Japan Skirt - Sewing Instructions
Saturday, April 24, 2021
The Japan Skirt has it's origin in Japanese folk costume. It's based on a simple rectangle of fabric, wrapped around the waist. In this case I've finessed the fit on the waist by including a dart shape in the zip/drape seam. Even with the dart you'll find the waist of the skirt is positioned more in the low waist area, and is not a tight fit. If you would like to create a closer fit on the waist you'll find all the details at the end of this post.
The following instructions are for sewing this skirt pattern. These instructions are to give you an idea of construction if you are thinking of buying the pattern and for anyone making The Japan Skirt Pattern from my pattern making post.
With this skirt pattern you get two length choices for cutting that are indicated on the pattern. My original skirt, from the pattern making post, was made using the asymmetric hemline as featured in the image above. The sewing instructions below are for the skirt with the straight or level hemline, because it suits the yarn dyed check linen I used.
The following example is cut as a level hem skirt (indicated on the pattern) because of the nature of the yarn dyed check pattern. The first part of the sewing process is the main feature, the dart/zip seam. You'll need a 20-22cm invisible zip for this skirt.
To prepare for adding your zip to the skirt, press the hem on the drape edge of the skirt (1.25cm/1/2" folded to .6cm/1/4") and stitch in place. Also press the waist turning as preparation. Do not stitch the waist turning at this stage.
The dart starts at the waistline with a 1cm (3/8") seam allowance and stitches to the point of the dart. Each side of the dart will make up the seam to insert the invisible zip. It's a good idea to overlock or zigzag this dart/seam raw edge before inserting the zip.
Pin the invisible zip in place, joining both of the dart seams to the zip tape. Your stitching for the zip tape needs to follow the stitching line on the waist dart, that tapers toward the end.
Check that your invisible zip is in the correct location, with the dart seam on the inside of the skirt.
Sew the rest of the seam, below the invisible zip toward the hemline. How far you sew depends on your own ideas of modesty. It looks best if a little of the seam is left open to move with the drape of the skirt.
Turn the waist facing back, over the top of the invisible zip, and stitch in place. Turn through to finish the top of the zip.
Stitch the waist facing in place to complete the waist finish on the skirt.
The final step would usually be to turn and stitch the hem in place. For this particular fabric I'm using the excellent finish on the selvedge of the fabric as my hem. A machine stitched hem is very acceptable in this case, or you can hand stitch if that suits your chosen fabric better.
If you have a small waist or would prefer a closer waist fit on this skirt you can make those changes when finishing the waist turning. The options are to either add some elastic to the back waist of the skirt, or to add two darts into the back waistline.
Place the elastic in the back waist turning and make sure you have the front drape where you plan to wear it. Either in the centre, or off to one side.
Waist darts can be added to the back waistline, placed equally on each side of the centre back. Again be sure you have the front drape where you plan to wear it in future.