Monday, June 27, 2011
What Lisa Is Making Now
Right now I’m remaking the brown cotton skirt I bought for Steampunk. It was basically a 120 inch circumference tube with a drawstring. If you were wondering, this look is less-than-flattering for anyone, but particularly for those of us with a belly. I wanted to keep the fullness in the skirt but control the volume at the waist. In future I will show pictures of how I decided to cut, but since I’m catching up, here’s what I determined:
Take the whole thing apart. I have two rectangles 60” by 45”.
One piece is the back and is pleated (half inch pleats) up to half my waist size. I want to have a bustle under the back so I need to maintain the length somehow (yes, I’m tall). I have a plan, but it means I will need to salvage some fabric from the front half. I’m going to make what is basically a yoke that sticks out the back about 4 inches (mid-back) going to about half an inch at the sides. Since I haven’t made a proper bustle yet, I just have to hope this is going to work.
For the front, I did math to figure out how to make the top smooth and still have 60” at the bottom which included knowing how the angled cut would impact the hem. I cut an A-line where the top is half the width of my waist (both sides include a little wiggle room and seam allowances) and the bottom is 30”. From the remaining fabric, I cut two right triangles that are 15” across the bottom and the full height of the fabric (45”). I sewed the straight side to the A-line on each side of the front. Viola! 60 inches at the bottom. I realize this wreaks havoc with the hang of the fabric and with my hem. I would not have chosen to cut a skirt this way, however I’m determined to make this skirt work better and I have limited options. I will have to shorten the center front panel at the top to maintain any kind of decent drape to the fabric.
With the 15” by 45” I have left, I cut a waistband and two little flaps. I’ve decided to accommodate my flexible waistline by having the waist close on each side with hook and bar. I plan to have multiple bars. I also sewed flaps on to the sides of the back at the waist to reduce ‘gap’ in the side seam below the hook and eye.
I’ve sewn the yoke on onto the back pleated section. I’m pretty sure I need a bustle before I finish sewing the waistband just so I can get an idea if this is working.
First, a big shout-out to Alisa of Dragonfly Designs from whom I stole this idea. She is an inspiration in so many ways. I have decided to use plastic strapping tape for my bustle. At under $3 for 25 yards, it is priced right, and it seems incredibly tough. I will need to double the thickness because it’s a bit wobbly, and I made a mock up of the biggest loop to determine how much I wanted it to stick out. Turns out, not all that much! My 1.5 in twill tape just arrived so I’m getting to work. Hot glue and duct tape to the rescue.
6 27 11 – update on Skirt and Travel Bustle
After nearly launching the PS3 out the window when I couldn’t get Netflix to work right, I set to work watching BSG repeats. With commercials. I got the waistband on the skirt, and pinned the travel bustle together. I put it on and asked the men in the house how it looked. Spit shot. Clearly I achieved the ‘horse’s ass’ I had been attempting to avoid. This is confirmed by texting photos to Rob. Clearly any solution requires wine.
I pick up the bustle again, look at it, and decide to knit spats. That’s easy. And crochet trim. They’re mostly done and maybe cute. I’m not putting in the underfoot/shoe strap until I’ve chosen shoes. I think I will just use ribbon. (photo)
Travel bustle is taken apart and plastic is trimmed. This is better. Or maybe too small? This is an historical moment. I’m worried that my butt looks too small. And with that, I’ve decided I’m done. I will sew down the twill tape and trim the bustle, along with finishing all the detail on the skirt that needs to be hand sewn (hooks and eyes, snaps, whatever). The skirt will remain without a hem for now because I can’t do that myself. It’s a bit uneven due to the rebuild. (photo – bustle, and bustle with skirt)