirt, measure the width of the seam where you will insert the zipper and compare it to the length of the zipper. The zipper should be long enough to fit the seam with a little bit of overlap at the top and bottom, but not so long that it is difficult to sew in place or looks awkward.
If the skirt is fitted and you need to add width, you may need to add darts to shape the fabric and ensure a smooth, flattering fit. If the skirt is flared or A-line, you can probably get away with gathering the fabric to fit the waistband. If you are not sure which method to use, you can try draping the fabric over a dress form or a mannequin to see which method looks better.
In general, it is possible to add a zipper to any type of skirt, but some styles may be more challenging than others. For example, a straight, pencil skirt will be easier to add a zipper to than a full, flared skirt. It is always a good idea to test the fit of the zipper before you sew it in place and make any necessary adjustments to the waistband or skirt to get the right fit.
If the skirt is already lined, you will need to remove the lining and sew the zipper to the outer layer of the skirt, then reattach the lining afterward. This can be a more complicated process, so it may be helpful to seek the assistance of an experienced seamstress or refer to a sewing tutorial for guidance.
Upscaling a skirt with a zipper can be a challenging but rewarding task. By following the steps outlined in this tutorial, you can transform an elastic waistband skirt into one with a zipper closure.
However, it’s important to keep in mind potential challenges and be prepared to troubleshoot any mistakes that may arise.
If you decide to try out this tutorial, we encourage you to share your experiences and questions in the comments. We hope this tutorial has been helpful and wish you the best of luck with your project!