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Conversational Threads

Modifying chic flowing skirt – doable?

AmyC | Posted in General Discussion on

I was thinking about the chic flowing skirt in this month’s Threads.  I’m expecting, and  I think the skirt could be easily extended into a dress or jumper.  Instead of forming a yoke at the hip, I would cut a simple sleeveless bodice out of fusible webbing, then pleat and fuse the fabric onto that.  I’d line the bodice and finish off the neck and sleeve openings with a bias binding.  The pleats would be stitched down at the bodice, but flow over my stomach and hips.

Does this seem like a workable idea? Do you think the end product would be flattering, or would I look like a mama in a mumu?

 

Replies

  1. CarolFresia | | #1

    I think it would work, from a technical standpoint. From an aesthetic one, it's up to you! In the right fabrics (very soft and light, and probably you'd want to keep the colors and prints very close so the overall effect was fairly uniform) I'll bet it would be very comfortable. At a certain point, of course, pretty much anything you wear that's not actually made with spandex will look a little like a mu'u mu'u--and that's not necessarily bad!

    Since we're on the subject of this skirt, I'm going to attach a photo of me wearing mine. I sewed the seams with a serged rolled hem, and pleated the skirt so that the seams are on the outer edge of the pleats. You'll see that I added a ribbon to stabilize the waistline (it's not that white in real life--the camera brightened it up a lot), and I left the top and bottom edges raw. Now that I see the photo, I think I might cut off the curly little serger tails. I kind of liked those at first, but I'm less sure of them now. This one's made of silk chiffon, and is as light as a feather. Amy, if you can find similar fabric, I think you'd LOVE wearing a dress like this.

    Carol

    1. Jean | | #2

      Carol I took the liberty of helping you to your feet. :)You look very pretty in that skirt.

      1. CarolFresia | | #3

        Thanks, Jean! I forgot to do that when I resized the photo. I see I'm also a bit out of focus, but that's to be expected. I usually am. At least my eyes are open, which happens maybe 10% of the time in photos.

        Carol

        1. Jean | | #4

          The blur is my fault I think.  I forgot to use my sharpening tool before I saved it. To my aging eyes, everything is slightly blurry anyway.

          1. CarolFresia | | #5

            Same here--I maxed out my contact lens prescription and have been forced to wear glasses all the time now. Thank heavens for needle-threaders, something I used to scorn!

            Carol

          2. SewTruTerry | | #6

            Carol I agree about cutting off or at least shortening the serger threads.  As far as the needle threaders are concerned I bought one too it is called the MAG EYES.  It seems that it is the only way I can thread any hand needle other than the crewel needle.  I do however use my needle threader on my machine all of the time and it is a real God send.  After seeing the picture of you in the skirt I think that I will have to make one for myself. 

          3. CarolFresia | | #7

            Go for it, Terry! It's a lot of fun to sew, and easy to change and adjust as you go along. I think I'll have a Fray-check festival, stop up all those serger ends, and chop off the little danglies this weekend.

            Carol

          4. Jean | | #8

            Did you have to go out and buy fabric or was that all from your stash?

          5. CarolFresia | | #12

            I actually did buy the fabric specially for the skirt--I got it from fabric.com, which had a number of terrific silk chiffon coordinate prints on sale for something like $5.95/yd. I bought a yard each of 6 prints in blues and browns, and once I'd straightened the ends and made the strips, I had enough for a skirt for me, one for my 5-year-old, and some leftovers for her doll.

            When I made this, I was in a hurry, so I just tore the strips--some on the crosswise grain, but most on the lengthwise grain. Since I knew I was going to serge the seams, I didn't mind the ragged edges, but there were a lot of spider-webby threads all over the place for a while! If I had a large cutting mat at home, I would have rotary-cut the strips instead.

            Carol

          6. raven99 | | #13

            I'm not a big fan of the unstructured look mostly because it just wouldn't work for me at all, so I've never tried anything with raw edges. I'm also the practical type and when I see garments with raw edges I often think, sure it looks ok hot off the sewing machine, but what will it look like after its been washed, or even dry-cleaned?There was a Threads article a while back on some young, "hip" designer whose clothes featured unfinished edges. Personally I thought the look was kind of "bag lady revisited", to begin with and I couldn't help but wonder what a mess it would be after washing. Or maybe these clothes are so trendy that you can really only wear them a few times anyway.Seriously though, what happens to all those raw edges after you wash the garment? Don't they end up looking gawdawful?

          7. CarolFresia | | #14

            I guess it depends on the garment and the fabric. In the case of this skirt, I'll handwash it carefully, and trim off any dangling threads that occur. Since the strips are narrow, there really aren't a lot of long threads hanging down most of the time. And it's long enough that if I get tired of the raw edge, there's plenty of room to add a rolled hem, and even to bind the waist edge.

            Carol

      2. WillGeorge | | #21

        Jean.. I just loved that post!

    2. mem1 | | #9

      S0  thats what you look like ! Love your skirt. I think you are right about the tails . I think that with the unstructred look its important to know when to stop.

       

    3. TSews | | #15

      Carol,

      I LOVE your skirt!  I don't have my issue of Threads yet.  It's interesting I know of a site that's selling a skirt for $148 that's identical to the one you've made.  I really like the deconstructed look. 

    4. sewwhat | | #16

      Ok, I love this skirt idea and yours looks great.  I am living in Hong Kong and have all these great lightweight silks.  I bought several lightweight silks and am having difficulty cutting them.  I cut with a rotary cutter on the crossgrain and when I hold up the strip it looks like a wave.  Any suggestions to help with my fabric cutting.  I really want to make this skirt.

      Cheri

      1. CarolFresia | | #17

        Cheri,

        Do you mean that the line you cut isn't straight, or that once the strip is cut, the edge is slightly fluted or "lettuced"? If the line is straight, you can just press out any fluting. If you're having trouble cutting a straight line, because the fabric shifts (a common problem with slithery, lightweight fabrics), you might be able to actually tear the strips. If you do, you'll have a bunch of long threads to deal with, but you'll get a good, straight edge. Some people recommend using spray starch to give unstable fabrics more body before cutting and sewing them; you could try this as well, if you intend to wash the skirt later.

        On the other hand, if the wavy edge is minor, don't stress out about it, as long as the strip is otherwise on-grain. As long as the seam you sew is straight, the uneven edges won't really affect the drape of the finished skirt.

        Carol

        1. sewwhat | | #18

          Thanks Carol, that worked perfectly!  A good lesson learned.  My strips were wavy after cutting with a straight edge and using a rotary cutter as the grain was not staying straight.  Tearing turned out to be the only solution as the wavy strips were not useable.  Those will be come hair scrunchies :)

    5. WillGeorge | | #20

      I just loved that post! Horizontal,,, How wonderful... I think ya got the Image/Page size backwards! Like in 90 degrees!NO I am not a pervert.. I just loved the picture~

      Edited 8/10/2005 12:37 pm ET by WillGeorge

  2. mem1 | | #10

    I like the idea but I would use shirring elastic in the bodice instead of the fusable interfacing I say this because your bust will expand and if you use elastic it will give you a little shape instead of the bust forming a shelf with the fabic falling off the end .I think the pleated stripes would look lovely though especially in a very light fabric.

  3. mem1 | | #11

    Hello again Iwas thinking about this again and wondering if you did make it with the fusable backing whether you would make up your fabric first and then cut out the bodice and then you could include darts and some shaping etc.Maybe you could actually cut it as an empire style and then controll the fullness of the skirt thus avoiding the muimui effect?

  4. WillGeorge | | #19

    chic flowing skirt ... My wife did that but just really 'shorts that Looked kike a skirt'..
    God I loved her and made me mad!

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