Monday, January 4, 2010

#363 Stretchy Mermaid Skirt

I was gifted with this fantastic Mermaid skirt done out of rubber. And it looked awesome - 20 lbs. ago. I loved the design though and I needed a mermaidy costume for new years .... so of course at the very last min I was compelled to make one out of this stretch fabric I had bought to make a couple of work dresses. It was a medium to light stretch fabric with lots of stretch and drape.

I was gonna do my usually bunch of tiny drawing but this is complicated enough that will post a video... well as soon as I do the next skirt. Which will be pretty soon. Action Shots though of the one I made NYE coming very very soon.

I had researched pencil skirts before and found things like this:

Step 1
layout the dream skirt and rough trace out around the front and back, marking the darts and details but not the ruffle hem of course.

Step 2
Clean up the tracing a bit with a ruler. Take off the waist band etc. Fold each piece down the middle and make sure they are roughly true side to side and front to back.

Step 3
Math.. it is time for math. Take your measurments:
  • High waist
  • low waist
  • Hip
  • From High waist to Hip
Step 4
Now you want to modify your rough pattern. The goal is to have a front and a back piece were the back piece is about 2 inches wider than the front.
So lets us my really numbers and I will show you the math I used:
My high waist was 44/2=22
My waist was 46/2=23
My hips was 56/2=28

Now I am going to take two inches from that number and give it to the back of the skirt to get my measurements For example with the numbers above I would get

High Waist 20
Waist 21
Hip 25

High Waist 24
Waist 25
Hip 30

Now take that math to the paper and make it so... you increase (or decrease) the skirt width by adding to the middle where you folded it in half.

Measure twice and mark it out and then follow the final desired lines of the skirt with a sharpie. Transfer darts at this point.

Lay down a clean piece of tracing paper over your pattern and trace out the pattern for the skirt front and skirt back. Be careful and mark each piece so you know what is what. You will notice that at this point that I didn't mention seam allowances. I should have. I only add seam allowances to the top and hem and I do it at the time of cutting. I leave them out of the sides as we are using stretchy material and we want a fitted look.

Step 5

Now the mermaid tail is a bit harder to explain. I did it mostly by tracing and modifying but you want a shape like this front and back.

Keep in mind you can cut it from two pieces instead of one big perfect piece. I did. The name of the game is to ensure that the radius of both inner circle cut outs equals the circumference of the bottom of your skirt when added together. ;) Do this on paper or out of scrap fabric first. Cause you will catch mistakes way, way easier.

Step 6
Cut out the front and back using the pattern you made. Add a .5 inch seam allowance to the bottom and top of the skirt. Sew the side seams.

Step 7
Try it on and mark the darts in the back or ensure that the marks you transffered are in the right place. It you changed the size on the piece they will most likely have to be moved.

Mark them then sew them.

Step 8
Next make your waist band. It should be one piece of cloth 5 inches wide and as long the circumference of the top of your skirt or your high waist (that should almost perfectly the same right now) if they are different use the smaller of the two. Add and inch.

Now sew the short end of the band together so you have a big loop of fabric.

Fold it in half with the raw seam to the inside. Fold it in half and mark the center front of the waist band then fold again to mark the center sides. Pin it to the skirt by placing the seam in the waist band at the center back of the skirt. The mark you made for center front at the center front of the skirt and then the center sides roughly at the side seams. You should be doing this with the skirt right side out.

Sew on the waist band stretching the skirt a tiny bit evenly as needed You shouldn't get any ripples or ruffles when worn.

Step 9
Pin and sew on your ruffle

Finish as desired.

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