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From Cosplay to Gala with Marcy Harriell

Marcy Harriell's latest maxi dress includes the faced hem technique she discovered during an eleventh-hour skirt-making session. Photos by Jack Deutsch

Editor’s note: In Threads #215 (Fall 2021), Digital Ambassador Marcy Harriell shares a clever and quick method for sewing a faced hem on a full skirt. Necessity is the mother of invention—find out how Marcy invented her technique. Take it away, Marcy.

Cosplay overload

Summer was coming to a sweltering end, and the fabric of our existence was made of actual fabric. Cosplay fabric, to be exact. Superhero costumes, in various stages of completion, had taken over our small Manhattan apartment. They were spread out on the floor, exploding from stuffed suitcases, dangling from floor lamps. We kept a narrow path of wood cleared to give access to the bed, the bath, and the kitchen. However, we didn’t do much cooking, as temperatures had been in the high 90s since July.

During this heat wave, Rob, my ever agreeable partner in crime, ended up in a gold basketweave pleather jacket, PVC elbow-length gloves, denim coated in multiple layers of acrylic paint, and a shoulder-length wig. Suffice it to say, this was a style departure. My superhero deserved a prize for keeping his cool in the clutter of that summer, and I was determined to give it to him, in something a little more his taste.

Rob Harriell in Aquaman costume
Rob Harriell in a custom Aquaman cosplay outfit created by Marcy Harriell. Photo by Dylan Osborne.

Transition to fall gala wear

The gentler temperatures of September were on the horizon, heralded by New York City Ballet’s fall gala. With the cosplay completed, and a week to sew, I wasn’t about to make a tux. But I could provide a classic white shirt with French cuffs and a black silk tie. Days quickly evaporated as I tweaked the fit for Rob’s sloping shoulders and athletic build, getting the cuff length just right for the suit…

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  1. BardAndArtist | | #1

    How does the hem facing work on a flared skirt? I can see how it would work on a straight skirt.
    Wouldn't a flared skirt facing cut from the hem need to be gathered anyway?

  2. carolfresia | | #2

    The facing is applied with the wider, convex edge sewn to the skirt's bottom edge. The curves are a very close match. The facing will be a little bit longer than the skirt's bottom circumference, but you take that extra length (which is probably less than 2 inches on most skirts) out at the seams. The concave edge (the bound edge in the top photo) ends up at the top of the facing, and lies flat against the skirt. Full instructions appear in Threads #215 (Fall 2021).
    Carol J. Fresia, Threads Senior Technical Editor

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