Whether you prefer the stylish femininity of a skirt or the sleek, modern look of pants, sewing garments for your bottom half doesn’t have to be a nerve-wracking experience. For amateur sewing enthusiasts, getting the right fit on skirts and pants may seem like too much of a challenge. With some simple planning, a few tips and tricks, and the use of great patterns, however, your sewing adventure can begin and you’ll be on your way to a full outfit in no time.
A Simple Skirt to Start
If you’re very new to sewing, loose skirts are often an easier start than pants or fitted bottoms, which require more tailoring, adjustment, and understanding of patterns. While skirts still take some tailoring and planning, choosing a project with simple lines and forgiving drape can give a beginning sewer confidence.
One of our favorites is a fun, stylish strip skirt with a simple A-line design. This skirt offers a nice, easy drafting and sewing experience that can still be spiced up with colorful fabric choices. Keep it all one pattern or color for a more traditional look, or go for quirky and fun by alternating the fabrics in each panel. Your skirt can even be customized with easy pockets.
Get the pattern here: Sew a Sassy Strip Skirt with Drawstring Waist
With skirts, fabric choice can be highly varied and will depend on the drape and style you want in your skirt. Keep in mind that non-slip fabrics like cotton and linen will be easier to sew than chiffon, organza, or silk.
Related article: 5 Skirt Patterns Perfect for Summer
Patterning Pants for the Best Fit
If you’re about to embark on sewing pants, it’s important that you have the correct fit in your pattern. Leg length and waist size are the most obvious measurements to check in your pattern, but you may also have to make adjustments to the hip and crotch measurements. Both of these measurements are often overlooked by the beginning sewer, but they are critical to getting the right fit for your pants.
Without correct measurements, your pants—even if you have followed the pattern—may not fit right in the length, can bunch up when you sit, or may not move correctly as you walk. Pants sewing projects also require a careful choice of fabric. Sports fabric, denim, and other firmly woven fabrics are excellent choices for pants.
Related video: How to Alter Sewing Patterns for Shorts and Pants
Related article: Top 5 Tips for Hemming Pants
Finishing Your Project Right
Whether you are making a skirt or a pair of pants or shorts, finishing your project correctly can be the difference between an amateur-looking project and a professional-quality look.
Skirt hems especially can be difficult to get even. One tip is to grab a friend and have them help hem the skirt to the correct length all around. Careful measuring is critical to getting a skirt hem even. Hemming your pants evenly is also important, though often simpler as you are working with less fabric and a smaller hem line. Still, you need to be certain that your hems are even and secured with the correct stitch so that your hem looks finished.
Buttons and button holes are another finishing consideration for many skirts and pants. Before deciding on buttons, ensure that the style you want matches your project’s style and that you’ve chosen a button and hole that can withstand use as a closure on a foundation garment.
With a little preparation, planning, and practice, your finishing techniques will take your clothing project from hum drum to polished. What’s your best tip for sewing garments? Let us know in the comments!
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