Purfylle: Skirt dramas

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Skirt dramas

The bodice went together so smoothly, the skirt on the other hand is fighting me every step of the way.

The fabric shifts and stretches and generally refuses to behave. I wrangled with it and it was almost together, the front panels and gores were stitched, the lining stitched to the front opening, the back panels were stitched and all that needed to be done was join the front and back panels and then add the lining for the back. This is when it became apparent that it just wasn't going to work. It would have to be flat-lined.

The lining was a different width to the woolen stuff and there was only just enough fabric as it was so I really hadn't planned on having to try to cut the lining to match the seams of the outer fabric, but there was no getting around it, so I ripped out all the seams and started over. By some miracle I managed to get the lining cut out with the seams matching the outer fabric.

I haven't flat lined anything with such large pattern pieces before and I was worried it wouldn't work, especially with the stretchy shifty woolen stuff; it didn't want to work, it took a few attempts to get the two layers of each panel to behave properly. I suspect even with basting spray (which I didn't have) there would have been problems due to the stretch in the wool and the non-stretch lining.

I clean finished all the panels and then stitched them together. Of course this had problems too, the clean finished seams overlapped at the gores and were far too bulky, so out came the seam ripper again and they got a variant on a Hong Kong seam, which reduced bulk admirably but also played games with the bias cut seams. I'd had enough by then, they're just internal seams on a sample after all, so what if they're not perfect? That's the whole point of a doing a sample isn't it? More then just a mock up for checking the fit, a sample will help determine if there are problems other then fit that need to be addressed such as order of work, seam finishes, appropriateness of fabric, linings, interlinings and trims, finishing techniques and anything else that might pop up along the way. Maybe you use different terms for these but that's how I differentiate.

So I've finally got a skirt, I put some pleats in with the ruffler foot and basted them to the bodice - gee they looked good! But did they work? NO! No they didn't. I've ripped them out too and put the project aside for now.

So what to do? One problem is that I've already finished the first couple of inches of the front of the bodice to just past the lacing strips (why did that problem not occur to me earlier?). Now I could finish the skirt from the lacing strips to the point with bias binding and attach it somehow around the lacing strips to the point on the inside, with the rest enclosed by the bodice lining. Or I could finish the bodice separately and then cartridge pleat the skirt then attach it to the bodice, which will take forever and I really just want to get this finished and onto doing it properly in some nicely behaved fabric and in the right order. Or I could finish the skirt as a separate garment, which begs the question of if it should be left as being open at the front or not but does mean I don't need to worry about getting the waistline shaping matching on skirt and bodice.

Well the good thing is that I now have lots of idea's for variants.

Have you ever had a project that you thought was going to be really straightforward give you the run around and drive you a little crazy?


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