Sunday, November 9, 2014

This chiffon fabric sat in a pile on my floor for months.

I knew I wanted to make a ruffly skirt out of it as soon as I got it, but it's a pretty intimidating project because of all the hemming and gathering.

I took a while to figure out the easiest way to hem the chiffon. Eventually I settled on a serged rolled hem with wooly nylon thread. Wooly nylon thread is not twisted, so it spreads out and fills in some of the space between stitches. I hadn't done this before, but thought it would make a nice little border (and it's fast!) Once I decided on this, the skirt seemed less intimidating.

I didn't have a pattern (this type of skirt really doesn't need one since it's all rectangles) though I based the measurements on another skirt I own. They ended up as follows:

waistband 38" (with elastic 28")
first ruffle 54" (one width of the fabric)
second ruffle 108" (2 widths)
third ruffle 216" (4 widths)

each ruffle is 7" long and the overlap between them is  about 2".

I used a white base fabric for the ruffles. Since the chiffon is sheer, it creates light and dark stripes, which I really like.

The waistband is a simple elastic waistband.


These pictures show how the ruffles are constructed. Each layer is gathered together with a white strip, and the next layer is sewn to the bottom of the white strip, leaving the chiffon free at the bottom.

Here's a close up of that rolled edge. I followed the directions in my serger manual and it worked pretty much exactly how I wanted. I sewed the vertical seams in each layer first so I could hem longer strips continuously. I haven't washed this skirt yet, so I hope the chiffon doesn't pull away from the stitching when that happens. (I've had other rolled hems pull apart in the wash).

One problem I had with the skirt is that the top ruffle is too small. You can see what I mean in the photo above. When I spin around in the skirt the top layer kind of binds the ones below it in an unflattering way because it's not wide enough. This isn't a problem with the original skirt I used as a guide, so I was surprised when it happened. I assume it is because there is not enough difference between the waist and this ruffle, but I'm not completely sure. (Every layer is 2X the one above it, but this ruffle is not 2X the waist).

Action shot! This skirt is really swishy and fun to wear.

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