Occasionally it seems that world is in pure chaos with nothing making sense, but that doesn't matter as long as I can sew. Sewing is a form of art, or at the very least creativity, and a form of expression. A great outlet for the tension of everyday life. Also you can make cute things. The craft revolution is truly taking place, old skills are being revived by a new generation, but with a seriously modern twist.

I've made Mario pillow cases, a giraffe print background, and turned duvet covers into summer dresses. I enjoy making something unique, special, and me- then I like wearing it and watching it fall to pieces or not fit properly. Then I enjoy (slightly less) fixing it.

One day I shall have a room filled with glorious fabrics and boxes of notions, and on that day I will have found my nirvana. But until then this blog will exist as my virtual haberdashery and sewing room. Hopefully you'll enjoy looking at my creations as much as I enjoy looking at other blogs, and you'll be inspire to make something of your own.

Friday, 4 February 2011

Paper Bag Skirt

First make from remnant bin score (see previous post) is a paper bag skirt, so called because the top looks like a scrunched paper bag.  I saw a few how to guides:

I used the burdastyle one because it seemed simpler, the only complicated element was working out the pleat sizes which did require some maths skills, and SEVERAL attempts at getting the pleats correct.  For every 1inch pleat you need 2 pleats of fabric meaning you use twice as much fabric, as my fabric wasn't quite twice as wide as my waist I had to space my pleats out a little.  Hence the tricky maths, I didn't understand the how to at first but once I thought about it it made more sense.  Subtract you waist measurement from your fabric length, and the amount you get is the amount you can use for pleats.  You then divide this by the size of the pleats you want to determine how many you can make- so if you have 20" of fabric left and you want 1" pleats you divide 20 by 2 (because every 1 inch of pleat requires 2inch of fabric) and the answer is 10 pleats.  Now, the more confusing bit.  To work out how much you should space you pleats out you divide your waist measurement by the number of pleats plus one e.g 33" waist divided by 11 = 3" space between pleats. Yes a calculator and some blind faith helps.

The skirt uses box pleats, which I enjoy, they are basically two pleats next to each other but going in different directions, and as I type this I realise that is a rubbish description and more confusing than the maths gibberish. Heres a picture:

For each box you draw 5 lines then meet line 1 and 5 with line 3.  Using the above hypothetical measurements you would space the lines apart 1",1", 3",1",1".   If you have unlimited fabric you would space them evenly one inch apart.   Once in place you pin, then iron your pleats.
Hopefully that makes sense.  But the internet is awash with pleating how tos.

Always hem your fabric before pleating though (much much easier than doing it afterwards).  For my skirt I then two lines on the wrong side of the fabric, the first about 1.5" below the top edge (aka the waist), the next line a couple of inches below that.  This is the cinch waist, so you make it as wide as you want the waist.  You then sew the pleats but only inbetween the two lines you have just drawn.  Then sew the back seam (I had to do this several times as the skirt refuse to fit, my stupid skinny waist), and add the zip.  And voila!
(and yes I am aware that it's far too short!)

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