Next off the kiddy clothing production line is the pile in the middle.
For a simple tiered skirt this one took me embarrassingly long to complete.
Excuse #1: The Pattern
What pattern? Precisely.
So I ended up improvising as I go along. And being an indecisive type, this was not a pretty sight with many a redo and tweaks along the way…despite this being essentially 3 rectangular strips of fabrics!
Fabric & Notions Used
- Tobacco laser cut lacy polyester faux suede from Joann in the USA
- Golden orange polyester Silkytex lining from A-One Fabrics on Goldhawk Road, London
- Perfect Sew liquid stabilizer, Wash away plastic stabilizer
- 1″ knit elastic, So Sheer lightweight tricot interfacing
Excuse #2: Size Used
Obviously no standard sizing was involved in the making of this project.
My main criteria was the waistband / top piece has to be big enough for my niece’s hip (+ a bit for growth spurt) and once done small enough for her current waist but elastic enough for the aforesaid growth spurt (
or one too many scoop of ice cream). The lower tiers are basically multiples of the fabric width.
Length is where a lot of dithering comes in. Was knee-length too uncool? But too short a skirt will definitely get a veto from the parents. The skirt ended up a 17-1/2″, which I think is maybe 1-2″ above the knee. Fingers crossed.
Excuse #3: Changes Made
Now with no commercial pattern nothing counts as change right. But if I were to start with McCall 5920 A I would still have had to…
- Convert the fitted top band with zipper to elasticated waistband.
- Account for the sort-of-underlining (which was no walk in the park because of the free-floating tiers, especially as I didn’t want the top of the bottom tier to be so wide that any gust of wind would make her indecent) .
Excuse #4: Verdict on the Instruction
Yeah, the instruction – that would be mine – was pretty poor. Good thing I’m no indie pattern designer then! ;o) Too many back & forth between sewing machine & overlocker, brown threads & orange threads, brown on top & orange on bottom, and vice versa!
All 3 tiers are sort of underlined. “Sort of” because they’re not really basted to the shell & treated as one. I wanted the underlining to be free-floating as well, especially for the bottom tier. So underling & shell side seams were sewn separately. They were only treated as one when joining the tiers. Let me just say this (+ the aforementioned modesty preserver) complicate things t-r-e-m-e-n-d-o-u-s-l-y. Highly not recommended.
Because the cut lace is a bit scratchy, I decided to cut the elastic casing separately in lining fabric to make it more comfortable to wear. But I was a bit worried the thin lining might wear out too quickly. So I reinforced the casing lining with light-weight interfacing.
The fabric doesn’t come with scallop salvage. But I wanted scallops. The lacy pattern screams out for scallops. So scallops I will have. And of course the underlining being free-floating it must have its own scallops too. And of course the fancy scallop stitch that came with the sewing machine was not good enough: It was too narrow even if the length was adjustable to match the cut lace’s pattern repeat.
So a template was made. And fabric stiffened and double stiffened. And countless hours lost to rows and rows of manual satin-stitching. The result immediately after stitching doesn’t look half-bad. But once the stabilizers were washed out, the scallops were a bit underwhelming to be honest.
I suppose it gives the skirt a bit of Vivienne Westwoodish 16th century cut lash look, all rough & delicate at the same time. (
She says delusionally.) Of course any fashion reference would sadly be lost on a Tweeny Bopper. Poop.
Would I sew it again / Would I recommend it to others
Would I! Not for a growing kid I won’t! Maybe for myself, if I’m high on paint fume or something.
It is awfully labor intensive. But I already have a few styling ideas for one my size! Country-western… Aforementioned VW cut & slashy… Maybe even classy pearls, mohair, & pumps. (No wonder kids thinks home sewn fashion are so uncool – we sew for our own grownup taste after all! ;-)