Have you ever plopped down in front of your laptop in utter defeat, listlessly googling for the answer to all your problems? Or at least the current problem of sewing this uber fiddly fabric into something with flat, non-lettuce-y seams? No, that’s just me?
OK, well, I’m going to let you in on my little secret anyhow. My sister-in-law has this skirt. And it’s a really cool, double layer half circle chiffon wrap skirt (say that 10 times really fast?) in super floaty, fun fabric. And she’s worn it to pieces. So I took a look at it, saw it was a simple half circle skirt with a waistband that extends into really long ties, and foolishly said “I can totally remake that–just pick out fabric!” (I’d like to tell you I’ve learned my lesson, but I’d probably be lying). So she picked out two gorgeous fabrics and I drafted a pattern (if you can call it drafting) based on the first skirt and cut out the pieces. Easy peasy, right?
Then I attempted to actually sew the fabric together. (Well, I started with the hem since approximately 110% of the skirt is hem). And I got lettuce edges. Holy bananas. Even if I basted and then came back with smaller stitches–seems like smaller stitches were particularly lettuce-inducing. And every tip I find for sewing chiffon says to use small stitches. Or hand sewing. Now, I’m no mathlete, but even I know that would be a LOT of hand sewing. And I’m pretty lazy, it turns out. So no dice.
So there I was, slumped disconsolately in front of the lappy, googling my heart out. And that’s when I found this. And I could tell we were soon going to be BFFs.
Spray on, wash out stabilizer. Now, technically, I believe you’re supposed to spray it on before you cut, but, um…I looked at my skirt pieces in all their already-cut-outedness and realized that was not happening in this case. I plowed ahead anyhow. I laid each piece out as flat and well-aligned as possible (really, trying not to warp the bias-y bits), and lambasted it with my trusty new arsenal, then hung the pieces over my clothesline to dry and stiffen.
Kids–this stuff works. It’s amazing! Instead of overcasting my way into scallopy lettuce edges and letting my sewing machine eat fabric like there’s no tomorrow, I got lovely, overcast edges. Lovely.
I will admit, it did not play nicely with my rolled hem foot (which was what I was hoping to use)–the stiff fabric just didn’t roll evenly, so I gave up on that. The overcast method is obviously what was used on the original skirt, so after fiddling with stitch width and length and using ungodly amounts of magenta thread, I figured it out. Mostly. There’s a few places I may try to re-overcast (is that a thing?) before I declare it done.
But I’m really happy with the way it turned out (especially after washing the stiffening stuff out–it really does wash right out!). And I think I’ll put a little tutorial together so that the next time my sis-in-law commissions a skirt, I don’t have to do all that pesky math again. Because I’m pretty sure circle skirts are actually Dante’s 10th circle of hell, reserved specifically for people of average math skills.