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Thursday, July 26, 2012

[TUTORIAL] Hooked on Fishtail Skirts

I'm at it again! Ever since I made that fishtail skirt the other day, I've wanted a lighter, flow-y one that would flutter behind me as I walked.

Outfits I devised to go with my new fishtail skirt. I like the far left and far right best.
So, I decided to use some vintage floral lightweight fabric I found in my stash that I inherited from my grandmother. I have devised a mini-tutorial of sorts on how I made it.

There was a lot of flying-by-the-seat-of-my-pants in this post. I made up stuff on the fly and nearly literally set my skirt on fire. We'll get to that part in the tutorial....

The fabric I had was 72 inches long and 36 inches wide. Despite me being Asian, I hate math. If I don't have  to measure, I won't. So I just made a super poofy, gathered fishtail skirt.

Then I folded it in half lengthwise.

At this point I pinned up the open side so the fabric wouldn't shift when I sew my seam closed. You'll get a very large tube of fabric once you've sewed it up.

Then I took it to the sewing machine and sewed a straight stitch from top to bottom.

Then, I cut off the excess, uneven fabric from the seam.

And then zigzag stitch the raw seam so it doesn't unravel.

At this point, we're going to make a casing for our elastic on the waist. Fold about 1/4 inch over and iron it down.

My elastic was 3/4 inch wide so I folded it again, barely over 3/4 of an inch so the elastic would slide in easily.

Iron it down so it will lie flat, plus it makes it easier to sew.

Sew a straight stitch all the way around. 

Make sure to leave a small opening so you can put your elastic in. 

Take a pic of cute doggy.

For the elastic, take your waist measurement and subtract 1 inch from that measurement. Add 1/4 inch for seam allowance when you join the elastic together. Mine was 32 inches minus 1 inch plus 1/4 inch equaled 31.25 inches. Take a safety pin to one end to help insert the elastic through the casing.

Once you've gotten your elastic threaded through the casing. (I had a horrendous time. I barely made the casing wide enough so it got stuck a lot.) Join the elastic like so with a zigzag stitch:

Then sew the opening close with a straight stitch. I didn't want my elastic rolling in the casing while I wore the skirt so I set my stitch width to the widest setting (5.0) and sewed straight down the middle of the casing while stretching the elastic.

And try it on! If you'd like a maxi skirt, tadaaa! But I wanted a fishtail skirt so measure from your waist to your knees (or whatever front length you want) and the waist to the back of your calves (or wherever you want your back length to hit). 

Then cut a diagonal "S" shaped hem like in my other post. So that it looks like this:

At this point, I wanted to try and "hem" the edge of the skirt by using fake-leather's mullet skirt tutorial where she uses a lighter to burn the edge of the skirt so that it doesn't fray.

Well, you guys. I learned a lesson. MAKE SURE TO TEST ON A PIECE OF SCRAP FABRIC! Burning the hem ONLY works if you have polyester fabric. Since mine was a vintage, unknown fabric, I think it may have had acetate in it which makes it catch fire very easily. I nearly set my skirt on fire several times. I gave up and decided to sew a narrow hem with my narrow hem foot on my sewing machine.

I used Threads Magazine's tutorial on how to master your narrow hem foot. I can't say I "mastered" it, per say. The hem is okay..... there were some spots where it didn't catch the fabric fully so I did go back and put LOTS of Fray Check on it. (And I burned some of the fraying edges that were showing to keep it from fraying anymore....)

There are no photos of this process. I was too frustrated and cussing up storm so I spared you the angry crafting.

I managed to make several outfits with the skirt as well! Check them out!

Thrifted IZOD blue chambray button-up, Wet Seal white and tan crocheted belt, and H&M white patent wedges

White bow sleeveless button-up, vintage stretch tan belt, and taupe Nine West slingback heels

Old Navy light pink flutter sleeve shirt, brown braided leather belt, brown gladiator wedges

Handmade jade glass teardrop necklace, turquoise bandeau top, Target brown double strap belt, handmade Amazonite leather wrap bracelet, brown gladiator wedges

Which is your favorite outfit? 

That's it for today's post! I hope you enjoyed my Frankenstein-ed tutorial. Thanks for reading! If you have any questions or comments, feel free to leave them below! :)


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