Thursday, May 31, 2012

Orange Ruffles

I promised to talk a little bit more about this skirt, which I volunteered to test sew for Kim.

Really, it has so many problems. But I learned how to do ruffles, and the bottom ruffle is actually pretty good. The top and middle ruffles were sewn on in what I was calling "ruffle sandwiches." So, the middle ruffle was gathered and pinned to the top of the middle skirt piece, then the bottom of the top piece was pinned, and you sew through all three layers at once. With the top ruffle, the sandwich included the waistband. I think if you look very closely you can see an extra bit of stitching below the waistband, over the ruffle, on the left of the skirt. The waistband shifted while I was sewing the sandwich, and I didn't catch the folded-under edge on the inside. The elastic doesn't sit quite perfectly either, because of the waistband shifting. And the ruffles are a little crooked in spots.

So what did I learn? Ruffles aren't that hard, but I'm probably fine with one ruffle on a skirt, and no sandwiches. This is the first time I used an attached waistband instead of just creating a casing, and I think it's more trouble than it's worth for a little girl's skirt, especially when ruffle sandwiches are involved. (But now I've done it.) I think my feedback helped the pattern designer; I hope so anyway. I know she made some changes based on everybody's feedback. (You can buy the final version of this pattern here.)

It's definitely the most involved skirt I've ever made for my daughter, and it's her favorite color, and the imperfections aren't going to be visible on a moving three-year-old. (Also, my thread color matches really well. That was smart.) Speaking of thread, this pattern used so much. I'm not sure why I'm so thread stingy; it's pretty inexpensive, even if my machine only likes Mettler and will puke thread if I try anything else. I hate running out in the middle of a project though, and having to stop and wind another bobbin. Between the basting stitches for the ruffles and all the edges that needed's a good thing I stopped and bought an extra spool of orange thread! (I might be thread-insecure because I can only find Mettler at one local shop, and it's not open on Sundays or Mondays...)

Final verdict? Achingly cute skirt, imperfections and all. I did two new things (the ruffles and the waistband), and I like confronting something that intimidates me. Now, ruffles will be a choice, not something I avoid because I think they're too hard. I can now take any simple skirt and put a ruffle on it. (I knew I could.) And what fun to get to test out a pattern for someone--it was complete impulse to offer, but I'm glad I did.

Is there something crafty-wise that's intimidating you? What would happen if you tried it anyway?

Linking up with the brave and creative folks here.


Jen said...

It came out so cute! I've never tried ruffles because they intimidate me. I'll have to try one soon....but only 1 to start with! I'm VERY thread stingy too. Glad to hear I'm not the only one! :-)

Karen Isaacson said...

the only ruffle sandwich around here is when I put potato chips in my ham and cheese.

Donna Lee said...

I love the skirt. It's funny the things we think are difficult and then find out they're not. Just different.

I like it when I learn something new when making a project. It helps me grow as a crafter.

Jill said...

Yay, YOU! And you did it in May -- way to kick that month's mojo. It IS achingly cute, and I know that girl will rock those ruffles. Didn't know orange was her fave...hmmmm.

onshore said...

Looks really cute but yet energetic at the same time, well done. The orange goes very well with the ruffles. And I don't see any imperfections.

Bells said...

you know, I've had thread issues too and never thought to ask if my machine likes certain kinds of thread and not others. Fascinating!

Good work on learning a lot with this - and good idea to get good matching thread.

I bet she looks fabulous in it!

Sally said...

I love it. Love the ruffles. Love the orange. Love the imperfections... not that I can actually see any but imperfections are what make things special.
Thread stingy huh? I can be too at times but I am trying to get over it. I collect long offcuts or pieces taken out of gathers to use for hand stitched basting!!! You'd think I was living through the depression... except if you saw the floor and noticed all the other threads destined to clog up the vacuum cleaner!!!