Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Plethora of Pink Pleated Plaid

Let's hear it for alliteration! This was a kill two birds make for me.  First, I cleared out a couple of yards of pretty pink plaid from my stash and secondly, I conquered the dreaded UFO.  Go me!  This fabric, which I suspect is all poly, wanted to ravel like mad, but was really good to sew with.  I bought the fabric *mumble* 10-ish *mumble* years ago when a local children's clothing factory was going out of business.  It was always destined to be the perfect pink plaid skirt. It took me a while to get there, but I can honestly say I'm thrilled with the results.

When it came to laying out the pleats on this pattern, I have to offer up thanks to my amazing Home Ec teacher for teaching me how to properly mark something like this plaid.  Basic markings just weren't going to show up and making sure I had each line matching meant the very best marking I could do at the pattern layout level was the good old tailor tack.  

Tailor tacks are dirt easy, people.  If you can thread a needle, odds are in your favor that you can make a tailor tack.  Tasia of Sewaholic covers the marking in her wonderful reference Sewtionary, on page 214.  If you don't have this book, it is SO worth the investment! Until you can get your own copy, here is my quick and dirty version.

Tailor Tacks are just a couple of quick, very loose stitches
at the marking point.  

Close up of the stitching.  No knots, just stitch very loosely
a couple of times through the pattern paper.

This is what they look like on the reverse side.  Make sure to
use a brightly contrasting thread!

Remove the pattern by gently tugging the stitching through
the paper.  You may want to make a hole in the paper first
if you're using a PDF pattern.  Gently pull the fabric layers

And the nerve wracking part, clip the threads.

You're done!  Each fabric layer keeps part of the stitching.  The
bright yellow stood out on the pink and black plaid making the
pleats easy to tackle.
Everything marked and then the markings clipped.  I used a ruler to run a chalk pencil between the two markings, then pinned like a mad woman to make sure each of those horizontal lines matched up.  I'm pretty dang pleased with the results.  Honestly, I spent more time matching and pinning plaids than I did sewing the skirt.  
Ruler and chalk pencil.  It is all about playing connect the dots
or in this case, the tailor tacks!
My only snag in getting this skirt from dust collecting fabric to fabulous wearable pleats was the waist facing. Somewhere between pinning and sewing the pleats, the skirt came out a full inch and a half wider than the facing, and that isn't counting the seam allowances!!! I didn't have any spare fabric to cut a new waistband, so I did what any sensible sewist would do.  I logged onto Vogue Fabrics and ordered some 1 1/2" wide petersham ribbon in black.  Mood also carries this, but Vogue Fabrics won out in the shipping. I bought enough to do two skirts, plus a couple of swatches of some wood that caught my eye.  I'm still eyeing you, Teal Herringbone Wool Suiting!

Don't judge my white serger thread.  That beast is a nightmare
to thread!

The petersham wanted to drape all over the place while I was
pinning it out to the waist.  

I moved the guide on my edge stitching foot all the way over
and it was just the right spot to make a very neat, straight
understitching line.  

Another shot of the edge stitching foot.  The white plastic
part is the guide that normally hangs out much further to
the right.

Check out how tight that line is to the edge!

Edge stitched and ready to press into place.

I could have gone the same route as my last skirt and used the twill tape, but frankly, I just wasn't happy with the stiffness.  I am so glad I waited for the petersham!  The width was perfect and the soft, flowing texture really suited the fabric much better than the twill.  I used a narrow hem and then understitched the peterhsam before tacking it in place. The hem on the skirt, which I neglected to photograph, is also hand stitched, as is my preference for most of my projects.  
Pleats all pressed in place after the waistband and hem were finished.
I love this skirt!  It is super comfortable.  These shots aren't perfect, it was bloody dang cold outside and the camera battery was dead, so you have indoor phone shots as a result.

Check out that matching plaid actions!  Time consuming, sure, but oh so worth it!  Next up is nightshirts for Thing 1 and Thing 2 and then I'm tackling View D on this pattern in a nice heavy denim.

As a side note, these days it seems that the title Home Ec has gone by the way side. Around here, they now call it a very bizarre "Family and Consumer Sciences".  Um...what?  Did you take Home Ec, or a similarly styled class in school?  

1 comment:

  1. Awesome job on this. It looks excellent. I was homeschooled so I got a tailored to me Home Ec class from my Grandma. She started me on Dresses! and taught me tricks she learned as a young woman in the sewing factory.