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Topic: How to make a meringue (skirt)?  (Read 662 times)
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dustyfro
« on: June 18, 2012 11:43:27 PM »

I was just in Value Village gathering bits and pieces for my steampunk costume (which is probably going to turn into 3 different costumes) and I saw, glory of glories, an amazing prom dress with the most fabulous skirt on it.  I think in the wedding world it's called meringue, like this http://img.alibaba.com/img/pb/603/458/273/273458603_111.jpg but with BIGGER PEAKS.  Oh God, it was glorious.  It was a copper color, but also had kind of a broomstick skirt thing going on vertically?  If it hadn't been too long, a dress, and too expensive, I would have taken it.  Anyway, I've got a great green shiny broomstick skirt at home just begging to be part of this costume and so I've come to alter.

Number one, how do I make those peaks?  Is it just a trick of tacking it up randomly but evenly until it's the height I want?  Number two, am I going to need starch for this or something so that it's not droopy?  I'm taking it to my first Harry Potter convention, crushed into my suitcase, and I don't think they'll let me take starch in a can on the plane.
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Alexus1325
« Reply #1 on: June 19, 2012 11:06:30 AM »

It's also called a pick-up skirt. I made a bustled 1880s skirt from Truly Victorian that used a similar method of creating the bustled portion. In the pattern, it was recommended to use net as a stabilizing element. You just put it under your fashion fabric and include it in the pick-ups to keep them poofy.

To make something like your example, you'll need to do a bit of math. You want the final length, the number of pick-ups you want in a given vertical line, and the "length" that will be taken up by each pick-up. For example, if you want 4 pick-ups per vertical line and each one takes up 8 inches (creating a 4 inch "tuck"), 4x4=24 inches worth of pick-ups to be factored into your final skirt length. In this example, your starting fabric would be a minimum of 4x8=48 inches long, plus the extra at the top without "tucks" up to your waistband. If you stagger your poofs where the next line of pick-ups is between the ones beside them (in this case, 3 pick-ups in every other line), you may need to add an extra few inches to the length of each pick-up in order to keep the hem even. I think it would be a 8 inches/4=2 inches in this example, because there are 4 pick-ups in the main lines. That would be 10 inches per pick-up in the staggered 3-pick-up lines. Holy crap, I hope that makes sense Tongue If not, I can try drawing pictures.

If you have a dress form, you can do it like the BS link. By starting with a skirt base that fits and is the correct length, you can tack a piece of fabric on top of it with the pick-ups until it's the same length as the underlying skirt. It would be even poofier if you include a layer of net like for a bustled skirt. It would be challenging to do it this way without a dressform, but if you've got a similarly-sized friend willing to stand still for awhile... Tongue
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dustyfro
« Reply #2 on: June 20, 2012 04:09:04 PM »

Wow, THANK YOU!  I think I can visualize that, but I may be back after I get down to it.  I didn't think about netting.  Good thing I have some in my stores.  I'm still a little worried about squashing it into my suitcase.  Is this just going to have to be a non-travelling costume?
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Book reviews and blog:  http://froregon.blogspot.com
wists list: http://www.wists.com/froregon

Once you can accept the universe as being something expanding into an infinite nothing which is something, wearing stripes with plaid is easy. Albert Einstein
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