Satin is a fray-tastic, heartless, bitch.
Oh, and I made a fairy skirt.
But have I mentioned that satin suxxors?! It is possible that will be said a few more times during this post.
Anyway, I did a short pinning session to get ideas for my skirt a few weeks ago. What I actually made this week is, in my opinion, very different. I still liked the one I pinned, but at least part of the difference in what I made and what I pinned stems from my inability to cut fabric prior to pinning things on Deirdre. And so I began the skirt by cutting.
Well really, I began by measuring. I didn’t use a pattern, but I knew I wanted the skirt to sit lower on my waist, underneath my corset. I planned to use an elastic band to hold it on, and wound up going with 2″ elastic. Anyway, I measured the spot on my lower waist (upper hips?), and then measured a piece of elastic to a comfortable fit there as well.
I did the cutting in layers. I began with a shiny, silver satin. I cut a bunch of triangular, curved, and petal shaped fabric pieces,and laid them out, slightly overlapping on my table. Then I zigzag stitched the edges of the sating, because even though all I had done was cut the pieces, it had already frayed like half an inch. Gah, why does satin DO that?! It sucks!! Anyway, I made sure the length (circumference) of the pieced together skirt waist matched my measurement from earlier, and I basted the pieces together. Then I did the same sort of process with an ice blue matte satin. Some of the blue pieces were placed on the outside of the silver, and others on underneath the silver. All of the blue parts were placed to maximize coverage of myself. Again, I zigzagged the edges before pinning these pieces onto the skirt and basting. The final cuts of fabric were from a sheer white organza that was peppered with crystals and sparkles. Unlike the satin, this fabric does not fray easily, and so I did not zigzag the edges prior to folding it into the skirt design.
In case you were wondering, this is the amount of fraying you could see on the pieces of satin AFTER I zigzag stitched them. I am certain that I will have to unload a bunch of fray check on the many, many edges of this skirt. Le sigh.
As you can tell, I didn’t take a lot of pictures of this early process with the skirt. The more interesting parts of this journey happened after the initial pieces were together.
Prior to actually attaching the waistband, I decided to add a little bit more decoration. The first decorations I added were some crystal bead strands that I placed on fishing wire. The bottom most crystal piece was either a crystal snowflake shaped bead or a small icicle (like the ones I put in the crown). Then I knotted the fishing wire a few times and stuck on small crystal spheres like I used on my necklace. I varied the length of the different strands. Then I had to figure out how to connect fishing wire to the fabric in a way that was going to hold. I started to tie another loop at the top of the wire, but left it open short of finishing it. Then, within the seam allowance for the waistband, I used my machine to stitch over the fishing line, securing it. I finished tying the knot in the wire after the stitching was done. This secured it well, and when I finished attaching the waistband it would be secured even further inside that casing.
Above is a sample of how the top of the fishing wire was stitched to the seam allowance. In the picture, I’ve already completed the knot after the stitching.
And below, there is a close up of some of the dangles hanging on the skirt.
Ultimately, they will be pretty hard to see from far away, but I am still pretty happy with the falling snow look I think I achieved with this. Two additional notes here – (1) I also added some ribbon to the skirt, as you can see it hanging near the right side of the image, and (2) I did NOT put these dangles all the way around the skirt because frankly, it would NOT feel good to sit on them.
The final step was attaching the waistband. I cut a piece of fabric out of the blue satin, sewed the ends together, and attached it first to the inside of the skirt. After some ironing, I stitched down the outside of the waistband, leaving an open spot for me to insert the elastic. After elastic was pulled through, I stitched the waistband shut. Easy peasy. As you can see, there is a good bit of gathering that was accomplished by the elastic, which hopefully adds to the feathery fairy look of the final skirt.
And here’s a look at the finished skirt.
I still have work to do on the wings, crown, and the separate pick-up piece of the skirt, but for now, here is what things look like. Also, you can see on the arm of the chair nearby, that I have purchased some gloves to wear with this costume (yay, Amazon!). It is possible that this is one of the less problematic skirts I have ever made. Well except for the whole satin thing. Maybe I will use less patterns for skirts in the future. You may not be able to tell from the picture, but I did make the skirt higher in the front than in the back, like the recent dress I made with a high-low skirt.