A few weeks ago the parents of some friends of the boys had a ceilidh to celebrate their tenth wedding anniversary and, happily, I had nothing to wear, so it was the perfect opportunity to make something!
I needed to be able to feed the baby and I also have very little free time at the moment, so a skirt was going to be the easiest and quickest thing to make.
Here’s what I did!
I used 2m of taffeta that was 150cm wide, 6m of net also 150cm wide and some 30lb fishing line.
I needed to make squares, so from the taffeta I cut 1 square 150cm x 150cm and from the net 4 squares 150cm x 150cm.
I folded the taffeta square into quarters.
Next I took some measurements: the distance around my waist (what there is of it after 4 babies!) and the distance from my waist to my knee.
Now for the tricky maths part. I needed to cut a circle out of the middle of the square. I had the middle of the square thanks to folding the original taffeta square into quarters, and the circumference (ie my waist measurement) of the circle, so all I needed was the radius (distance from the centre to the edge of the circle). Mercifully there are thingies on the internet that do this for you. Phew!! For people who are not hopeless at maths, the way to work it out is circumference divided by pi (2 point something?) divided by 2. Don’t forget to add a seam allowance!
Next cut a piece of string the length of the radius. Attach the string to the centre of the fabric and mark off a circle. Cut out.
Cut another piece of string the same length as you want the skirt to be. Attach to the centre with the safety pin and mark off the bottom edge of the circle. Cut out.
You should now have a circle with a hole in the middle.
Cut in a straight line from the edge to the middle.
Repeat with the net.
Making the Curly Hem
Wind some of the fishing line around the handle of a wooden spoon. Microwave for about 1 1/2 minutes in bursts of 10-20 seconds. Check that it’s not fusing together. This should be enough to make the fishing line curlier.
Now the fishing line needs to be sewn into the hem. If you have rolled hem foot, this should be easy. Just be sure that the fishing line is inside the hem and some of the line is poking out of the end.
If you don’t have a rolled hem foot it’s a bit trickier. Not impossible though Fold the edge over the fishing line, then over again, and sew the hem using a straight stitch. Keeping the hem as narrow as possible will help the curliness.
With the net, it might be easier to zig zag the fishing line into the hem. Put the fishing line in the centre of the foot and sew away, ensuring that the fishing line is in the centre of the zig zags.
From the remaining fabric, cut a strip 8 cm wide and as long as you need for your waist. Fold in half lengthways and press. Fold up 1 1/2 cm on each side and press again. (This might work better cut on the bias, but it will use more fabric. I cut mine on the straight.)
Pin net underskirts to the taffeta skirt. You will need to decide whether you want them to show or not. Also remember to pin vertically with the pin heads pointing down, otherwise you will end up with pins sewn into your skirt (this is the voice of experience here!).
Next attach the waistband, making sure that the net underskirts are caught in the waistband as well as the outer. Sew, keeping close to the edge to ensure a neat finish.
Nearly there! Inserting a zip can be tricky, but this is how to do it according to a very useful book Husband found for me in that bargain bookshop The Works
Starting with the taffeta, pin the seam. Line up the zip and mark where the end is. Sew up to the mark. Repeat with the net.
Go back to the taffeta and tack the part of the seam where the zip will go. Press the seam flat. Put the zip over the tacked part of the seam and tack into place. Sew, then remove tacking stitches.
One completed skirt!!