Sunday, March 6, 2011

Tiers not Tears

Time for some skirts!

I had not intended to sew a 3-tiered skirt, but some fabric in the stash not only volunteered but insisted to be sewn!

My original intention was to do a two-tiered skirt with denim as the top tier.  I had that, a dark wash with some lycra.  Then as I went looking for a good complement, I saw not only the yellow calico with a delicate navy floral motif but also some navy shirting fabric that has a tiny white windowpane effect.

The colors were perfect to arrange the tiers from heaviest weight fabric at the top progressing to the yellow for the bottom ruffle.

This skirt was constructed solely with the serger.  First I serged one side seam on all tiers.  The hem was a rolled hem with navy thread, the tiers were gathered using the differential feed and then sewn together as a separate step.  The waistband was cut the same width as the entire top tier, folded wrong sides together, and serged to the skirt.

Next I threaded the elastic through the waistband, using some pieces of fabric as tabs on each end of the elastic so I had tails to work with and didn't worry about the elastic pulling into the waistband.  I secured the elastic to the tabs with a multi-step zigzag so that it would not pop off.  Doing this allowed me to pull the elastic just up to the seamline but not into it.  I could now serge the side seam without serging over all the layers of fabric plus heavy layers of elastic.  

The complementary shirt planned, cut, but not yet sewn, is a little blouse of the yellow calico.  More about that later, if when it is sewn.

Now for the other skirt.  This is a little of an inside joke.  Long time ago when we first tested the tiered skit pattern, for test fabric we had yards and yards of a nice stable jacquard in shades of a jade green and fuschia pink.  I used those, alternating, so we could see the seamlines clearly in pictures.  Jokingly I called it my "watermelon" skirt.

Boy was I surprised when I saw garments of the same fabric (I swear it was) in the Coldwater Creek catalog!  I have to say I love the fabric.

So I decided I had to made a watermelon skirt for the display.  Sewing for children and dolls is great because they don't need yardage, they only need scraps!  For this skirt I chose the two-tiered skirt.  However, the default horizontal line on these tiers is at the halfway point between waist and knee.  I've never seen a slice of watermelon that has as much pink as green.

I shortened the overall length of the skirt and then used the tools to change the proportion of the layers.  I found some wide white lace that I'd picked up on a roll (probably on clearance for $1) that had a gathered edge.  I wanted flat lace.  Scissors to the rescue!  I cut a length the width I needed for the little girl's skirt, and then trimmed a narrower piece for the doll. 

Instead of a rolled hem, I did a shirttail hem for this skirt.  I did use the serger's differential feed to gather the bottom tier.  The waistband/elastic was also handled the same as for the other skirt.

So -- do you think the watermelon skirt will be a trend for spring?

Good thing I didn't have a teardrop shaped stitch on my machine or I might have gone over the top by adding some black seeds to the top of the skirt.  Still on the lookout for a good fabric to use as a top.

No comments: