Hello! I hope this post finds you well! As you may have noticed from the Veronika Sewalong, I just love the Veronika skirt for its versatility. I also have a real love for paperbag waists. They’re simple to make but add the cutest waistline detail. So today I’m going to show you how to hack the Veronika skirt pattern to have a paperbag waist!
This hack works for woven fabrics (I’ve chosen linen) and will have an elastic waist. We will be using 1” (2.5cm) elastic. I love this hack because it’s not your typical paper bag waist skirt made from rectangles. Using the Veronika pattern as our base gives this skirt a lovely shape and drape!
First, we will slightly adjust the pattern pieces before we cut out our fabric. Select your size from the size chart and measure 4″ (10cm) down from the waistline of the skirt pattern piece. Mark in several places and then connect the marks to create a new waistline curve. Then measure down 4″ (10cm) from the hemline and mark in several places. Connect the marks to create a new hemline. Note: This creates a larger waistline that will gather to the paperbag waist and allows the woven fabric to stretch over our hips when wearing.
Now let’s adjust the waistband pattern piece.
We will need to double the length from 3.5″ (9cm) to 7″ (18cm) long. Then measure the width of the waistband from the fold line to your size. Take that number and divide it by 2. We will add that many inches to the width of the waistband pattern piece. Cut the waistband on the fold, or if not possible, you may cut two waistband pieces adding in the seam allowance.
Now let’s get sewing! Sew the skirt side seams right sides together. Press the seam open and finish the seam allowances by serging or zig-zag stitching the raw edges. Set aside.
Sew the short sides of the waistband ends right sides together. Press the seam open.
Fold the waistband in half width-wise, wrong sides together, and press. Sew along the bottom of the waistband raw edge at 5/8” (1.6cm) using a long basting stitch. Leave about a 1” (2.5cm) opening to thread the elastic through.
Now measure up 1.125” (2.8cm) from the 5/8” basting stitch and mark a straight line along the waistband.
Sew along the entire waistband using your mark as a guide.
Cut your 1” (2.5cm) elastic by using your waist measurement minus a couple inches, or your desired length. Attach a safety pin to one end of your elastic and thread the elastic through the 1” (2.5cm) opening into the casing. Be sure you don’t pull the other end of the elastic into the casing.
Once you’ve reached the other side, overlap the ends of the elastic by 1” (2.5cm).
Be sure the elastic is not twisted inside the casing and sew the ends together.
Pull the elastic through into the casing and sew the opening of the casing closed using a basting stitch.
Adjust the gathers of the waistband and try to even them out.
Now evenly divide the waistband into quarters and mark. Do the same for your skirt waistline. With the skirt inside out and your waistband right side out, put your waistband inside your skirt raw edges matching raw edge of skirt waistline. Pin or clip the waistband to the waistline, matching up the side seam of the skirt with the side seam of the waistband. Then match all of the quarter marks and pin or clip together.
Sew along the waistline using a 5/8” (1.5cm) seam allowance. You will need to pull using one hand in the front to stretch the waistband flat, and slightly pull with your other hand in the back to keep everything as flat as possible as you sew. It’s okay if it’s not perfect, it will gather up when we are done! Note: You don’t want to sew on top of the elastic, the seam should be just below it in order to keep the elastic loose inside the casing.
Adjust the waistband gathers. Now our skirt waistline should be gathered a bit and attached to our paperbag waistband. Serge or zig-zag stitch the raw edges of the waistband and waistline seam together, to create a finished skirt interior.
If any of your waistband basting stitches show on the outside you can remove them now.
Lastly, we will hem the skirt. Follow the same directions in the pattern. Just fold and press up 1/4” (6mm), fold and press again at 1/4” (6mm), then sew close to the folded edge.
And that’s it! A fun paperbag waist on the wonderful Veronika skirt!
I paired this linen version with a comfy Jarrah top for an easy-going look.
I hope you give this simple hack a try!
// LOOKING FOR MORE VERONIKA POSTS? //
Here’s the full list of all of the Veronika posts and tutorials:
- Veronika is now available in extended sizes!
- Veronika Inspiration & Ideas
- How to // Pocket & Seams
- How to // Waistband & Zipper
- How to // Hemming
- How to // Knit version
- Pattern hack // Paperbag waist (this post!)
- Pattern hack // Veronika in Brocade
- How to // Sew a Horsehair Braid Hem
- A simple trick for evening out the hem of a circle skirt