SXSW

I picked up 2 yards of this southwestern print rayon in the remnant annex at Mill End. The selvedge says that it’s from 1996. I think it’s totes rad. I used the waistband that I drafted for my circle skirt, I added another inch and it’s much more comfortable.

I made a simple dirndl with a very full skirt.  I used the entire 2 yards, so this is about 90″ wide minus the seam allowance. This skirt actually sat as a UFO for about 3 weeks because it was so hard to gather.

Originally I tried to make pleats, but there was just way to much volume. I’m a bit of a perfectionist and I wanted all of the pleats to be perfectly symmetrical. That was not going to happen so I set it aside. Then I tried to gather this huge amount of fabric. Basting stitches weren’t sufficient. Even gathering with dental floss didn’t work. It kept getting stuck on the slippery rayon and breaking. I was about to throw this in the corner and move on, when I accidentally stumbled on a new way (to me) to gather fabric.

The tension on my machine was a little wonky, and I started to mess with it. I turned the tension all the way up and it started to gather this fabric tightly all on its own. Holla!!!!! Just another tool in my arsenal, I love learning new things.

The zipper is sort of lapped. I decided to make it lapped as an after thought, so it doesn’t quite cover the top of the zipper pull.  I also added side seam pockets. Easy peasy after I figured the gathering out. Smell ya later.

xx, Cynthia

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7 thoughts on “SXSW

  1. Love it, the colours / print / style are darling on you! And thanks for the tip about gathering, it’s great finding out stuff accidently and it could potentially save so much time in the future…gathering’s so time-consuming!!!

  2. So pretty! I used to have a handmade skirt really similar to this (as in – bright Southwest print, gathered, wide waistband, etc haha), and you just reminded me of it. Hmm I wonder if it’s still lurking around my house.

    Oh, and future gathering tip for thick/difficult fabrics: get some of that thin crochet/darning thread (or something equally thick & sturdy, maybe even dental floss) and sew a very wide zig-zag stitch over it without actually puncturing the thread. It makes gathering really easy and you don’t have basting threads to worry about 🙂

  3. I learned to gather fabric that way from my sewing machine manual. In pre internet days that was pretty much my only sewing resource, haha. The only thing I don’t like about it is that it seems like (on my machine anyway) it sometimes comes out uneven with anything but lightweight fabric. Love the fabric!

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