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Feathers, Lace, & Masquerades

Strike A Pose

Oh, hello again! ... Do you remember that sheer #lace fabric from our last design? No? Photo refresher below:

Sheer Lace and Underlining

This time, we are going to use the very same fabric to make a skirt that will complement our #bustier.

We've decided to use a toile from our archives in order to make the skirt. The advantage of having a "block" (a pattern that has been developed and refined) is that you can use it again, and just tweak the design by changing a few things.

It's like applying new paint to the outside of your house, planting new flowers, etc. but keeping the structure, the interior design, and everything else exactly the same.

Let's see the toile on the #dress #form:

Toile for The Skirt

Below are the patterns from the toile placed on our lace fabric. The bottom of the fabric doesn't lay flat. It seems that it has been stretched out of shape during the manufacturing process. We'll have to eliminate about one inch from it, including the #selvage as well.

Fortunately, the pattern's length is longer than what is needed, and we'll also add a two inch wide lace trim as well.

The pieces have been place on the "crossgrain" (selvage perpendicular to the floor when standing). Is this a bad thing? No. We have to follow the design, and in this case, we are working with knit fabrics.

Pattern Pieces On The Lace & Underlining.

Here is an illustration of the different grains in #woven fabrics:

The orientation of the yarn will produce a different drape for each "grain":

Lenghtgrain | Crossgrain | Bias Grain

Our lace is a rather drapey/droopy fabric. It is also under the category of #knits. Not exactly a woven fabric. The orientation of the yarn in knits is described by "direction" instead of grain line. Unlike wovens, knits have the greatest amount of stretch crosswise. This is the reason why knits are cut with the lengthwise direction perpendicular to the hem.

Another factor to consider, is the fabric that was used for the moulage.

It is woven, and therefore the effect will be slightly different. But the difference is minimal, and it should not change the final look.

Let us move on to the gussets. The sheer panels, or gussets will also be a knit. This is not the scratchy stiff sheer tulle type. It is polyester, 1% Lycra with a very soft hand.

Gussets (sheer panels) and macrame lace trim.

As usual, in couture we start by basting all of our pieces together, including a closure (invisible zipper in this case). We check, and recheck our work to make sure everything fits fine. Once we know everything looks good, we move on to sewing all the pieces permanently on the sewing machine.

Our front & back panels need something extra. We have to finish the hem's seam allowance of both panels with a binding (a hong kong finish). It will keep them hanging nice and flat. The sides can be finished conventionally, and then attached in place with a hand sewn pick stitch.

The edges on the reverse side must look nice and clean. They will be visible through the sheer gussets when walking, and sitting.

Front Panel Reverse Side.

Front Seen Through Sheer Panel.

Next, is the #macrame lace trim. It is about two inches wide, and of medium weight. It will compensate for the shortness of the fashion fabric (remember it was stretched out of shape near the selvage). It will also give us the necessary weight to keep the fabric straight and flat. Chanel jackets use a chain on the reverse side, right above the hem to accomplish the same thing. Sometimes, metal pieces are used for a similar purpose, Eg: During a windy day, so your A line skirt won't accidentally "twirl up" exposing your panties, or no panties!

Lace Trim on Front. Arrow Showing End of Trim (center back).

The macrame lace will run all the way around. Starting on the center back, and finishing exactly where the last scallop ends (see red arrow).

Ok, Did we forget anything? Oh yes, the waist band. We decided to use a facing in black Ponte (1% Lycra/Spandex). It is medium in weight, has some give and most importantly, it will keep our scalloped waist from rolling. This one can be tricky. Baste first, and then follow the curvy shape of the scallops carefully with the sewing machine.

The Waist Unfinished Facing.

Our skirt should look like this:

Our Skirt On The Work Table.

We now give it the following finishing touches: overcast, or bind seam allowances, adjust/refine the fitting, install invisible zipper permanently, and sew the beads on our fashion fabric.

Beads On Lace Fabric Seen From Above.

Below we can see our work so far. Here, we have pinned the lace trim on the bustier... Notice it is too wide, and we should attached it by hiding half of it behind the bustier. Not only it will look better aesthetically, but it will allow us to remove it in the future, if a more streamline & contemporary look is desired.

Bustier, Skirt and Trim (testing placement).

Our work is done! and although it is a knit fabric with quite some drape to it, we can see it holds its shape when worn on the body, specially on the hemline. It is all on the construction details.

The advantage: A two piece outfit. We can use each one of them with other pieces in our wardrobe. (See an example on our other post here: Butier)

Front, Back, & Side Views.

Feathers, Lace, and Masquerades!

Ready For A Masquerade Party.


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