Hello! Alright, bear with me while I get back on this old horse (i.e. my blog which I haven’t updated in more than a year). It’s a matter of getting into my administrator’s dashboard and figuring out exactly how I used to format all these posts…I apologize for my long absence but I’ve still been sewing! I actually finished a year of costuming school at the end of April! I guess that’s a huge update although for those readers of this blog that I actually know in real life — well you guys already know what I’ve been doing with my life this past year.
I’ve got so many blog post ideas which I just need to make a reality. I plan on doing a costume school mini-series because I know my friends and family are very curious about the things I’ve been making or doing at school.
Without further ado though, the reason I am posting today is because I wanted to show you one of the projects I made this summer. I’m quite proud of it as I consider it my first real commission. My friend Lily Le (also known as Pretty Pork Chops, her website here: http://prettyporkchops.com/) asked me if it was possible to make a pleated skirt in which each of the pleats was a different colour of the rainbow. She wanted to wear something like that for the Pride Parade float she would be participating in but was having no luck finding anything like it online. Well here it is!
I feel that this is truly one of my best projects out of the ones that I’ve made completely from scratch; where I’ve had to create the pattern or figure out how to sew it completely on my own using my accumulated years of knowledge and technique.
Lily and I had a quick consultation meeting on July 17th at Dressew, which gave me roughly three weeks to shop for materials and also complete the project. The Pride Parade was on August 3rd. The skirt is made of twill fabric in the six colours found in the iconic Pride rainbow. We bought the red and purple fabric at Dressew the same day of the consultation but I had to find the others at Fabricland. Thank god Fabricland has a section dedicated entirely to Galaxy Twill! Definitely my future source of generic cotton/poly twill.
Lily gave me a pleated skirt that she owned which was to be my template for the rainbow skirt. Overall, once I wrapped my head around the details of the skirt, it wasn’t really very difficult to complete the skirt. I spent 9 hours actually cutting and stitching the skirt. Although my serger was giving me a headache towards the end of this project so maybe a wee bit of that 9 hours was spent on troubleshooting my serger. I tried to keep it out of my time estimate for the project but arrrrgh, why did it have to crap out on me when I had a few more seams to serge? I might have to take in for maintenance.
Anyways, each pleat is basically a strip of fabric identical in width and height. I had to measure the example skirt and calculate the dimensions of each fabric strip. Then I hemmed all the strips as I didn’t want to hem the skirt after stitching the pieces together; I felt it would be too bulky at each seam. I stitched all the strips together. Now as I wanted to minimize swapping the thread out on my sewing machine and serger, I stitched each colour one by one, making sure I followed the colour order that I plotted out. Yes, you heard me, I swapped out the threads on my machines multiple times. It was a bit of a pain in the butt but it was worth it!
Then I pressed the pleats into the skirt with my iron and stitched it down from the top for 4 inches. The ingenuity of the skirt is that the seams are hidden beneath the fold of the pleat. Everything looks clean on the outside! Here are some close-up photos.
The waistband is just a simple straight one and I inserted a blue invisible zipper at the back where the blue and purple sections meet. All it needed was one cute red button and a buttonhole to finish off the waistband. Voila!
I finished it on the Friday before the Pride Parade and handed it off to Lily. Some of her housemates were present and one of them gave me the idea of making a skirt like this in pastels…
Want to see the skirt in action? Here’s Lily looked fantastically adorable on the Rent Cheque/Babe Bang float!
Anyways, here’s to me getting back into blogging (again)! I hope to make another post before I have to go back to school and then I will begin working on my costume school series of posts. Thanks for reading pals!