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"victorian" skirt how to

I thought that all you that sew would perhaps appreciate my skirt tutorial :)
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So I thought that I would share my how to for this quite easy sewn skirt in taffeta that I made for a friend of mine, it is a two layer skirt with strings so that you can tie up and drape the panels as you wish. This is a bit simplified, On the original skirt the top of the skirt was lined with satin so it was not completed in the exact same way as in this tutorial, but trying to explain that whole deal was to time consuming to be worth it.

Material you will need:
Fabric: Of your choice, around 2 times the length of your skirt
A zipper: I use a hidden zipper because I think it looks better, but a ordinary one is just as good.
String: The length of your drapes and a little more *2*6 (you chose one can both have it the whole way up on the skirt or just half, or something similar) I use cotton string 0,5 cm (0,2 inches) thick.

1


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The pattern is a really easy one, it consist of 12 panels and then a long rectangle that is the ruffles.
The fist thing you have to do is calculate your panel pieces, this is done like this. You measure were you want the skirt to sit. Then take that measurement and divide it with six, (the number of panels that goes into making one of the layers). Then add your sewing allowance to that number, I use 1,5 cm (0,6 inches) on each side so I simply add 3 cm. (1,2 inches) A slightly larger sewing allowance is preferred since we are using it for the channels to the strings later.
Now you have the number of the top of your panel. Now take the measurement on how long you want the whole skirt to be – the length of your ruffle (you decide the length yourself, my ruffle were approximately 18 cm (7,1 inches) ), this is how you get the length of your panels.
You can chose how wide your skirt is now, I usually use the width of the fabric to decide this, so that when the fabric is folded double I can put three panels beside each other and that way get six pieces when I cut it. (see next picture) To calculate this you take the width of the fabric folded double – the top of the panels measurement divided in two. This number is the width on the bottom of your panel.

2


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Now it is time to lay out your pieces, I pain directly on the fabric with a fabric pen, but you can cut the panels into paper pieces if you want to. But I find it easier to just draw on the fabric. The pieces for the overskirt should be cut approximately 7 cm (2,8 inches) shorter then the underskirt pieces. For the width of the ruffle pieces I use the width of the fabric one again, how long they are is up to you. I use four rectangles the width of the fabric to make the ruffles on one layer of the skirt. Cut your pieces out you will not have 12 panel pieces, with six pieces of them being shorter then the other six and eight ruffle pieces that are identical to each other.
Beside you, you will also have your sipper and all the string that you need. Lets start sewing.

3


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Zig zag all around your pieces or overlock them if you have the ability to use the serger.
Put the pieces in piles, one for the overskirt (the six shorter panel pieces and four of the ruffle pieces) and one for the underskirt (the six longer panel pieces and four of the ruffle pieces)

4


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We are staring with the overskirt, the first thing we do is to attach the zipper. To two of the shorter panels.

5


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Then you attach the rest of the pieces to each other good sides together, but do not sew the last panels together. It makes the next two steps easier.

6


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Iron your sewing allowance apart.

7


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Now we are doing the channels, Simply sew 1 cm (0,4 inches) from the seam keeping the panels together to create the channels. Do this on all pieces, and so that you have one channel on each side of our panels.
Then sew the last panels together, iron the seam allowance flat and do the channels just as you did the other channels.

8


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Turn the skirt so that you have the seam allowances on the inside. You will now have 12 channels if you have made it correctly.

9


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Sew the four ruffle pieces together, and iron the seam allowance flat.

10


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Fold over 1 cm (0,4 inches) and hem the bottom of the ruffle

11


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Sew a gathering seam at the top of your ruffle, I use my machine set on the longest straight seam that I can use, but this can be made by hand to.

12


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To make the ruffles even, put pins with all the same length between them at four places on the bottom of the skirt. The ruffle is already conveniently marked on four places by the seams.

13


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Now attach the ruffle piece to the skirt at these four places, (remember: the pretty sides to the pretty sides of the fabrics). Then by pulling the end of the ruffle seam, make ruffles and pin them as you go along.

14


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Sew the ruffles to the skirt.

15


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See, nice ruffles you have now.

16


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Now is the time to cut your strings, The sting is supposed to be twice the length of your drapes plus bit more. Cut six pieces.

17


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If you want to make a skirt that you can drape a bustle with, I suggest that you have long drapes.

18


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Thread a bluntneedle with your string and pierce the top fabric of a channel. It should
not go though to the front of the skirt. Then pull the string through the channel as long as you want the drape to be and then pierce the channel again, jump over the seam that connects the two panels and pierce the channel again. Pull the string trough the cannel back don to the ruffle again and pierce the channel again. Trim the edges of the string and knot the ends so they don’t disappear into the channels. Do this with all the strings.

19


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The ends of strings should not be longer then the ruffles, this way they are not seen at all.

20


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Now the overskirt is done!

21


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Now repeat step 5 to 16 but with these exceptions:
In step 5: in stead of inserting a zipper, sew the channels together but only up to the pint were the zipper should have been.
In step 6: do sew the last channels together.
Ignore step 8 and 9.
Now you will have one overskirt, and one slightly longer underskirt.

22


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Now put the skits tighter as they should be, the overskirt over the underskirt. Fold in the seam allowance at the opening for the zipper on the underskirt and fold down together the top of the under and overskirt and hem it 1,5 cm (0,6 inches) in.
Hand sew the opening for the zipper on the underskirt to the overskirt to make it look neat.
Then your skirt is officially finished. :D To show of the poof this could need some underskirts or a simple one hoop crinoline. Under the skirt in the picture in the top is a crinoline, the crinoline is sewn as a simple skirt with the only difference is that there is steel boning in the bottom hem.

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As you see here, one can make both long and short skirts this way, in this skirt I in bridal satin, and have two layers ruffles on the underskirt, the ruffles are also shorter on this skirt.

Good luck with your project.

Comments

( 53 comments — Leave a comment )
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ankoku_jin
Jun. 28th, 2008 11:12 pm (UTC)
Great tutorial, thanks so much for sharing! I've just got to make one of these for convention-wear. ^_^
(Deleted comment)
emmylouangel
Jun. 28th, 2008 11:24 pm (UTC)
THANK YOU!
mintymuffins
Jun. 28th, 2008 11:31 pm (UTC)
Great tutorial! This is going in my memories.
serindrana
Jun. 28th, 2008 11:33 pm (UTC)
Thank you! This is definitely going on my list of Things To Make. :D
ms_tate
Jun. 28th, 2008 11:42 pm (UTC)
Thanks so much! I have been looking for a new project to work on.
caliginous
Jun. 28th, 2008 11:44 pm (UTC)
very nice! Mind if I link it in the memories at patternsource?
learningtoflylj
Jun. 28th, 2008 11:50 pm (UTC)
I don't mind at all :)
irii
Jun. 28th, 2008 11:57 pm (UTC)
Thank you so much, I've wanted to try something similar to this! :D
experimentium
Jun. 29th, 2008 12:02 am (UTC)
Hooray! You rule
reality_twists
Jun. 29th, 2008 12:10 am (UTC)
Thanks, I've actually been trying to figure out a way to make a skirt like this.

Do you think it would work in a light cotton?

I'm starting to plan the summer wardrobe as mid-winter is the perfect time for summer sewing :D
learningtoflylj
Jun. 29th, 2008 02:15 pm (UTC)
the draping will not be as fluent as in the taffeta, but I Imagen that it would work. I am actually planning on making myself one in light cotton to so I have been pondering about it for a while :)
raetehytan
Jun. 29th, 2008 12:57 am (UTC)
O_O Thank you so much! That's lovely! [saves all over]
pinkdiamond
Jun. 29th, 2008 01:16 am (UTC)
Excellent! Very adaptable and nice layout of steps :) Will you keep these images hosted where they are? I have a list of my own tutorials and tutorials by others and would like to include this if possible?
learningtoflylj
Jun. 29th, 2008 02:17 pm (UTC)
yes, the images will be hosted were they are :)
cutesyfluffy
Jun. 29th, 2008 03:01 am (UTC)
Oh wow, that is gorgeous! Thank you for this tutorial, I needed a skirt like this.
contradictacat
Jun. 29th, 2008 03:35 am (UTC)
One question: How do you pull up the drape part of the skirt? Do you just yank on it on the top and stick the strings down the skirt?
learningtoflylj
Jun. 29th, 2008 02:22 pm (UTC)
hold the strings in one hand and then with the other hand pull the fabric up, like this :)
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dietcokefiend
Jun. 29th, 2008 03:44 am (UTC)
That is both simple and beautiful. Would you mind also posting this to diy_tutorials?
learningtoflylj
Jun. 29th, 2008 02:23 pm (UTC)
thank you :) I shall go straight ahead and do that :)
angiealight
Jun. 29th, 2008 03:49 am (UTC)
Oh lovely! Thanks for posting this!
mokonekochans
Jun. 29th, 2008 04:27 am (UTC)
... I love you.
jilder
Jun. 29th, 2008 05:01 am (UTC)
This is the best thing ever. Well done, and thank you!
barewinter
Jun. 29th, 2008 05:21 am (UTC)
Awesome looking :) In the first photo, is the model wearing anything under the skirt to give it body? Sorry if that's a stupid question but I keep looking at it and I can't tell if there's anything underneath.
lecari
Jun. 29th, 2008 10:57 am (UTC)
At the bottom of the post: To show of the poof this could need some underskirts or a simple one hoop crinoline. Under the skirt in the picture in the top is a crinoline, the crinoline is sewn as a simple skirt with the only difference is that there is steel boning in the bottom hem.
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
Re: lookee there! - learningtoflylj - Jun. 29th, 2008 02:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
arkivarie
Jun. 29th, 2008 08:26 am (UTC)
Great tutorial! Are you coming to this year's Sjuhäradsfestival? http://www.sjuharadsfestivalen.se/ I'll be running my Subversiv syslöjd http://www.sjuharadsfestivalen.se/?r=acts&id=26 workshop again. Lotsa DIY possibilities there! Grin.

And festival funktionärer get in free of course (as well as free food and camping)!!!

(yeah, I'm a festival pimpin' fool, folks; I admit it) :-)
learningtoflylj
Jun. 29th, 2008 02:35 pm (UTC)
No, I won't be going to any festivals this year, I have the "so much things so little time" problem, but good luck with your workshop. :)

(no subject) - arkivarie - Jun. 29th, 2008 03:59 pm (UTC) - Expand
kittensandsteam
Jun. 29th, 2008 09:25 am (UTC)
Great tutorial, thank you for sharing!
mooneflowerz
Jun. 29th, 2008 12:58 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the tutorial! This will definetly help my sister and I do my Masquerade outfit for 2009.
heir_of_timur
Jun. 29th, 2008 02:17 pm (UTC)
Thanks for taking the time to do this! I just got a sewing machine and can't wait to play around with it =D
zoi_no_miko
Jun. 29th, 2008 05:55 pm (UTC)
Awesome. XD I made a skirt like this a couple years ago, but not with the underskirt, so it always catches my crinoline when I bustle it up. :( Good idea!
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( 53 comments — Leave a comment )

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