For the past few years, I have been focusing on sewing quilts and home goodies rather than fashion items.  I often found that my hem finishes didn’t look professional enough for my tastes.

Things might be changing: I tested out one of the sewing attachments that came with my Singer 66 vintage machine, a rolled hem foot.  I was shocked by how easily this foot created the dainty rolled hem pictured below:

rolled hem

The rolled hem foot feeds and rolls the edge of the fabric into the foot automatically.  It seriously feels like magic and the rolled hem is very small and tidy.

rolled hem foot

I had 2 meters of this floral polyester fabric in my fabric in my stash for at least 10 years.  I purchased it from Walmart back when they actually had fabric available cut by the meter in Canada from their $2 clearance bin.  Making this skirt was extremely simple and required no pattern; I simply cut the fabric into a large rectangle, 78″ x 22″, with one long edge finished with the rolled hem pictured above.  I sewed the fabric into a large tube.

I gathered the fabric onto my elastic directly rather than creating a casing tube.  This requires an extremely stretchy elastic.  For the elastic, I held it around my waist and cut it so that it overlapped approximately an inch.

supplies to make an elastic waist skirt

I sewed my elastic into a circle to form the waist, then aligned the elastic with the raw edge of my skirt fabric tube. I divided the elastic into equal quarter sections using pins to mark the dividers. Similarly I divide my skirt fabric into quarters as well, then pinned the elastic to the fabric in those four spots.

I sewed my elastic directly to the wrong side of the fabric of my skirt.  While sewing, I held out the elastic taut between the quarter pin markings.  When you let go of the elastic to release the tension, you will see that the elastic will form the gathers:
gathering with elasticAfter the elastic was in place, I folded the elastic down twice to hide all the raw edges then sewed two lines of stitching to hold the elastic waist band in place.

gathering with elastic, then rolling the raw edge under

This is what the gathers look like on the outside once complete:

the look of gathered elastic after sewing
And ta da!  This is what the completed gathered elastic waist skirt looks like once complete.  Since this skirt was more than double the fullness once complete, there is a lot of bulkiness on the waist band.  This could be reduced by creating a traditional waist band casing which is less full, then gathering the skirt to that casing.   I really love the way the rolled hem looks on this skirt and can’t wait to use it again on other projects.

finished skirt by craftcore

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