Thursday, July 10, 2014

As-I-Sew, now with more pink fluff monsters!

A long, long time ago, when I was super into looking at lolita clothes, I bought several yards of pink organza to sew my own petticoat. I sewed some easier petticoats and bought others, thus the pink organza sat around in a box.

The last time I went to put on one of my shorter petticoats I noticed it wasn't giving me much poof at all. Upon closer inspection I found the tulle was a lot less stiff and crunchy than I remembered it. It's probably spent too much time crushed in the closet (how in the world am I supposed to store the half dozen or more petticoats I have? They need their own room).

This old petticoat would not do (side note: it was the first I ever made), so I pulled out that pile of pink organza. Organza petticoats are a lot harder to kill than tulle, though more work due to all the layers and fabric needed to get them fluffy. I hoped this wouldn't be too difficult since I have a ruffler foot, but man was I wrong on that one.

On ruffler feet and organza:
Organza shreds like it's its job.
Rufflers grip the edges of fabric, tearing into it with their little robot teeth.
Rufflers look like little smiling robots.

The experience quickly became a nightmare of getting organza caught in the ruffler and ripping out thread nests.

Alright then.
I didn't really know what I was doing, so the order in which I sewed everything could have been better. After sewing the two layers I made together I thought the petticoat still wasn't fluffy enough and added an extra ruffle close to the top of the bottom layer. This was kind of a hassle to add at that point because all the fluff gets in the way. Do not recommend.

The finished petticoat is two layers: A bottom layer that is three tiers and one extra ruffle sewn flat onto it, and a top layer that is two tiers (also fuller than the bottom one). All the ruffles are sewn together once with a straight stitch, zig-zagged on the edge, then sewn down flat in a "mock flat felled" finish. The vertical seams are french finished.

The petticoat  has a spandex drawstring waistband to avoid scratchy chiffon pressing into my waist, and to make size adjustment easier. The spandex on it's own was not strong enough to hold this up.

This is what the petticoat looks like worn normally on it's own and under one of my heavier skirts (the first cupcake skirt).

Because the bottom layer is smaller, it kind of squishes down some of the fluff when the petticoat is inside out and gives a slightly different shape.

Just for comparison, here's the skirt on it's own.

If you'd like to make your own petticoat, here's a sort of mini tutorial. This petti is 18" long and all the measurements include a half inch seam allowance. I have a 28" waist, for reference.

When I started, I wanted to do three tiers of gathering per layer of petticoat. My tiers weren't wide enough, so I'm giving you measurements for ones that would be. I switched to two tiers on the second layer because the three seemed unnecessary. This goes together like any "tiered skirt," which there is lots of tutorials for out there. The info here is mostly for figuring out the measurements.

Three tiered petticoat
  • top tier 9" by 2*fabric width
  • middle tier 7" by 3*fabric width
  • bottom tier 5" by 4*fabric width
Two tiered petticoat
  • top tier  8" by 2*fabric width
  • bottom tier 12" by 4* fabric width
I suggest doing either two or three layers of organza.

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