I mentioned in my last post that I’ve gotten TWO garments of my wardrobe finished…and here’s the second! Well, maybe.
It’s a self drafted dirndl skirt meant to be worn above the belly.
I’m still unsure of how I really feel about the finished product. I wrote this post before we took pictures. I have an opinion now post-photo viewing: HOLY WTF.
Another case of “What the hell happened here?” and proof that just because you’ve been sewing for more of your life than you haven’t doesn’t mean you’ll automatically make good choices. Shit happens, y’all. I’m not sure what’s worse, the fact that it’s blue, adding to the fact that I look like a tad whale-ish, or the definition of what little “waist” (well, upper ribcage) I have that causes the undeniable babushka boob overlap.
I’ll admit, there are some styling issues at play as well. As in, I was too lazy to change out of the sweater I was wearing. There was also a bit of body shape denial in play; I have never been an empire gal, because I know that the empire waist is a terrible thing for the large busted. The empire waist only enhances what other silhouettes help balance. I’m a little screwed on the empire avoidance front at the moment if I want anything sort of fitted, but the original balance issue is made exponentially worse by the epic pregnancy chest. Catch 22! And hey, it worked alright last time, so how was I to know it would go so wrong?
Bottom line: I’m not sure that I should include this with my wardrobe. In fact, I created a new tag in honor of this skirt: Ugh (because “meh” wasn’t strong enough). However, I’m not sure I’ll have the time or right fabric in my stash to replace it.
In theory, it’s a fun, cute idea for a skirt. I was mostly inspired by this blog post that I ran across. Seriously, go look at it and how cute she is in her skirt. I’ll wait.
OK, so now you see why I wanted to try this for myself? But, damn, my shit ain’t lookin’ skippy.
My biggest problem is that I was trying to work from stash (again; trying to pare that down so it all actually fits where it’s supposed to!) and my choices were either a heavier fabric with definite opacity and a lighter fabric that could cause the before-she-was-a-princess Princess Diana skirt-in-the-sun effect. I went with the former. WHY DID I DO THAT?
Since I chose the heavier fabric, which is a double knit from JoAnn (I think it’s rayon, polyester or cotton, and spandex) I really should have pleated the fabric into the waistband, but I didn’t. Instead, I stuck with my original idea and it made for some VERY dense gathering. So much so that it almost didn’t fit into the waistband (with a 4:1 gathering ratio, it’s no wonder).
My drafting methods were really simple:
For the waistband, I measured my underbust, multiplied by .8 (so, 20% smaller) to account for stretch (YMMV depending on the stretch of your fabric) and added a 3/8″ seam allowance to each edge for the length. I decided I wanted a 2″ tall folded waistband with a 3/8″ seam allowance, so I cut it 4 3/4″ tall.
For the skirt, I decided I wanted it to be 26″ long, but I knew I would need an accommodation for my belly. So, I cut one full width at the 26″ length for the back, and cut the front at 28.5″, allowing 2.5″ for going over the bump. Then, at the top of the skirt (instead of the bottom; wanted to try something different than the last time), I cut a curve that dipped down to 26″ at the side seams, like so:
After sewing the skirt side seams together, I sewed 2 lines of gathering stitches (3 would’ve been better for more control, but what I did worked out fine) and gathered them into the waistband, which I’d sewn the ends of and folded over. The gathering took the longest of any in the whole process because of the sheer volume.
After stitching, I tried the skirt on and it was so heavy that it just kind of hung in the back. To counteract this, I opened up the back center inner waistband seam and popped some 1″ elastic inside. No more sag! It’s the little things.
I didn’t bother hemming the skirt because I don’t think this fabric with fray. In any case, I’ll find out after I wash it for the first time. If I need to hem it, I need to hem it, but until that becomes apparent, I’m not doing it. :P
So, yeah. That’s how I got ‘er done. Not that my rant is going to make you want to make one of these. But hey, at least I gave it a shot. Failure and disappointment are a part of life.
And now, to ease the pain from having seen/read all of that, here’s Oscar. Also because you haven’t seen him much in a while.