Kiddy Tiered Skirt Yeehaw

Next off the kiddy clothing production line is the pile in the middle.

For a simple tiered skirt this one took me embarrassingly long to complete.

Excuse #1: The Pattern

What pattern? Precisely.

Originally I was going to use the Burda 9547 view E skirt that I had already bought. But then I decided I’d prefer the tiers to be free-floating like the out of print McCall 5920 pattern.

So I ended up improvising as I go along. And being an indecisive type, this was not a pretty sight with many a redo and tweaks along the way…despite this being essentially 3 rectangular strips of fabrics!

Catalogue Shots

tiered-skirt_2-finished

Fabric & Notions Used

Excuse #2: Size Used

Obviously no standard sizing was involved in the making of this project.

My main criteria was the waistband / top piece has to be big enough for my niece’s hip (+ a bit for growth spurt) and once done small enough for her current waist but elastic enough for the aforesaid growth spurt (or one too many scoop of ice cream). The lower tiers are basically multiples of the fabric width.

Length is where a lot of dithering comes in. Was knee-length too uncool? But too short a skirt will definitely get a veto from the parents.  The skirt ended up a 17-1/2″, which I think is maybe 1-2″ above the knee. Fingers crossed.

Excuse #3: Changes Made

Now with no commercial pattern nothing counts as change right. But if I were to start with McCall 5920 A I would still have had to…

  • Convert the fitted top band with zipper to elasticated waistband.
  • Account for the sort-of-underlining (which was no walk in the park because of the free-floating tiers, especially as I didn’t want the top of the bottom tier to be so wide that any gust of wind would make her indecent) .

Excuse #4: Verdict on the Instruction

Yeah, the instruction – that would be mine – was pretty poor. Good thing I’m no indie pattern designer then! ;o) Too many back & forth between sewing machine & overlocker, brown threads & orange threads, brown on top & orange on bottom, and vice versa!

But let’s get to the key make-my-life-harder features of this skirt:tiered-skirt-1-construction

All 3 tiers are sort of underlined. “Sort of” because they’re not really basted to the shell & treated as one. I wanted the underlining to be free-floating as well, especially for the bottom tier. So underling & shell side seams were sewn separately. They were only treated as one when joining the tiers. Let me just say this (+ the aforementioned modesty preserver) complicate things t-r-e-m-e-n-d-o-u-s-l-y. Highly not recommended.

Because the cut lace is a bit scratchy, I decided to cut the elastic casing separately in lining fabric to make it more comfortable to wear. But I was a bit worried the thin lining might wear out too quickly. So I reinforced the casing lining with light-weight interfacing.

The fabric doesn’t come with scallop salvage. But I wanted scallops. The lacy pattern screams out for scallops. So scallops I will have. And of course the underlining being free-floating it must have its own scallops too. And of course the fancy scallop stitch that came with the sewing machine was not good enough: It was too narrow even if the length was adjustable to match the cut lace’s pattern repeat.

So a template was made. And fabric stiffened and double stiffened. And countless hours lost to rows and rows of manual satin-stitching. The result immediately after stitching doesn’t look half-bad. But once the stabilizers were washed out, the scallops were a bit underwhelming to be honest.

tiered-skirt_1-1tiered-skirt_2-finished-detail-2

I suppose it gives the skirt a bit of Vivienne Westwoodish 16th century cut lash look, all rough & delicate at the same time. (She says delusionally.) Of course any fashion reference would sadly be lost on a Tweeny Bopper. Poop.

Would I sew it again / Would I recommend it to others

Would I! Not for a growing kid I won’t! Maybe for myself, if I’m high on paint fume or something.

It is awfully labor intensive. But I already have a few styling ideas for one my size! Country-western… Aforementioned VW cut & slashy… Maybe even classy pearls, mohair, & pumps. (No wonder kids thinks home sewn fashion are so uncool – we sew for our own grownup taste after all! 😉

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0 comments on “Kiddy Tiered Skirt Yeehaw

  1. LOL… high on paint fumes…. hehehe… I think this skirt is brilliant! Love your labour intensive scallops – if it’s any comfort, I’d probably do the same thing. After all, the sewista must be happy with the job, too, right?. And all that work IS probably going to be lost on a tweeny bopper, but it looks great. I often complain to my eldest that the cheap crappy low street RTW stuff she likes is so not worth my time to make well, and I hate sewing a crap job, so we’ve finally reached a compromise: I’ll do a fantastic job on truly custom clothing, and she can get a job to pay for her RTW serged jersey pieces of mass production. 🙂

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