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Last week Gretchen put the finishing touches on her adorable Skirt with Front Pleats project. How is your skirt coming along? If you’ve finished up but are still in need of some Sew Along love, check out these great additional steps from our friends at Coats & Clark.

Also, don’t forget to upload your finished projects by Monday, October 3rd with the phrase “Sew Along” in the title for a chance to be featured in our Sew Along slideshow and win great prizes from both Coats & Clark and Free Spirit Fabrics!

Scalloped Border and Waistband


Adding a Border to a Skirt:

- Determine the length of the skirt by measuring from the waistline to the desired finished length. Skirt pattern length= Finished length – width of border + 5/8” seam allowance.

Scallop Hem Border

- Assemble skirt. After the skirt has been sewed together measure the circumference of the hem.
- We are using the design in the print as a pattern for the scallops. Cut the border for the skirt the circumference of the skirt. Add ¼” to the scallops and the ends for seam allowances.


- Using the print fabric as a pattern, cut a facing from white cotton fabric.


Tip: The border will be joined to form a circle that is as close as possible to the circumference of the skirt. It is more important to have the scallop design form a continuous pattern which may result in the border being slightly larger than the circumference of the skirt.

- Sew the ends of the print fabric together using a 1/4” seam allowance. Repeat with facing. Place facing and print border, right sides together aligning the scallop edges. Stitch together following the print outline of the scallop.


- Clip each point and turn the border to the right side. Pressing is very important at this stage. There are pressing tools with curved sides or make a template from cardboard and place inside each scallop. For best results, do not skip this step.


- With right sides together pin the border to the skirt, matching center front and back and side seams. The border may be slightly larger than the skirt. If so, sew a gathering stitch around the top of the border and pull up slightly to ease in the fullness. Once pressed, this will not be noticeable.

Decorative Trim

The trim is made by sewing a decorative stitch pattern onto a ribbon, bias tape or strip of contrasting fabric.

- Select a stitch pattern and a coordinating color of thread. Sew a sample to determine the best stitch length and width.
- Place tear-away stabilizer underneath the ribbon or fabric. Stitch design.
- Please stitched trim over seam at border and stitch in place by along the both edges of the trim. If zipper piping was used as shown in example, stitch carefully between the teeth by hand turning the hand wheel on the sewing machine.

Scalloped Waistband
(This will be made in a similar manner to the border hem.)


- Measure the top circumference of the skirt. Follow steps 2 & 3 of border, adding a 5/8” seam allowance for the waistline seam. Also, cut a light weight fusible interfacing and fuse to print fabric. It is important to have the scallop design be continuous. Press under 5/8” on facing. With right sides together sew following the scallop design starting and stopping 5/8” from the cut edge of the print fabric. Clip to the point turn and press using template (Step 5 of border).

- Compare waist band to top of skirt. If band is larger than skirt, sew a gathering stitch around band to ease in fullness. Pin waistband to top of skirt, right sides together, leaving facing open. Stitch together, trim to reduce bulk. Pin folded edge of facing to waist seam, hand sew in place.


Optional: For a better fit add a casing with 1/4” elastic inside the waistband.

Now that we’ve finished our scalloped hem, let’s tackle the zipper piping.

Adding Zipper Piping to Skirt


Purchase 2 separating zippers that are 2” longer than the seam. Used here is Coats Molded Sport Separating Zippers, 24”.

- Prepare pattern. We eliminated the pleats from the Pleated Skirt pattern. If using an A-line skirt without front seams, draw a seam line on the pattern 4” from the side and parallel to the side seams. Cut the pattern on this line. Do not forget to add seam allowances when you cut the fabric.

- Unzip and separate zipper. Pin to seam allowance, right sides together with the zipper teeth just over the seam line. The top stop and bottom stop should extend past the cut edges of the skirt. Cut off zipper even with skirt top and bottom. Place piping or zipper foot on machine. Machine-baste the zipper to the seam allowance.


- Place the front skirt panel and side panel, right sides together. Adjust the needle position a little more to the left, so that you are closer to the zipper teeth. The stitching will be just inside the basting stitches. This will insure that the zipper teeth will be snug against the seam. Stitch seam.


- Press seam open. Repeat on the other side front panel. Repeat for skirt back.


Tip: The zipper tape does not stretch, so be sure not to stretch the skirt fabric as you sew as it will cause the seam to pucker.



  • Ghetto_girl_goes_to_colo__large

    Sep 28, 2011, 11.24 PMby turtlegirl00

    i love this fabric and the scalloped edge—so darling!!

  • P1060166_large

    Sep 27, 2011, 09.25 PMby Hannah Camp

    These skirts are ADORABLE! Love the scallop edged skirt :D

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