Saturday, November 26, 2011

Twirly Whirly Skirt (aka gathered tiered skirt)

The fabric was so fun, it just called to be made into a tiered skirt.

I determined the length of the tiers rather randomly.  "Let's see, why not make them all about four inches."
I forgot that as you attach gathering to another layer, you lose some of the length.  Glad I made it longer than I needed.

To determine the width I was much more precise.  Waist x 1.5 for the first tier.  First tier x 1.5 for the second tier.  Second tier x 1.5 for the third tier.

The first step is to sew each tier together into a circle.  Right sides together, I always have to remind myself. My fabric was rather fray-ey after I washed it, so I used the serger with this step, and then serged all the sides. LOVE SERGERS!

Then I gathered one side of the third tier.  Thanks goes to Dana of MADE for teaching me an easier way to gather.  Life is easier now!  

Then I sewed the third tier to the second tier.  It's important while sewing a gathered fabric to a straight fabric to hold it carefully as it goes through the pressure foot, so that the gathered part doesn't pucker and fold under the seam.  That's why I sewed the seam first before serging it.

Then I serged that seam. (Did I mention this was pretty fray-ey fabric for being cotton?)

Then it was time to gather the second tier and attach it to the first tier.
Last of all, I turned under enough fabric at the top of the first tier to make an elastic casing. 

I sewed a line the width of the pressure foot from the edge first, to make the top a cute little gather-look as well.  Then I sewed a second line with enough room for my elastic to fit in between the two.  The second line I didn't finish--I left a gap wide enough to thread my elastic through.  How many times have I forgotten to leave the gap to thread the elastic?  Well, let's just say plenty.  If you forget, there's always the unpicker. (Sadly, he's a good friend.)
I cut elastic the same length as Kewpie Doll's waist measurement and attached a safety pin to one end.  Then I threaded it through the casing, making sure that the other end doesn't slide through as well.  (You could pin the other end down, but I hate having pins around when I'm touching fabric.  I always prick myself.  Sleeping Beauty makes it sound romantic to prick your finger.  It's not.)  A narrow zig-zag stitch will attach the two ends together, and then you can finish that second seam around the elastic.

All that's left now is to twirl.

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