Friday, May 31, 2013

Foiled by the Time Zones

The rules say that the review with a photo must be posted by 11:59 PM of the day the contest ends...as the time stamp on the reviews is Eastern Time, I missed the deadline by the time it takes to post the review. I actually finished pulling the basting out of the skirt at 10:50 central, but the clock chimed 11 as I was uploading the photos.  So I did not get to enter my cotton plisse project in the natural fibers contest after all.  But I may even go ahead and write up a review, even though it won't count for the contest.  I haven't posted a review in ages...        But, well, who knows how long the skirt would've languished without a deadline, even if I missed it.  So I'm glad I pushed through; I need another Hippie Earth Mother Maxi Skirt in the wardrobe.  It looks all fancy schmancy because I have a silk top with it that I wore to an awards dinner tonight (hence the missed deadline; the program went a bit long...).  If I put on a tank top I will definitely have the hippie groove happening.

Anyway, this is a very freestyle skirt.  The only pattern I used at all was the pocket that I borrowed from another skirt, and then altered because I forgot that the pocket has to be attached only to the yoke of the skirt.  So I had to curve the edges up so that all the pocket seaming was within the seam allowance/elastic casing boundaries.  The pockets themselves actually hang below the yoke.  So...if anyone else wants to make an Earth Mother Hippie skirt,  here are the basics:

1.  The whole thing is based off of the yoke piece.  Finished, the circumference needs to be the hip measurement (or tummy measurement, if you've got that post-menopausal tummy thing going on and your tummy measures more than your hips) plus 2 - 4 inches of ease, depending upon the fabric and your preference.  I think I have about 4" of ease in this one.  The depth  of the yoke is entirely your preference.  If you add pockets, you need to have  enough room to attach the pocket; if you don't want pockets, then pretty much anything goes.  The yoke should be cut on the straight of grain; the rest of the skirt is bias, but a square cut yoke will avoid that weird bumpy stuff that can happen just below an elastic waistband on a bias skirt.  If you have a co-dependant relationship with pockets like me,  use your favorite in-seam pocket pattern.  Just make sure that all the pocket construction can be contained in the yoke.

2.  You can add as many tiers below the yoke as you want.  The secret is that each tier must be 1.5 times the circumference of the tier to which it is gathered.  You can make your tiers all the same width or you can vary them; I increased the width of each tier by about 2" as they go down.  Plus, you want to add it all up and make sure that it will end up being the length you wish.   This is a lot of math, and you need to work it out before you start cutting, not forgetting to add seam allowances, hem allowance and the casing for your elastic.  The gathered tiers are cut on the bias.  You can use your favorite method for doing this; you can make patterns and then cut or you can just wing it with a ruler and a rotary like I did.  The short edges are on grain (it should be 45 degrees; my graphics skills are not so hot) so that your joining seams will be on the straight grain; they'll be slanted in the skirt but there won't be any distortion of those seams.  
I used 4 tiers, plus the yoke.  The bottom circumference of my skirt is something like 108" around.  If you use more tiers than me, that bottom measurement will also increase.

This skirt uses a lot of fabric. ;-)

3. You can use all the same fabric or various fabrics for your tiers; I alternated the dominant stripe so there's a sort of zig-zag going on between the tiers; that *might* show up if you click the photos to enlarge them.
I will not say whether or not the zig-zag was in the original plan.  If you're one of my regular readers, you know the answer to that one. ;-)

 Not going to go into details on how to sew it; it's a lot of gathering, a narrow hem, an elastic waistband. Optional pockets.  Use your favorite techniques.


4) Enjoy.

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