Skip to main content

Ultimately twirly skirts

One of the biggest disappointments I have had making things as gifts was when I gave a friend's daughter a cool (I thought) skirt made of Angelina Ballerina fabric.  She was delighted mostly, but put it on and moved and said "Oh, it doesn't twirl".  In that single moment I thought:  "Oh, you are right".  And she was.  The skirt was great but it really really needed to twirl and it didn't.

So for my latest project I picked the brains of Jill from The American Patchworks in Hobart (our sewing guru).  Apparently the key to supreme twirlyness is to make a doughnut shape of fabric, rather than sewing straight bits of fabric together.  This makes the waistband and bottom edge harder to deal with as they are pretty curved and also sometimes bias along the edge.  However, as the picture to the left attests; this trickiness is well worth the effort.

The skirt in the picture was cut from a normal width 110 cm long piece of fabric.  We folded it in half and then half again and then cut a curved piece out around 4 inches from the point of the folds (making the waist circle - the centre of the doughnut) and then again around 20 inches from the point (making the skirt around 16 inches long, give or take a bit for hems etc).  We attached a bias-cut casing for the waistband and threaded elastic through it and sewed ric-rac around the bottom edge (with the bottom of the ric-rac sitting on the bottom raw edge of fabric).  We then turned up the bottom edge on the ric-rac sewing line and top stitched close to the edge.  This left the top edge of ric-rac (reverse side) pointing out the bottom; giving a cute little wiggly hem and avoiding the need to fold up and up again to make a proper hem.

I could make about a hundred of these - it took less than a few hours to make and that included a lot of fiddling and working out I wouldn't need to do again.  And the sheer delight was amazing - the hardest part was getting it back off her after doing a quick waist measure before I seamed the elastic together.  Am going to try and make another one in a double layer of tulle/gauze for dancing next.  I suspect it will be tricky (slippery fabric!) but she would be beside herself.

Meanwhile, back to the crochet...

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Top 5 - Hits of 2017!

Joining in with Gillian at Crafting a Rainbow to post a couple of reflective posts for 2017.

2017 was a funny sewing year for me - I pretty much didn't blog at all, and what I made was mostly pattern tests.  I think that reflects what felt like the busiest year yet and am trying not to beat myself up about all the stuff I didn't make that I wanted to!

2018 is hopefully going to be more considered making, especially as I have signed up for the Goodbye Valentino RTW Fast!  No clothes shopping for me...argh!

Without further ado - here are the garments I think were my five "hits" of 2017:

1.  Reece Shift Dress (Sinclair Patterns)


I LOVE this dress.  I don't like wearing dresses but wear this to work all the time.  It makes me feel smart and professional (even though it needs a press in the second picture!) and is really well suited to the Sydney climate.

As someone who recently swore off making dresses to try and find myself a true TNT, I might sneak in another versi…

Named Astrid Wrap Shorts - Pattern Test

I absolutely love the new collection from Named called Royals.  I was lucky to have the opportunity to test the Astrid Wrap Shorts, which is a two in one pattern of either shorts or full length wide legged pants.

Here are the versions on the Named site:


The pattern was clear and easy to follow.  The only tricky part was ensuring the place where the wrap starts is nice and neat.

I made my version out of some cream herringbone linen I bought in Tessuti Melbourne several years ago:

And here is the front:


back:


and side, where the tie is:


I love these shorts.  I am not sure the plain linen is the best fabric to use for visual impact, but they are super comfortable and a good weight for Sydney.

I did have a sizing issue in that they turned out quite a bit larger than expected, which means I need to pull the tie tighter and makes it look messy.  As this was a pattern test I would not take this as necessarily true of the released pattern, and I will confess that I haven't checked the fin…

Dumb and Dumber - or how not to make a Washi Dress...

[Note that I believe all the dumbness in this post is to do with my newbie status as pattern adjuster, some carelessness, some overconfidence and some just plain idiotic moves - not the Washi pattern!  I found the pattern itself really easy to follow and sew; and if you don't totally screw it up then it's quick to sew too!]

So like everyone else that moves, I really liked the look of the Washi dress / tunic.  I bought the pattern and then ummed and ahhed about the FBA part.

Dumbness #1:
Clearly, I have to accept that I always require an FBA.  Why would I think otherwise?  I guess partly it was the measurements on the pattern; but the advice was clear and for my circumstances, an FBA was needed.  So here is attempt 1 - it was supposed to be a muslin and then I started loving the fabric was gutted when it didn't fit.

Dumbness #2:
Making a muslin out of a fabric I liked, then being crapped off when it didn't fit.


Mmmmm squeezy!

Happily my friend Danika selflessly stepped…