Last night before bed, I stitched one of the two skirt layers to the satin waistband tier. This morning, I pinned the other layer to the satin waistband, right sides together. I tried to err on the side of too many pins rather than too few, because the chiffon and the satin are both slippery suckers. Here's the waistband satin rectangle with one layer stitched on to one side, and the other one pinned, ready to take to the machine:
Here's what it looked like with both skirt layers attached, finally all one piece:
My pattern instructions told me to put the elastic casing in next, before sewing the side seam, but I decided not to do it that way because wanted the side seam allowance to be inside the two skirt layers instead of up against the princess's skin. After all, princesses are very sensitive... Since I have had only a few previous experiences sewing with elastic and none of them went very well, I hunted around through a couple of online tutorials to figure out how to proceed. After watching the Martha Stewart Pettiskirt Tutorial video three times, and reading her written instructions a few more times, I finally figured out what the heck they were telling me to do. By the way, I do not suggest that you make the whole skirt the way the Martha directions tell you to do it. It's backwards of the way my pattern and every other tutorial say to do it, and I'm suspicious that the woman in the video (who sells pettiskirts commercially and claims to have invented them) may be intentionally obfuscating in order to sell more of her readymade skirts. Sewing the skirt from the top down instead of from the bottom up would be a nightmare, trying to attach miles and miles of frill to the hem of a skirt that's already gathered up instead of to a flat layer! But I digress...
You can see in the photo how I've marked with tailor's chalk the 1 1/2" space just below the fold that I am going to leave OPEN in the side seam, so I have someplace to thread the elastic through.
Now, if you have never sewn an elastic casing before, you might think that it would be a good idea to stitch 1" down from the folded edge of fabric to sew a casing for 1" wide elastic. You would be wrong, and you would be sorry (I did that once on a pair of pajamas for one of my sons). This is like sewing rod pocket curtains, and you have to sew the tunnel wider than the elastic (or curtain rod) you will be driving through the tunnel or else you are going to get stuck.
It turns out that the distance from my needle in center position is exactly 1 1/4" from the edge of the stitch plate, so I was able to use that as my guide as I stitched the casing; no pink tape required.
I pinned along the fold line of my slippery satin fabric before attempting to stitch the casing and again, I'm glad I did, because it was slipping and sliding all over the place. Sewers' words of wisdom: At the end of your project, you'll regret the seams you didn't pin more than the ones you did!I raised my machine bed up so I could use the free arm for this part, although the skirt is SO hugely puffy and bulky that it was still tricky to control.
I used 1" wide "non-rolling" elastic for my skirt, and I hooked a big safety pin to the end to help me feed it through the elastic tunnel (known as a casing to serious seamstresses).
I overlapped the ends by an inch and used the triple straight stitch on my Bernina to sew a square with an "X" where the elastic overlapped. I also stitched down vertically through the waistband with my triple straight stitch at the front and back of the skirt to make sure the elastic can't get all twisted up when the skirt is worn and washed and washed and worn again. I loathe twisted elastic!
Update: Okay, here it is with the little flowers, really and completely, totally finished:
Chasing Fireflies and then embellish it with ribbons and little flowers or sequins or whatever from MJ Trimmings to make it your own. If you do, send me a picture -- I'd love to see it!
Update December 26, 2010: It's only the day after Christmas, but I've just had an Epiphany! If I ever make another pettiskirt, I'm going to use the adjustable buttonhole elastic, which you can find here. There's a tutorial here on how to adapt readymade jeans by adding the buttonhole elastic.
This is WAY better than I ever could have envisioned! I can hear her now, "Look Mommy, I'm a Princess"!
Oh my! Oh my! Oh my! I have never seen anything quite so amazing. Rebecca, you have outdone even yourself! - Grammy
oh man. That is dangerously cute.
Hmmm... Dangerous in what way? I think the danger is that I will look at the cute pictures, forget that it took me forever to finish the first one, and order more chiffon to make another one or two or three and find myself drowning in a sea of chiffon. I could do the two tiers in different colors, so the top layer could be a deep orange with hot pink peeking out from the bottom layer, or an animal chiffon with deep red bottom layer... A nice kelly green with lots of flowers on it could be all elfish and Midsummer Night's Dream. I can dream up 10 different pettiskirts in 5 minutes...
The other danger would be that I might decide to make an adult-size pettiskirt to wear over jeans on days when I am not in the mood to be a grownup. :-)
I think you could totally pull off the pettiskirt-over-jeans look. Go on. You know you want one for yourself.
This is absolutely GORGEOUS!
I just wanted to say that I enjoyed reading your tut and linked it on my blog here http://vivibijoux.com/2011/09/tutorial-links-pettiskirts-part-3/
hope you can hop on! smile, Virginie
You maybe right on the Kaiya Eve owner trying to throw people off, but only in how full they made their skirts. Though I guess it didn't work since they have since gone out of business.
If you are using a ruffler foot, it is a lot easier to start at the satin layer and work down. The only pinning needed are joining the two finished short sides and maybe for the waistband.
I don't remember ever saying that I thought the pattern maker was deliberately trying to confuse people -- I actually really liked a lot of the information in the pattern and found it very helpful.
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