28 Nov 2012 9 Comments
So I wanted to make a velvet circle skirt this weekend. I’ve found the perfect fabric too: a bit stretchy and not that shiny, not too thin and not too thick, just the right velvet for a skirt.
I first folded the fabric 6 times until I got a triangle shape. Then, from the tip of the triangle I measured 60 cm (23.6 in) to different points: first on the sides, then the middle, then the middle of the middle and so on. I had laid the fabric on my bed and market the points with pins, which allowed me to cut a perfect circle in no time. Boy was I proud of myself :)
This was going to be easy peasy, I thought.
Little did I know this was going to be a disaster. This is what I did wrong
1. I wanted the skirt to be around 45 cm (18 in) long, so I thought some will get lost in the hem and some in the circle I will cut out for the waist. I wanted it rather high waist so I just thought I’d add more length to it, I cut 60 cm. Waaaay to much.
2. I them hemmed my beautiful velvet circle. You will see why this was wrong.
3. I then cut the circle for the waist using the beauty of mathematics:
the circumference of a circle is its’ diameter multiplied by the number Pi (π). The Radius is half the diameter, which means you can calculate the radius by dividing the circumference by 2 times π.
In other words, you will divide your waist circumference by 6.3
So, if your waist is 69 cm (27in), the radius of your waist circle would be 10.9 cm (4.2 in). You can also use the table below as a reference.
It tried it on: beautiful!
4. I then sewed a tube of velvet (so I can hide the elastic in it) and attached it to the skirt. It looked great, except I had sewn it on the wrong side. How newbie of me.
5. The velvet was dark and the thread the same colour and I had made the wrong judgement of choosing a way too short stitch. It was almost impossible to unseam. (Do you dislike unseaming as much as I do?)
6. After I opened the stitches in a few places I tried pulling from the pieces of fabric to speed up the process – WRONG. This works with linen and even stronger cottons but with velvet it’s true death :> So it – of course! – ripped into the fabric.
7. No problem, I thought, I will just cut an inch or two away from the waist and you won’t even see it because of the elastic waist. WRONG.
You can see it and it completely changes the way your skirt falls. If your don’t spend extra time (something I didn’t do) to make sure the entire waist length is gathered equally to fit the fabric tube your are attaching it too, that will also give it a chunky, bumpy, lamey look.
8. Then, there was the moment of shortening the skirt. It was not as easy as I had imagined. I generally cut shorts or pants a bit longer and then chop away. Now I had to do the whole measure, pin, measure pin etc etc to do the cutting. Had I just calculated the length of the skirt properly I would have saved lots of time now.
9. The skirt was ready, but when I put it on I realized I was never going to wear it. It looked frumpy and I looked like I was 10 and wearing my older sister’s clothes.
Any ideas on how I recycle all this velvet I ruined? A hat? A velvet collar -too tacky?