Monday, July 7, 2014

Can-can Skirt - Ruffles!

It's only been a couple of weeks but already I'm making progress on my skirt (And yes, I did put aside some other stuff I'm working on to do it).

The most tedious part I've come to find about this project is the repetition. The skirt base itself is made up of seven "wedges" which are from the same pattern piece.
You see all those small, curved lines? I then had to transfer all those lines to the seven pieces to mark the placement of the different ruffles.

Then there's the ruffles. Rather than take the ruffle pattern piece and pin, cut, repin, and cut continuously, I measured out the width of the piece and used my rulers and rotary cutter to quickly cut out the strips of fabric.
I then sewed all the strips together (using the selvage when possible). The one fabric that I ran into trouble with though was the black and white spade pattern. I had wanted to carefully cut it so that the print would be even along the fold and cut lines.
But then I ran into the problem that the pattern was printed cockeyed on the fabric. And by cockeyed, it's along the lines of a, "What the heck? Do they not know what a cross grain is?" Where one spade is on one end of the fabric, it's about 1 1/2" lower on the other side.
So when I started pinning and sewing, the warp was so bad, the strips started to do their own little thing on the ironing board.
Thankfully, an iron took care of that, but it definitely makes it harder to work with than the other fabrics.

So once all the strips were cut and sewn, the raw edges were pressed together. This is so the right side of the fabric will shown underneath the skirt at all times.
These edges I then overlock stitched together so they wouldn't come apart during the pinning process.
With the first row, I did my usual hand pin method where I keep breaking everything down in half and then pin. Because I'm working with a constant 1:1.5 ratio for the length of the ruffle strips, I got a feel for how big the gathers and was then able to just gather and pin and the rest of the ruffles.
This method is actually making things go a lot faster because I've managed to attach 5 rows within the last 10 days (Again, a lot of repetition). And this is where we are!
Now that I have half the ruffles on, I'm going to start the last few soon. However, the fabric will be reversed so that the white fabric is at the very edge to simulate a petticoat underneath the skirt (a feature of original can-can skirts). It's quickly turning into RUFFLE MADNESS! But it's so much fun that I can't wait for the skirt to be finished and to be able to try it on.