Sew a bias skirt – instructions for a bias skirt
After two Corona years, I was looking forward to the holidays with family and friends even more last December. It was allowed to get a little more glamorous – outfit-wise! I fell in love with the Stay Stitch Pattern Company Coco Bias Skirt sewing pattern. I had seen bias cut skirts at High Street, Zara, Mango and H&M and then stumbled across the cut on my Instagram feed. Today I’m going to show you how I went about sewing and what you need to watch out for if you want to sew a diagonally cut skirt yourself.
I used the longer pattern and reduced the length at the markings on the pattern to create a midi skirt that falls just below the knee. I also left out the slit as I didn’t think it was necessary with this skirt length.
Sewing a skirt in a bias cut – tips
In a bevel cut or diagonal cut, the pattern is placed on the fabric at a 45° angle. At this angle, the warp and weft yarns give the fabric greater stretch. Fabrics are more elastic on the diagonal, so a bias-cut skirt is more cuddly than a normal cut if it is cut parallel to the selvage.
Because the fabric stretches, you need to be very careful when cutting and handling the cut pieces as they tend to get out of shape.
The pattern pieces are placed completely and it is cut in a single layer. To prevent the finished skirt from twisting around the body, the diagonal grain should run in opposite directions on the front and back sections.
Bias-cut pieces also stretch in length. That’s why it’s important to let your bias cut garments hang for 24 hours before hemming.
After cutting, carefully fold the pieces and when sewing the skirt, be careful when handling them so that they do not stretch. Allow the fabric pieces to be basted to the pattern pieces until you start sewing.
Stitch and machine settings
Bias cut garments tend to stretch over time and with wear. Set your machine for a zigzag stitch with a length of 2.5mm (or 2mm for finer fabrics) and a width of 0.5mm. This allows the seam to move and stretch just like the bias cut garment. For very delicate and delicate fabrics, you may also need to lower the tension to avoid wrinkling. Try a few before sewing your skirt!
Do not pull on the fabric when ironing, otherwise it will stretch and warp. Gently presses the iron on one area, then lifts it up and gently presses on the next area instead of sliding across the fabric.
My choice of fabric
I own a thick green sweater. After some searching I found the perfect matching fabric. This one wasn’t quite as satin and shiny as I wanted, but perfect for the pattern. It is a viscose jacquard from fibremood from www.der-buntspecht-shop.de.
What else do you need?
- Matching yarn
- Microtex needle
- Soft rubber band, 2″ or 5 cm wide
The right needle size is almost as important as the precise handling of fabric and pattern. Many forget to change their machine needle regularly or to use the right needle. With such a fine fabric, a super-sharp needle helps me sew through the fabric with precision. I used a fine 60 microtex needle.
I used my BERNINA 480 for sewing. I finished the upper edge with the BERNINA L 850. However, it is possible to sew the entire skirt without an overlock machine.
Let’s sew our skirt in a bias cut!
With all the tips, the choice of fabric and the cut out patterns, you can now start sewing.
First, sew the bodice of your skirt 1.3 cm from the top edge and 3 mm from the raw edges on both sides. This support stitch is used to prevent the fabric from stretching out of shape.
Side seams with French seam
The side seams are sewn with French seams. These seams lie nice and flat. It is a form of processing that should definitely be learned. You can also find a contribution to this here in the BERNINA Blog.
Place the wrong sides of the skirt together and sew both side seams with a 7mm seam allowance using the narrow zigzag stitch mentioned above.
Next, the seam allowance is trimmed back to 3mm everywhere. We turn the skirt inside out and iron the seam flat.
Now the side seam is sewn, again 7 mm away from the edge. And now we have a beautiful French hem.
The elastic waistband
Cut the elastic to your waist size. When you sew it up, it will be 1 inch shorter due to the overlap.
Make a loop, overlap the ends by 1 inch, and machine sew to form a box with an X in the middle.
Quarter the elastic and mark the points with pins. Do the same at the top of the skirt.
Place the elastic right side out over the waist of the skirt and align the bottom edge of the elastic with the seam line we created in the first step. The elastic should only overlap the waist edge of the skirt by 1/2 inch. Line up the pins of the elastic and the skirt and pin the elastic to the skirt.
Sew the elastic to the waist edge of the skirt at 1/2 inch (1.3cm) with a narrow zigzag stitch, gently stretching the elastic to conform to the skirt. Make sure the wrong side (or bottom part) of the zigzag stitch only goes through the fabric, just below the elastic. The right side of the zigzag stitch will go through both the skirt fabric and the elastic. This will ensure that the elastic is not visible when turned inside out.
Fold the elastic inside out of the skirt and backstitch the side seams in the seam shadow to secure the elastic and prevent it from turning inside out.
Narrow rolled hem (Baby Hem)
The next step is to hang the skirt on a hanger for the next 24 hours to allow the hem to sag.
After a long 24 hours of waiting, you can try on the skirt, adjust the length and hem, and cut it to the right length.
Now we finish the bottom of the skirt with a very narrow rolled hem. In English this is called “Baby Hem”. The fabric is folded over twice to enclose the raw edge with a small fold. This technique is used on thin, lightweight fabrics to achieve a clean and delicate finish. A “Baby Hem” is sewn with the sewing machine.
Iron the bottom edge of the skirt 3mm higher than you want the finished hem to be. Sew the edge at 2mm or as close as possible, carefully trimming back the excess. Fold the hem back inside out, iron it, and sew along the top edge as tightly as possible.
Iron to finish
Finally, you iron your wonderful work – you’re done. You have sewn a bias-cut skirt that you can combine with a nice top or, like me, with a thick sweater and boots.
Have fun sewing your creation! Feel free to post your finished pictures on Instagram or in the community area of the blog. I would be happy to see her.
All the best