May 05, 2010

Lisa: Plain Jane or Wacky Sailor?

I just finished making a skirt with this gathered skirt tutorial from Gertie's NBfBS (which I just wrote about a few days ago). I'll put more details about my skirt-making process after the jump, in case anyone is interested, but meanwhile I have a pressing question for you. A question involving yellow-gold rickrack. And a hot pink petticoat.

Exhibit A (sorry about my ironing issues):

Get the flash player here:

Exhibit B:

I love the skirt's shape with the petticoat, but is it too much? Is it the pink that makes it too much? Or is the pink only too much when combined with the yellow rickrack? I like the rickrack because it is oversized and fun and gives some interest (and a little more fullness) to the plain skirt, but does it make the previously perfectly serviceable skirt tacky and ridiculous? I was thinking about a possible nautical vibe to go with the navy skirt fabric, but then I sort of lost control in the aisle with the gold trims. Maybe the idea of trim is good, but the yellow rickrack is the wrong choice. Or maybe I should whole-hog it and throw some gold anchor buttons on the waistband. I fear I have completely lost perspective.

Here comes the important bit: please help me end this madness and vote on your favorite version!

One of the things I liked about Gertie's tutorial is that there is no pattern to buy! You just take your measurements and plot out some rectangles. Finding some 100% cotton fabric that was around $1/yard (in the form of a clearance duvet cover at Bed Bath & Beyond) meant an almost free sewing project--the exact opposite of my usual undertakings.

Since I didn't have much to lose, I also tried out a few new techniques and used THREE specialty presser feet for my machine! Of course, I jumped on the opportunity to use my new ruffler foot. I had to fiddle around with it quite a bit and do some test ruffles to figure out what settings I needed to make the 80 inches of skirt fabric gather down to the length of my waistband, so it probably didn't save me a lot of time in this case. I wrote down the settings on my homemade pattern, though, so next time should be faster.

I also used the blind hem foot that came with my machine for the first time (following this great tutorial). My hem isn't as invisible as I'd hoped, but I think that was the fault of user error and some possibly sloppy folding. When I get the technique down better, I think it will make a very professional-looking blind hem --great for big skirts that would take yards and yards of hand-hemming.

Lastly, I pieced together my crappy-but-functional plastic invisible zipper foot and set in a zipper with this tutorial. I don't know what crafters did before the internet.

Verdict: I will DEFINITELY be making this skirt again. It's a relatively easy, flexible project, with a cute, wearable result. Maybe next time I'll use a border print or a stiff taffeta.

Posted by lisa at May 05, 2010 04:37 PM
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