This was a good week for sewing, and I got quite a bit done.
This year at Costume College, there was a vendor selling nice ribbon for cheep. My sister purchased 6 rolls for me, in light blue. It wasn't close enough to the right color for on top of the dress, but I figured it would make a fantastic dust ruffle. Dust ruffles go under the hem of your skirts, and help keep the hem of your trained skirts clean. They are supposed to be easily removable for cleaning/replacement as needed. But really, they just look super cool. Rather than make a whole deep underside to the train, I am just going to add this at the hem.
I love the hems of the Tirelli gowns. (I highly recommend perusing their webpage, so much good stuff Tirelli Costumi) I want my hems to be thick and full, just like the ones from The Age of Innocence and Anna Karenina. I find some super cheep, 1" wide lace at JoAnns, which I am going to layer over my pleated 2" ribbon. The ribbon is great, as I don't have to hem it, and can go straight to pleating it up. I am going to do knife pleats, spaced edge-to-edge, which means I need 3 times the amount of ribbon. My hem is 200" around, so I need 600" of ribbon, or 17 yards. The spools of ribbon are 10 yards each, so 2 spools will do it.
For pleating, I use a method I call Fork Pleating. It is a quick and easy way to pleat, at your machine, and can be done with household forks. I happen to have purchased a special tool a while back, that gives me 3/8" wide pleats, so I will be using that. Different sized forks will get you different sized pleats. And, depending on which direction you roll the fork, you can make knife or box pleats. If desired, press the pleats afterwards, or like me, leave them as-is for a loftier look.
After pleating the ribbon, it looks like this.
And after adding the lace it looks like this:
I attached the ribbon to the hem along to the upper edge of the ribbon. I think this will let the hem of the skirt float over the lace a bit better.
I don't want the hem to flip up and show the lace assembly. I tacked the skirt through to the top of the lace about every 4-6" or so, to keep the layers from separating out. Ugh more hand work. But it looks great! So still worth it.
With the dustruffle finished, time to move on the bottom ruffle. This is going to be the same dark blue as the main skirt. I really like the look of the edge-to-edge pleats, but I want them to be 3/4" wide. As this ruffle is fabric, I need to do a hem. For ruffles that are 4" wide or less, I cut the fabric twice as wide as I need, and fold the fabric in half. So no actual hem. This ruffle is going to be 3" deep so I cut strips at 6" wide. Again, I need 600" worth to get around the hem, and my fabric is 53" wide (54" less 1" for seaming the strips together) which works out to 12 strips of 6" wide fabric. I usually tear my strips, so much quicker, but the silk is very ravelly. I ending up cutting the strips instead. This led to some off-grain shifting by the time i got several strips in, but not enough to really cause an issue. After cutting, I sew all the strips end-to-end, and press the super strip in half long-ways.
I don't have a tool for 3/4" wide pleats, and my kitchen forks are all 1" wide, so I had to make up a tool. I had some short pieces of hoop wire hanging around, and taped them inside a cardboard shell to make a handle and keep them from shifting. I snipped out between the wires, to make it a fork,wrapped it in packing tape to keep it all together, and viola, I have a new tool. (It worked so well, I went back later and made one up that was 1" wide, so I wouldn't need to use a salad fork.)
Once all the pleats are in, I overlock the top edge to keep the edge from raveling, and lock the pleats in nicely.
Lastly, I just sew the top of the ruffle to the skirt. I had marked the top edge with thread on the skirt, but it was off a bit for some reason. It was more important that the hem of the ruffle match the hem of the skirt, so went by the hems instead of my mark.
And here is where my skirt stands so far.
Stay tuned, more to follow!
Created by heather • Last edit by heather on Sep 06, 2018