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1  Re: Psychedelic Striped Skirt and Rose Pin in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by Elphelba on: October 24, 2010 06:31:35 PM
That skirt is great. I'm a sucker for stripes. I used to have a great article for pleating bookmarked but I can't seem to find it now. The basic idea of what you do is you 1) measure the front side of your pleat (this is the part that will stick out from underneath of the previous pleat). 2) you measure how far under you're going to pleat and double this 3) add the first measurement you took. So basically say you're going to make a pleat that's 2 inches, And you want each pleat to be 1 inch deep. You'd have 2 inches of fabric on the front side, you'd fold it back one inch, and then there would be three inches of fabric before you folded it back under (1 inch) again.

In my crappy picture below the visible part of each pleat extends to the end of the purple rectangle to it's right. The purple area shows where 1) the visible fabric of the pleat shows, 2) the fabric that's folded under, and 3) the fabric that is folded back towards the face of the pleat.  So, basically you have 2 inches, fold back 1 inch, fold forward 3 inches, and fold back 1 inch and fold over 3 inches (note that the first pleat may be a bit different depending on how you finish it. I'm sorry if that doesn't make enough sense. I'll try to explain it better if needed. But basically you figure out how wide you want each pleat, and how deep you'll need it using that formula and then you know how much pleating you'll need to fill a certain area.

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2  Skirt, Bolero, and Tie (moderately pic heavy) in Clothing: Completed Projects: General by Elphelba on: October 25, 2009 02:15:22 PM
Hello good people of Craftster. I've been hanging out here for a few years now and have really enjoyed the opportunity to see what other crafty people have been creating. I've been sewing for about 4 years now and have made a bunch of projects but haven't had the chance to use a camera to get some pics of my work online. I made my entire outfit (skirt, cami, bolero, bra, and panties) and I made my partner's tie. I drafted all patterns myself. I finished the skirt about 2 years ago. It took about 100 hours of work to complete (it was one of the first times I used silk and I was very new to drafting so making the yoke part of the skirt was very difficult. The cami and bolero are more recent creations. The skirt is very heavily inspired by a Lipservice skirt (it's from their autumn line from a few years ago but I don't recall the details right now and I can't find pics of the original at the moment.) When I saw this skirt I fell in love but didn't have the money to buy it and thought drafting it would be a nice challenge. It is made out of acetate brocade and silk. The cami is a really nice soft jersey with stretch lace, and the bolero is cotton velvet with a crepe satin lining (The lace and lining were added by hand). The tie is made out of the same brocade as the skirt (it's silver and black instead of black on black) and has a satin lining. The skirt looks a little neater in real life, apparently the fabrics it is made out of don't photograph too nicely. Also, the white streaks on the cami aren't stains, that's just the way the light reflected off the spandex in the fabric. Anyways, now on to the pictures.

The both of us together:

The Skirt

Full Front View

Full Back View

Full Side View

Front Detail

Back Detail

The Bolero

Front View

Side View



Full Tie

Fabric Detail (this is the same as the patterned fabric on my skirt, except the fabric on the skirt is black on black)

Comments and Criticism are welcome, I've been looking forward to hearing how to improve my designs and sewing skills.

Fabric Information:
Thanks for the lovely comments Smiley. I got the fabric off ebay from Renaissance Fabrics. When I was looking for that store again I saw that Fabric Masterpieces is also selling it. Looks like Renaissance has it for slightly cheaper (and has a fairly large selection of different broccades) but both seem to have good feedback.

*Like most brocades this stuff can be a real PITA to work with, so if you're going to get it make sure you get enough to leave very large seam allowances, and if you're going to use it for something heavy duty with a lot of stress (like a corset) you'll want to back it with something stronger or the fabric will separate at the seams. I wouldn't recommend pre-washing this stuff, it will develop permanent creases and wrinkles. It did seem to tolerate really high heat on the iron very well (some wrinkles wouldn't come out otherwise) and that seemed to make pressing the seams easier than lower heat but make sure you try on a small piece of your own first. Sorry for the mini-novel there but figured some one might benefit from the heads up.

Thanks for being so patient with the multiple screw-ups involved with getting (and keeping) this posting up and running. I've definitely learned a lot from this process and hopefully next time I post something it will work the first time and stay working.
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3  Re: how to do these pleats? help in Clothing: Discussion and Questions by Elphelba on: December 05, 2007 04:17:34 PM
Hmmm...look at the "cheek" on the left side of the back view. See those wrinkles going out horizontally? I think that shows that the back of the skirt has a center panel like the front obviously does. The zipper is set into the center piece, and that piece is shorter than the other two. Then the little pleated/button kick pleat is added at the bottom end of the shortend center piece and set into the other two so it is sewn all the way down the sides of the cute little pleated piece. Edited to add sketch which may or may not help:

I forgot to add a waistband, but you'd just add it on top.

I don't think the pleated part is just sewn on top because a kick pleat is there to make a skirt like this actually useful if you need to move in it, not stand decorously still like a mannequin or totter like a drunken moll. So, if I were you (and if I still wore clothes like this that just cry out for heels and stockings!), I think I'd do one of these things:

1. Actually make a back center panel with the pleat sewn in at the bottom (I think it would fit the design best, and have the pleats anchored on both sides this way) OR

2. Make the back of the skirt in TWO pieces with the zipper sewn in the middle. Then, at the bottom of the seam that the zipper is sewn into to, make a REAL functional but plain kickpleat (really just a split in the seam up at least 5 or 6 inches so you can scissor your legs above your knees some) and cover it up with the lovely one just tacked on top. The problems with this plan is that you won't get the same curvy fit as with the three pieces, and the kick pleat should be tacked down on the sides (but you could do that by hand or something).

Good luck!
i've made a skirt very much like this, and that's exactly how I did it. I would like to add that it might be a good idea to hand tack down the pleats at the top before attaching the pieces because I had a helluva time keeping them straight and tidy without bunching up when i attached them.
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4  I just made a boo-boo....A skirt that doesn't fit. Help? (Pics inside) in Clothing: Discussion and Questions by Elphelba on: March 17, 2007 12:07:47 AM
Well, I've just spent the last two months making a skirt. I made a toille which fit perfectly. I've unpicked the whole thing once to correct some technical errors. I've put the whole thing together tonight and realized that I have gained about a pound in my rear and it's just not going to fit. It's just barely too small. I can put it on as is and it's ok as long as I don't move (which obviously means that I'll never wear it out). Scrapping it is not an option, I've put months into it and the fabric is no longer avaliable so remaking it isn't going to happen. It's also been a rather costly endeavor, and I can't bring myself it throw all that money away. I think I've come up with an idea to make it fit, but I would like to hear every one's opinions. I don't have any pictures of my actual skirt, but it looks exactly like this:

As you can see from the pics, there are six straight panels with triangular insets inbetween them. Since I've lowered the waist of the skirt, the panels on mine are closer to the bottom of the yoke. Since I only need about another inch, I was thinking about making the two insets on the side go up higher to add some width around the hips (I've already put the front together and attached the yoke and put the back together and attached the yoke so I essentially have 2 large pieces that need to be joined at the sides. One side will get an invisible zipper). Do you guys honestly think that idea is going to work and still look good? Do you have any other options? (I can't rip it apart again because the main fabric is brocade and it just can't take any more rippage)

Sorry about the rant, I just had to get it out and everyone I know is asleep  Roll Eyes. You guys have all been wonderful, thanks so much.
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5  Re: Trying to make Dimmu Borgir spiky boots...HELP!? in Shoes: Discussion and Questions by Elphelba on: December 17, 2006 03:19:49 PM
Salvation army and flea markets are good places to find boots. I've bought several pairs of old army issued boots from the flea market. If you want boots that are more identical to that style, a place that sells for exotic dancers may be the way to go. Hottopic may also have some that are a similar cut.
I know hottopic sells spikes (careful with those, some people say they are a weapon so you could get into trouble...don't wear them to school if you go to school). They are a little expensive, so you may want to shop around for a cheaper store. Stuff from a hard ware store, like screws and those silver things with teeth that you use to hang pictures, look really cool screwed into the visible sole of the shoe.You can take your boots, and use a small electric drill to get the screw through the leather. A metalic sharpie is great to mark the placement of spikes before you drill. They really aren't that hard to make (I haven't done those exact shoes, but my ex and I reconned 10 pairs of boots)

When you're done with them, be sure to tighten the spikes down with your hand after each wear, they spikes do jar loose. I think maybe putting a little superglue in the spike before you screw it down (make sure it's still wet) will make it stay on a little better. You may also want to cover the back of the screws (on the inside of the shoe) with duct tape. Those screws can hurt a lot after a while. You'll need to replace the duct tape every so often (depending on how much you wear them and how much your feet sweat), I've had mine a couple of years and have done it three times. Also, be sure to get flat-backed screws (this only applies if you get stuff from a hardware store, spikes come with flat back screws) because the rounded ones dig into the feet more.

These are to give you an idea about what you can do with stuff. The O ring at the top of the ball chain lacing is from a hardware store (as is the ball chain). The rounded things on the toes are nuts and bolts.

If you want some more advice or whatever, feel free to pm me.
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6  Fabric suitable for this skirt? in Clothing: Discussion and Questions by Elphelba on: December 09, 2006 10:18:40 AM
I've made my own pattern for a skirt that is similiar to this one (it has the ruffles in the back) and I'm at a loss as to what material to use. The weather around here is generally hot, so a thick fabric is not what I want. I want something with some sheen to it, and was thinking that charmuse may be a good option, but I'm a little worried that it's not going to be full enough to really ruffle nicely. Could I go ahead with the charmuse, add a light facing to the ruffles, or go with a thicker silk fabric? Does anyone have any other ideas?

Thanks again, you all are always so helpful.
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7  Finding a similiar fabric in Clothing: Discussion and Questions by Elphelba on: November 06, 2006 05:33:32 AM
I fell in love with this shirt from lipservice. The $100 price tag was not so lovable. I'm 100% convinced that I can make the actual shirt itself, but half of it's charm lies in this fabric (it's a cotton dobby lawn). I've looked everywhere but can't find anything really coprable. Do any of you have any ideas? (Something inside the US is preferable, but If they ship to the US, I love the shirt enough to pay the international shipping if needed)

Thanks, and here is the pic.
The top looks shinier than the skirt, but they are really just different colors of the same fabric. I'd love to do this shirt in black, but if the effect of the fabric is more important to me than the color, so I would be willing to do it in a different color.

It also has a large black lace applique in the back. Does anyone know where to get a large black lace applique? (At least that's what I think it's called....the fabric behind it has been cut away)

Thanks...and I've just realized how picky I can be....
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8  How would you make straps/buckles like this. in Clothing: Discussion and Questions by Elphelba on: August 16, 2006 06:23:27 PM
I have the basic construction of this shirt down. I've made a couple of similiar projects. I was just wondering if anyone has any ideas regarding the buckles that go across the front (particularly the way they conect to the shirt.) How would I make the little pointy things? Would I cut the fabric that way and stitch it on, or is there something more complicated than that involved?

Sorry for the re-post, but I put it in the wrong board by mistake, and I'm new so I don't know how to move it back...
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9  How would one go about making straps/buckles like this? in Shoes: Discussion and Questions by Elphelba on: August 15, 2006 06:35:43 PM

I have the basic construction of this shirt down. I've made a couple of similiar projects. I was just wondering if anyone has any ideas regarding the buckles that go across the front (particularly the way they conect to the shirt.) How would I make the little pointy things? Would I cut the fabric that way and stitch it on, or is there something more complicated than that involved?
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