Monday, August 29, 2011

Focus on the Head, and the Agony of Pleating - L.

This weekend I decided to work on finishing my skirt.  When last I had worked on it, there was not enough fabric so I made it shorter than I wanted with the plan of adding a 'tier' around the bottom to lengthen it.  Great plan in theory.  In fact, I found myself at one point thinking that I should wear a most spectacular hat to divert attention from the disaster of my skirt.  Here's what went wrong:
  • I wasn't using a pattern, but rather a cutting diagram, so...
  • I didn't have pattern pieces but had to lay out the skirt and measure
  • There is no obvious right and wrong side to the fabric
  • The fabric is slippery
  • I STILL didn't have enough fabric (though I should have had)
  • When the hem curves were wrong I had to make little gores
I tried to lay it out correctly, and measure exactly.  I tried to get the curve correct.  I failed.  I ended up with a bunch of pieces with the correct length and the wrong curve.  When stitched together they were a lovely scalloped tier.  Oops.  I discovered this at the same time that I discovered that I had stitched some pieces right-sides together and some wrong-sides together.  This was after I scrounged up some lining material to use in place of the fabric I didn't have.  But I wasn't quitting.  Oh, no.  Then the top of the tier matched the skirt, but the bottom was 3 inches too narrow to maintain the seam line.  So I made small gores.  I measured carefully again, ripped apart and sewed both layers together to form the hem (this last tier is fully lined).  Then I pinned the tier to the bottom of the skirt, attempting to compensate for the scallops.  I tried it on.  It seemed to work.  Except for the 3 places that were longer that all the rest.  At this point, I give thanks for Greg who is a very careful and patient measurer.  It's sewn together and pretty much the same length all around when I'm wearing my bustle and petticoats. And I will not ever confess the ugliness that got me there.  Time to put on trim!  (Hides a multitude of evils).

And while I sat quietly attempting  to snatch a tattered victory from the jaws of defeat, my son was creeping through the yard in the early morning coastal fog, re-enacting the zombie apocalypse.  He popped in and reminded me 'focus on the head'.  Good advice.

I chose to trim my skirt with two layers of pleated satin ribbon, with a thin velvet ribbon over it.  It's a lot of pins.  More than I own.  I had to pin the pleats in stages, stitch them, and pin the next bunch.  And as I pinned the ribbon the skirt was pooling in my lap.  Ouch.  Bad plan.  Staring at all that dark brown for hours on end made me crave chocolate.  Here are two pictures showing a complete row and all the pretty pretty pins.  I will post a picture of the skirt with the polonaise soon.  Because the polonaise is getting close to finished too. 

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