Sunday, March 9, 2008

Flirt, The Skirt Patterns

Preparing the final draft of the skirt overlay and bottom band pieces took four hours. Since I wanted pleats in these pieces, I had to split the original draft and add width for the pleats to fold under. We're talking a lot of pleats, people. Here is one section that's finished:

See how shiny that pattern piece is? That's because I used a whole roll of tape on the thing. This is meticulous work, and it is WORK. It's one of those things that once you get it figured out in your head, you must do it quickly before the vision fades. It's also best to do it when you don't have any distractions at all, like a barking dog or barking teenagers. Once you start you need to be able to get the piece finished. You know, keep at it, and don't decide to quit in the middle of it and go work on the income taxes or something.

At any rate, I finished the overskirt pieces and cut them out. I added a purple band to my muslin so I could visually check the proportions of the bottom band on the overskirt. Here it is all pinned and pleated to the underskirt section:

Can you tell my husband wants me to go work on the income taxes?

Comments? I just love a little input now and then!


Nancy said...

I like this dress so far! I have a question concerning pleats. Is there a formula for calculating fabric width and plead dimensions?

Lets say I sew two 36 inch sections together to make a simple gathered skirt. I want the top to be 26 inches around. Do you know what method I should use to pleat a 70 inch width into 26 inches?

I can't quite figure it out. I have make pleats before, but they were either from a pattern or trial and error. Your opinion would be appreciated!

Yay for word problems!

Jo said...

The formula for calculating fabric width for full pleats is 3 times the top width of the pleat. If the top of the pleat is one inch wide, you should allow two inches for the underneath of the pleats. This 3 times rule is not absolutely necessary, it just makes the best pleats! Just measure the length of material to be pleated, work out how many pleats you need and the top width of each pleat, eg if a waist is 20 inches, make 20 x one inch pleats = 20 inches. To calcuate how much you can put under the pleats take this 20 inches from the length of the material width, then divide the remainder by 20 and this is what is left to put under the pleat ( call it measurement "A", and it has to be folded in half to make the pleat). From the edge of the material leave a seam allowance, then put in an upright pin one inch away (or what ever width you want your pleats) this is the "top" of the pleat. Then use measurement "A" and put in a second pin, then the "top" of the pleat measurement. Repeat until you have gone right across the width of the material. If it doesn't work out exactly, readjust your measurements or cut the excess bit off but not until you have pinned all the pleats in place and remeasured the waistline!! You could make the last few pleats a bit bigger or smaller underneath if the finished waistline measure isn't correct.

In the example above, take 26 inches from the 70 inch width = 44 inches. This is all that is allowed for the underneath part of the pleats. Divide 44 inches by the number of pleats (eg, make 26 x one inch pleats for a skirt) = 1.692 inches. As this is almost 1.7 inches just use the above rule and first leave a seam allowance (it seems as if you are going to use half inch seams), then put a pin one inch away (top of pleat), next pin "almost" 1.7 inches, then one inch for the "top" of the pleat, then the "almost" 1.7 inches, until you have pins all round the waist line.

Also I love the asymetrical neckline with the cute pleated collar, but I think the size of the neckline is too big for the age of the child you are making it for. It would look ok with a t-shirt or skivvy underneath, but if a sun frock it would look better with a higher (smaller) neckline.