Tacking things together

If I were to describe the steps of this project using the words exciting, worrying, relaxing and boring, I would say tacking was the relaxing part. I’ve noticed some Youtuber tutorials call this stage “basting”. At home we always called it tacking – stitching pieces loosely together by hand in order to see how they lie before using the sewing machine.

First I wanted to make sure the waistline of the panels was the right size. Having cut the fabric with an extra 2cm seam-allowance, I needed to go over it with one of my pastel chalks (my alternative to tailor’s chalk) and mark exactly where I would be tacking the seams together. Making it too loose or too tight around the waist would cause unnecessary hassle later on.

Just as I was about to tack the pieces together, I remembered the lining! I had specifically purchased some matching lining fabric and had, till now, completely forgotten about it! Since the lining of a skirt is like sewing a second skirt, just one that sits on the inside, it wouldn’t make sense to tack the pieces of the main skirt together before cutting the pieces out of the lining. So, I laid my pieces down and traced them onto the lining fabric and cut. I then set about the slow but relaxing process of tacking all the pieces together of the “two” skirts. Once this was done, I turned the skirt inside out and tried it on.

Trying it on inside out made sense to me because that way I could pinch the joined areas to fit my waist and secure them with a pin. This served as a guide to any adjustments I might need to make to the way I had tacked it together. I enjoyed this part of the process because sewing by hand feels so natural to me, as that’s how I had made all my doll’s cloths as a child! It feels so easily reversible, which I guess is the whole point of tacking!

The two skirts, outer and inner, are done. Now to move on to the worrying part – sewing the seams together by machine. I dreaded this part to be honest. Sometimes it feels as if my sewing machine wants to eat my fabric rather than sew it together! But for this project it seems to be taking pity on me, or rather, it has concluded that it needs to be a bit more forgiving of my abilities if it wants to stay out of storage and be used again!

Happily, all the seems looked beautiful by the time I was done! (Above is an example of the lining seam). I followed best practise and ironed (or as all the online tutorials say “pressed”) the seams flat and put my project down for the day.

The next step is the waistband, and I’m not in a hurry to get started on that… especially since first I have to learn how to actually make one!