Wednesday, March 20, 2013

What I'm Up To

Here's a little peek at what I've been spending my free time on lately. Here's a screen shot from my computer. Just doing some family history research. Want to know more about why I feel this is such an important task? Check it out {here}.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Lace Ruffle Skirt

Lately, I've seen a few ruffly skirts floating around on Pinterest & I've wanted to make one for myself for quite awhile. I bought some beautiful eyelet lace awhile back & was planning on using it to make an extender slip to wear under dresses & skirts that are just slightly too short. Because I've been working on other projects, I just never got around to using it. Then, a woman from church gave me a large tote filled with vintage lace, ribbon & other trim. I pulled out all the lace & knew that it would go perfectly with the eyelet lace I already had to make my own ruffly, lacy skirt. I had some leftover fabric from a white sheet that I used to make a ruffle shower curtain, & it was just the right size. First, here are some pictures of the finished product, and then I'll get into the details.
I love the antique lace! The eyelet lace that I bought is at the bottom, in the middle, and at the very top. Instead of gathering each of the strips of lace and fabric, I just created a few pleats as I pinned them to the base fabric. I didn't want it to be too poofy.
My husband was the photographer.
I love that it fits me perfectly!
My husband actually said, "Give me some sass!"
It makes me smile to see all that beautiful lace!

I also paired it up with a skirt over the top, to show how it can also be a pettiskirt. Now, if I have a dress or skirt that is just a little too short, I can wear it with my ruffle skirt & have some extra, lacy length!
Just admiring my calves!
You won't be seeing anything you aren't supposed to when I bend over!
Yup, I was falling over.
Ok, now on to some details. Using a white sheet, I cut out a rectangle that was 22 inches tall by 52 inches wide. I was very exact in my measurements. You know, I held the fabric around my waist, pulled it a ways to account for the gathering that would happen, and then cut it off. I actually measured it afterward. I used the existing hem for the bottom, which just made less work for me.
This shows the existing hem from the sheet. The first row of lace is sewn just above the hem.
I laid the rectangle on my cutting mat, & starting with the bottom ruffle, I started pinning the lace & fabric onto it. I didn't want each layer completely gathered, so I just created some pleats as I pinned.
One of the pleats. They were fairly small & spaced about 5 or 6 inches apart. I varied them on each layer, kind of like when you lay bricks.
For some of the lace layers, I paired them up with matching fabric, just so you wouldn't see the white base fabric beneath, and to give it a little more texture. I had some off-white muslin that I just tore into strips to put under the off-white lace. I used strips of the white sheet under the white lace. I didn't serge the edges, because I kind of liked the torn look. If you don't, you could certainly hem or serge the edge.

If the piece of lace wasn't quite long enough to go all the way across the skirt, I just overlapped it with another length of lace or fabric & kept going. It looks fine & gives the skirt a little more personality. Plus, I had some lace that I really wanted to use but didn't quite have enough to cover an entire row.
View of the back
After sewing on the last row of lace, I sewed the skirt into a tube by sewing the short edges together. I tried to match up each layer of lace as I was sewing. This will be the back of the skirt.
View of the waistband.

I used some 2 inch white elastic for the waistband. I tried it on around my waist, making sure it would fit snugly, then cut it & sewed it together with the edges overlapping. I just zigzag stitched over each raw edge.
I then sewed it to the top of the skirt, stretching the elastic to fit the width of the skirt. 

And there you have it! A beautiful, ruffly, lacy skirt that fits perfectly! I love it & have already received so many wonderful comments on it.