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Topic: Advice on twirly skirt, please?  (Read 1131 times)
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Aislynn
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« on: March 12, 2008 04:48:39 PM »

Okay, so a little background:  this skirt is to serve the dual purpose of being a bellydance class/performance skirt, and also a regular, wear everyday skirt.  The BIG floofy belly dance skirts that you see are 25-yard hems, and the one I'm planning is 10 yards.  It will be tiered at least 4 times, and I've got those calculations figured out.  The problem is that I am very much gifted in the hip and, erm, rear departments, and I don't want a lot of floof right in that area.  So, the way I'm looking at it, I can either do a waistband (wide enough to fit my hips, with elastic, most likely) and then start my first tier at 1.5x that length.  Or, I can make my first tier a short circle skirt, and then gather the rectangular bits for the rest of the tiers to that.  Either way, I think I'll end up with a ruffly skirt (I'm using a thin, silky peachskin, if anyone's interested), I just don't know which one would hang better.  The circle option would still be very lightly gathered at the top, again to accommodate the hips, but not as much as the 1.5x tier.  So...what do you lovely craftsters think?  Or am I missing an option?
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« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2008 09:14:02 PM »

Rectangles are easier Smiley The key to de-emphasizing the plentiful booty is scale & proportion.
The proportion part you already understand, don't put two tons of fabric right there on your plentiful parts. Smiley One and a half times is the magic ratio, waist OR hip x 1.5 gives you the length of the first tier (depending where is sits). Personally, I'm really short, so I do the tiniest waistband I can and my top layer goes from the waistband.

 The scale part is a hair trickier in the planning but no harder to sew  Smiley How long do you want the skirt (measure from where you will wear it down). You want 4 tiers? great, divide your skirt length by 4. Now measure down the teir length from where you want the waistband & see where that first seam will hit you (and where the skirt gets fuller). Use a long ribbon & 'draw' a  line across your body there.**Here's the hard part** You don't want that horizontal at the widest point of your hip or lower, you want it at roughly the 2/3 point between your  natural waist and the base of your crotch, which for most women is just above the fullest point of the hip, YMMV. If your skirt will be sitting on your hips or any other point between your hip bone & your natural waist this is going to make a dramatic difference in the length of that top tier. Whatever you take out of this teir you need to add to your remaining tiers evenly to keep the length you want.

So, rough approximation sample: a 30" skirt in 3 tiers. Tier 1- 8", tier 2 -11", tier 3 -11"

Same skirt but sitting lower on the hip: tier 1- 6", tier 2- 12", tier 3 -12"

I hope this made sense!
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Therisa
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« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2008 12:38:23 PM »

I'm having a problem with a circle skirt, i don't know if my experience helps you or not. 

The skirt was not cut with tiers, but with the circle wedges manner, and die to my height, it is a 10 yard skirt by the time it gets to the hem.  It is supposed to be gathered over an elastic waistband.  But as I'm looking at it on my dress form, it still doesn't look very nice.  It's still big over the hips and adds extra bulk which I do not need.

When I made a tiered skirt like you're making (also for belly dance/general wear), I made the top tier 10 inches wide.  This means that the entire hip area is covered by a mostly smooth fabric, and the gathering doesn't start until below the hip line, actually below the butt.  That worked out a lot better and cuter for me. 
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SpottedFrog
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2008 02:33:01 PM »

It really depends on your shape whether above the hipline or below looks better. Her description made me think she was shaped much like me- sort of 1950's ideal with a smaller waist (proportionally speaking) and full round hips, the cutting off above the hipline works well on us short girls (I'm 5'3"). If I have a horizontal below my hipline it creates the visual illusion that I have even shorter thicker legs than I alkready do.

If you are more apple shaped the long top layer works a bit better, drawing out the lack of waist, regardless of whether you have a bodacious booty or not Smiley
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Aislynn
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« Reply #4 on: March 16, 2008 07:43:49 AM »

Well, I actually had started cutting out my pieces right before Penlowe responded.  I decided to go with the circle skirt plus tiers way.  It isn't going to be as easy, but I put on a circle skirt, and then a broomstick skirt (the only thing I had that was gathered at the waist) and the circle was a lot more flattering.  I'm tall(ish), but I've got a really short torso, so having a lot of gathering at my waist (or hips) tends to exaggerate my hips instead of my waist, visually.  It actually looks like a reverse muffin top, or like I'm wearing a petticoat.  I'll post pictures when it's done.  Thank you both for the advice, though!

Oh, and about the wedge circle skirt, I've made two of those, and I find that they're much more flattering if I can make the waist as small as possible.  In both instances, I ended up forgoing any kind of elastic, and just made a fitted waistband that I can pull on over my head (I don't have a zipper foot).
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Aislynn
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« Reply #5 on: March 19, 2008 09:17:00 AM »

Alright, I've got another question!  I think I know this, but it's been a while.  When I'm sewing the gathered to the non-gathered, non-gathered ought to go on the bottom, right?  As in, physically, on the sewing machine, not constructionwise on the skirt.

Oh, and, I'm using a very thin material, and don't have a serger.  Usually, to finish seams, I straight stitch, then zigzag in the seam allowance.  Do you lovely Craftsters think that'll be enough, or should I encase the seams in grosgrain?
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SpottedFrog
« Reply #6 on: March 19, 2008 12:34:31 PM »

Yes, the non-gathering piece goes against the sole plate (the piece of metal that the threads go through).

You can zig-zag a gathered seam like you do for flat seams, it won't be quite as pretty but if it's strictly to keep everything from being a hairy frayed mess go for it. If it might be seen (you are dancing in it for shows or just practice?) you could use ribbon or single fold bias tape. The bias tape weighs less as it's just cotton, and bias might work better on seams that get tossed around a lot Smiley

I didn't finish the inside seams on my daughters first twirly skirt & I have to give it a haircut every time it goes through the wash :/ but it hasn't come apart either.
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Aislynn
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« Reply #7 on: March 19, 2008 02:25:02 PM »

Bias tape...why do I never think of that?  Thanks!

The skirt is for both, class and performances, but the performances are few and far between unless I can get in the student troupe, down the line, and if I do, I'll probably make a second skirt.  We also don't (as yet) do a lot of kicks or fast spins that would kick it up.  I think I'm going to do the zigzag and then maybe dance in it, and wash it once or twice, and see what happens.  I can always go back and reinforce later, if it looks like it's going to be a problem.

Thank you!
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Aislynn
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« Reply #8 on: March 24, 2008 09:40:42 AM »

Not another question, just an observation I felt compelled to make:  you never realize how long 45' is until you're hemming it.  I gave up pinning it, as I wanted a tiny hem, and just folded it as I went.  I messed up somewhere...okay, I know where, it was that blasted circle for a top tier...I didn't account for it properly, so I ended up adding another tier to the bottom, for a grand total of a 15 yard hem.  But it is hemmed!  And it is 3/4 attached to the next tier up.  I'm working bottom up so I don't try to kill myself later.  So far it's going well.  I couldn't imagine going top down with all this fabric.  Measuring it while it was all laid out straight (doubled over, it still took up my entire living room floor) was bad enough!
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Sewers are for ninja turtles--seamstresses are for sewing Wink

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SpottedFrog
« Reply #9 on: March 24, 2008 10:11:40 AM »

Quote
you never realize how long 45' is until you're hemming it.
LOL too true Smiley Dulcinea's hem measured 60 something feet, it literally took over an hour & I have a fast machine & am very practiced at hand rolling handkerchief hems!
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