UFO Revisit 1: Taffeta Bird & Blossom Pleated Skirt

After wrestling with the sloper and losing, I decided to put that aside and attack my piles of UFOs instead. That’s UnFinished Objects as Frabjous Couture calls it.

Step up, Ms Rustly No-Breathing Skirt.

Remember this atrocity?

Not only does it strangle my middle and make my torso look matronly, it also itches the hell out of me with its plasticky zipper stops. I made the mistake of not sewing these into the waistband seam allowance. There were also weird tugs and pulls here and there. In short, unwearable.

And after a tweak here a tweak there?

Et voilà, a tad better. Just.

I totally redid the pleats and waistband. The latter is now more like 3/4″ thick. I don’t feel like a Square squatting over a Trapezoid anymore. The pleats are now angled to flare out over my Lager-than-I-thought hip. So there’s the unsightly diagonal drag lines zapped. Sweet.

This last tweak was a big lesson for me – and you too: same technique + different cloth = maybe  not as you thought. Now I so love forgiving potato sack cloth and hate, I repeat, hate stiff unyielding – and unforgiving – taffeta. Buy it at your (and my) peril.

In the process I lost a little bit of length. It moved the irritating zipper stops closer into the seam allowance, but I hacked off the plasticky zipper stop coatings anyway and blanket stitched over the end of the zipper coils with soft embroidery floss. You can never be too paranoid!

And good thing that I did too. For when I tried the skirt on, guess what, it’s still a bit too tight. It seems that (a) I’m in Absolute Denial about my expanding waistline, and (b) I was over-optimistic that 3/8″ ease would be enough, what with layers and layers of pleats and all.

In the end I had to trim off as many layers as I could. Gone the extra layer of stiff waistband interfacing seam allowance. Gone too are the seam allowances of the inner layers of the pleats – they are now left dangling below the waistband. I hoping the Fray Check and tacking them together will be enough to keep the skirt in one piece. We shall see if that again is wishful thinking.

And last but not least to be gone is the hem of the waistband self-facing. Instead of turning up and slip-stitching to the bottom edge of the waistband as I normally do, this time I extended the facing below the waistband and stitched in the ditch. So the facing hem isn’t caught in the waistband.

All this effort did eventually pay off and now I can breathe a sigh of relief. In the skirt. Phew.

And the final flourish

A few more stamens for a few more flowers…

…and few more feathers to send the birdy soaring

And a bit of wacky styling with home-made leopard mini-beret
for that OTT grand coming out party

1  down, 5 more to go!

Stay tuned.

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