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True Bias



December 4, 2018

Welcome back for day 2 of the Salida Skirt Sewalong. Today we are going to tackle the zipper. I know this can feel overwhelming to beginners so I created a video tutorial that will walk you step by step through the entire process. Once you break it down into small pieces, it’s a lot easier to digest. If you decide to use the video, simply skip the rest of todays sewalong. If you prefer photos to a video, skip the following video and there is a traditional step by step sewalong below.

I would also like to add that the pattern pieces should also work for other zipper methods, so if you already have a method for sewing up a zipper that you prefer, feel free to use that one.

Step 6 – First you are going to want to trim the right front fly along the trim line as indicated on your pattern pieces. Sometimes this line can get a bit wonky when attaching the yoke. If it is not lining up straight, simply draw another line 1.25” from edge and trim that.

Apply left fly fusible interfacing to the wrong side of the assembled left front only as shown below.

Using your desired method, finish the seam allowances separately of both the left and right center front edges along the extensions and down to the hem. I know it can feel a little hard to finish the seam allowance right below the extention. Just do your best, realizing that this area will all be covered with your fly shield in future steps. Just make sure that you are not trimming your seam allowance as you are finishing it.

Step 7 – Fold back ½” on the right front skirt panel so it’s even with the raw edge below the extention, and press to create a guide line. Open back up. Fold back the left front skirt panel along the edge of the fusible interfacing, and press to create a guide line. Open back up.

Step 8 – With right sides touching, pin the front skirt panels together, matching yoke seams, notches and dot. I like to start pinning at the dot as this is the trickiest part to line up and then continue pinning towards the hem.

Sew the center front seam up to the dot, and backstitch to secure.


Step 9 – Position your skirt so that the left front is facing up, and the right front is falling down and out of the way.

Place your zipper face down so that the right edge (when facing down) of the zipper tape is lined up with the fold you created as a guide line, and the top edge is flush with the top raw edge of the skirt. Pin along the right edge. (This is a great place to use zipper tape if you prefer.)

Step 10 – Using a zipper foot, stitch along the left side of the zipper teeth as pictured, backstitching at the lower end to secure. Because the zipper pull is a bit bulky, you will not be able to sew completely straight at the top. Don’t worry about this- this line of stitching is not visible on the outside of the skirt. If you force this line of stitching to be straight, it will push the zipper pull over and will therefore not stay hidden once the skirt is finished.

Remove pins along the zipper.

Step 11 – Turn the left fly extension to the inside of the skirt along the foldline that you pressed earlier. With the wrong side of the skirt facing up, pin in place.

Step 12 – With the right side of your skirt facing up, unzip your zipper. Place the folded right front edge over the zipper tape, aligning the fold with the zipper teeth. Pin in place.

Step 13 – Using a zipper foot, baste close to the folded edge to secure the zipper to the right front. Midway through basting, leave the needle down and pass the zipper pull under the presser foot to close the zipper. (You may need to temporarily pop off your zipper foot for this to be possible.) Continue basting, ending as close to the lower edge as possible. Note that you will not be able to get all of the way to the end since it is tucked into the left side of the skirt. Don’t worry about this. Just get as far down as you can.

Zip up the fly to make sure that the yoke seams are aligned, everything is laying flat, and that the zipper is tucked neatly into the left side of the skirt and not visible. If there are any issues you should adjust them now while it is still only basted.

Press the whole center front seam allowance towards the front left skirt (when wearing).

Step 14 – Align the topstitching guide (pattern piece 17) with the left front opening edge, as pictured.

Using the paper pattern piece as your guide, mark the left fly stitching line on the outside of the skirt.

Make sure that the center front seam allowances are still pressed towards the left front skirt as shown in step 13. Topstitch the fly through all layers along the marked line. Topstitch again 1/4” inside the first line of stitching.

Starting at the edge of the fly topstitching and ending at the hem, topstitch the left front ⅛” inside the center front seam, catching the seam allowance underneath.

Step 15 – Fold the fly shield in half with right sides touching. Stitch the lower end at 1/2” seam allowance. Trim. Turn fly shield right side out and press. Finish the inner long edge of the fly shield with either a zig-zag stitch or a serger.

Step 16 – With the skirt facing up and the zipper open, place the fly shield under the right front opening edge. The finished edge of the fly shield should slightly cover the right zipper tape. The fly shield should extend past center front, as pictured. Pin in place.

It should look like this on the wrong side.

Step 17 – Using a zipper foot, topstitch the right front on top of the line of previous basting through all layers, catching the fly shield in the line of stitching. Keep the left front free as you sew. In order to sew close to the fold, midway through stitching, leave the needle down, and pass the zipper pull under the presser foot to close the zipper. Continue stitching, ending as close to the lower edge as possible, and backstitch. Remove basting stitches if visible.

Step 18 – Zip up the fly and make sure that everything is laying flat and lined up. To secure the fly, sew a small (about 1/2” long) bar tack through all layers (including fly shield) at the bottom of the inner curved stitching line (oops I accidentally sewed mine on the outer line), and another at an angle about an inch up along the outer curved stitching line, as pictured. This will help to reinforce the tension points of the zipper, while also securing the fly shield.

It should look like this on the wrong side.

And that is it for today. I hope that was not too hard. Let me know if you have any questions and come back again tomorrow for my sewing.




December 3, 2018

I am super excited to be starting the Salida Skirt Sewalong today. By the end of today’s post we will have the front and back panels assembled and be ready to insert the zipper tomorrow.

You should already have your fabric cut out and ready to start sewing, but just for reference, here are the fabrics that I am using for the sewalong. My main fabric is a brown bull denim. I also have some floral cotton voile that I am using to line my pockets and some medium weight fusible interfacing.

For notions I am using coordinating all purpose thread, a jeans weight sewing machine needle (use a weight that coordinates best with the weight of your fabric) , a hand sewing needle, a skirt hook and eye, and a zipper. I have designed this pattern in a way that will not require you to shorten your zipper (one of my least favorite things). Instead, use the zipper length that coordinates with your size in the instructions. I am using a blue zipper for this tutorial so that it will be easier to see in the photos. I recommend trying to find a zipper closer to the color of your main fabric.

Please note that the following illustrations depict View A (fitted skirt). Unless noted, all instructions are applicable to both views.

Step 1 – Before starting, make sure that you have transferred all notches and symbols from your pattern pieces to your fabric. To keep it easy, I use a disappearing pen and mark on the wrong side of the fabric pieces.

This includes the guideline on the front yoke,

the dots and guidelines on the front center pieces,

and the dots on the back center pieces for View A only (these are for the slit).

Next, fuse interfacing to the wrong side of the waistband and the upper edge of the pocket bag pieces.

Step 2 – With right sides touching, pin one front center panel to the coordinating front side panel, matching notches.

Sew the seam. Trim seam allowance to ¼”, and finish in your desired manner. I find that the easiest way to do this is to serge because I can also trim it down at the same time. This is the method I will be using for the sewalong, but feel free to use pinking shears or a ziz zag stitch to finish your seams if you prefer. These options will work great.

Press the finished seam allowance towards the front side panel. On the right side, topstitch the front side skirt ⅛” from the seam, catching the seam allowance underneath.

Step 3 – With right sides touching, pin the corresponding front yoke to the assembled front skirt panel, matching notches. These are opposite curves so it can feel a little awkward. Just do your best, knowing that you can adjust it as you go. The most important thing is to make sure that the two ends are sewn at the correct angle.

Sew the seam.

Clip the seam allowance up to the line of stitching, being careful not to cut into the stitching. This will help the yoke curve nicely around your body without any pulling.

Trim the seam allowance to ¼”, finish in your desired manner, and press up towards the front yoke.

Topstitch ⅛” from the seam on the front yoke, catching the seam allowance underneath. Repeat steps 2-3 for other front skirt pieces.

You can set the front panels aside for now. We are going to be sewing up the back panels in the same manner that you assembled the fronts. ( I have included less photos for the backs as I did for the fronts so that it is not redundant. If you need extra help, refer to the photos for the fronts.)

Step 4 – With right sides touching, pin one back center panel to its corresponding back side panel, matching notches. Sew the seam. Trim seam allowance to ¼”, finish in your desired manner, and press towards the back side panel. On the right side, topstitch on the back side skirt ⅛” from seam.

Step 5 – With right sides touching, pin the corresponding back yoke to the assembled back skirt panel, matching notches. Sew the seam. Clip the seam allowance up to the line of stitching, being careful not to cut into the stitching. Trim the seam allowance to ¼”, finish in your desired manner, and press up towards the back yoke. Topstitch inside the back yoke, ⅛” from seam, catching the seam allowance underneath. Repeat steps 4-5 for remaining back skirt pieces. Set aside the assembled skirt back panels for now.

That is it for today. Here is the Salida Skirt Sewalong schedule for the remainder of the week.

Salida Skirt Sewalong Day 2 – Sewing the Zipper (Steps 6 – 18)

Salida Skirt Sewalong Day 3 – Pockets and Back Assembly (Steps 19 – 25)

Salida Skirt Sewalong Day 4 – Sideseams and Waistband (Steps 26 – 34)

Salida Skirt Sewalong Day 5 – Topsitiching, Hems, and Hook & Eye (Steps 35 – 38)


Thank you for following along! You can find the Salida Skirt sewing pattern  in both paper and digital format here.



November 28, 2018

I  bought this silk crepe fabric over a year ago specifically to make a Suki kimono and I am so glad that I finally did. I am obsessed with it. It’s everything I hoped for and feels so luxurious to wear when I am getting ready in the morning. I am a big fan of robes so this is my third to make so far. All three get tons of wear.

 The fabric is a paneled watercolor floral of in silk crepe de chine that I bought at Mood. The edges were black so I was able to use those bits of fabric for the neck band, ties and sleeve cuffs. I really like how that helps the cool design details to pop. It also gives a more modern edge to the floral fabric.

 I really loved sewing this pattern. It was just challenging enough to keep it interesting and feel like I was learning new things, but easy enough to stay stay enjoyable. The instructions are great and I love the small design elements like the neck band detail which help this pattern to stand out.

I keep thinking about how great this would be as a holiday gift for someone special. Although I might not sew it in silk again because I’m not sure how this will wash. I think a rayon or voile would be perfect for my next one.



November 19, 2018

I am so excited to show you guys what has been consuming my life over the past few months – the Salida skirt. This pattern was designed specifically as a fall / winter companion to the Nikko top (my goto this time of year). It has a high waist, front zipper, V-shaped front and back yokes, and contoured shaping through the hips and legs. It comes in two views. View A tapers to the knee and has a back slit for easy walking, while view B is flared and midcalf length.

I know that zippers can feel a little intimidating to beginner sewists, but don’t worry, I have you covered. I have filmed a video that will walk you step by step through the zipper portion of the instructions. You can access that video here. There will also be a full photographed sewalong on the blog the week of December 3rd if you would like to follow along with that.


Another thing that I am excited about with the Salida Skirt pattern is that I have introduced layers PDF files in case you would like to only print the size or sizes that you will be sewing. The instructions will help guide you through using the layers if you choose to do so.



You can get the Salida skirt as both a paper and pdf pattern through my shop here. You can also get 25% off both of these options through this Wednesday with the code SALIDALAUNCH.

I hope you love this pattern as much as I do. Please let me know if you have any questions.




October 10, 2018

Last week I had a rant on Instagram video that you may have caught (if not you can still find it in my highlights). It started with a leopard print fabric that I wanted to make a jumpsuit out of. I knew it was a little out there and that I might not wear it, but I desperately wanted to try. This turned into a poll (where you guys were overwhelmingly in support of the leopard) and then into me thinking about how my process has evolved over the years and how reluctant I have become to take risks with my sewing. I use to make a lot of statement pieces and less basics. Less practical, perhaps, but I miss the excitement of sewing something fabulous every once in awhile just because I want to. You see, sewing is more than about clothing my body, it’s about expressing myself, learning new skills, therapy and art. When did it become so much about basics?

So, Heather of Closet Case Patterns and I decided to do something about it. For the rest of October and all of November we will be hosting the Sew Frosting challenge. Here is how it works. From now thru the end of November we want to encourage the sewing community to make “frosting”. (Frosting is a term coined by Tasia, founder of Sewholic patterns, years ago. It was a debate in the sewing community about sewing more cake (everyday basics) verses frosting (impractical makes).) This could mean sewing up that beautiful silk or brocade that has been sitting in your stash, it could include making that cocktail dress for the holiday party this year, or even just pushing yourself to use a fabric that is a bit out of your comfort zone instead of the navy or black that is safe. It can mean different things to different people, but remember that the idea is that you are inspired by what you are making. It should feel more like art and less like work.

And what would a contest be without awards? Here is what we came up with:

  1. The Most Unconventional Fabric or Material – Think outside of the box about what material you could use or supplement for your project. Maybe it’s a crazy print, or surprising textile.
  2. The Couture Award – Take those sewing skills to a new level and really show us what craftsmanship is made of.
  3. Oona Ballona Award – If there is anyone who comes to my mind when I think of Frosting it is Oona. She pulls of mixing print and color in a way I can only imagine. Check out her blog for inspiration and show us something fabulous that we could see her in.

Wondering about the prizes? I am blown away by how generous out sponsors have been! These prize packages are pretty incredible. We have prize packages for the three awards above plus 2 randomly selected community awards.

To enter, all you need to do is tag your entry on Instagram with #sewfrosting and @tag both Heather and I in the caption of your post. And of coarse use the tag #sewfrosting to post pics of fabric choices and the sewing progress during the entirety of the challenge. We want to follow along and be inspired by what you are making. If you don’t have instagram simply email your entry to myself or Heather. We will announce the winners of the challenge on our blogs December 1st.

As for what I will be making, here is what I know so far. Of coarse I am making something amazing out of that leopard print jacquard from The Fabric Store. But I will talk more specifics next week. In the meantime, I have started a pinterest board with all of my #sewfrosting inspiration. You can check that out here to see what I am thinking about and maybe even get some inspiration for yourself.

I hope you guys are excited. Be sure to hop on over the Heather’s blog to see what her thoughts are for the #sewfrosting challenge. Also, check out all of our amazing sponsors for the contest below.