Sunday, 12 June 2011

Making the Fantail skirt... part one

A rather bleak and rain-filled Sunday afternoon seemed the perfect time to finally start the Fantail skirt.  I have chosen the full design, with a train.

Having cut the pieces, I pinned the each fantail to a back piece and sewed in place with a 1/2 inch seam.

Once sewn, I joined them together and sewed the full back seam, starting 8" down from the waistband (for the placket) and paying close attention at the point at which the top of the fantail was sewn in.

I am in many ways a lazy sewer - I don't mark notches, where a pin will do! - and could be accused of rushing, but this pattern is a dream to work with and in less than an hour after cutting out the pieces I was looking at the fantail of my skirt.  It came together so quickly, it was very tempting to just keep going...

but I want to be able to bore my grandchildren showing them this skirt! and so the placket and seams are folded and sewn in, I do love this finish.

In my aim to use as much as I can from my current stash, I chose a black satin bias binding for the ties which will be used to create the gathered point at the back of the dress.

and gold Christmas ribbon!  Not an entirely daft choice, it doesn't twist under the binding and has a slightly rough texture, which holds the gather well.  Once the skirt is finished, I don't plan to leave the ribbons adjustable; they will be trimmed and the bias sewn closed to prevent further fraying; no one but me (and you!) will know of my Christmas ribbons.  To pull the ribbon through the binding, I attached it to a wooden skewer, far easier to use than a needle.

And, I have a gather!  The illustration on the pattern shows a double gather, which I prefer...

and so I sewed a second layer of bias 3" above the first.

Moving to the front pieces, I sewed in the pleats; laziness again, I just pin, press and trust my straight-eye!

Pinned the two side panels to the front, and sewed them in place. 

I finished the seams and decided to call it a day; but couldn't resist quickly pinning it onto Miss G for a sneaky peak of what the final skirt will look like.

As a footnote: after a bit of thought, Miss G is permanently clad in corset and chemise and the rest of the costume made to follow those measurements.  The patterns, I presume, work from standard measurements, whereas with the corset and chemise on, my measurements are in places quite different.  I am, therefore, working to those measurements instead.
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