TARDIS Console Skirt

Now we’ve made it to the real meat of the costume. Last week, or rather two weeks go now that I’ve checked, you saw the petticoat, and the bum pad before that. This week we’re onto the skirts.

This gold polyester taffeta has been sitting in my stash for two years now. And this week I learned that even if I sneeze in its general direction, it will collect water stains. Also, its super easy to accidentally melt.

TARDIS skirt side

But back to the costume. In order to model it off of the console, I wanted 6 sections of gold divided by sections of light aqua.

TARDISconsolelink

Super scientifically I measured the base of the skirt (on the ground…with my flat tape) and divided it into six sections. Now, this ended up being too big, but we’ll get to that. I then decided I wanted the aqua sections to be about 3 inches wide, and divvied up the fabric.

TARDIS skirt back

When I saw how woodgie the aqua fabric was, I knew that I needed to not only back it with something, but back it with something solid, so I used the same taffeta for that as well. I cut the aqua 5 inches wide, and then gathered it every 10 inches or so, and basted it to the taffeta. I was using half inch seam allowances throughout, mostly so it would be easy to calculate the exact widths. I then realized that the skirt could use some extra texture, so I made wide pleats up three of the six panels, and centered one of them in the back.

TARDIS skirt front

Once the entire skirt was sewn up, it was a panel too wide, but I was determined to keep all six, so I left the back pleated one (which I had accidentally melted the bottom of anyway), and cut off 4 inches of each other panel.

It still ended up a bit wide, but it was easily handled by pleating, and the apron and bustle covered up most of the top of the skirt anyway!

TARDIS skirt zipped

I attached a waistband made out of the same taffeta (sense a theme?), and used a zipper to close it. It’s not a long zipper, so it’s still a smidge difficult to get on, but it works nicely. And it’s covered by the bustle anyways. If I knew it would be seen, I’d think of using a different closure, but it’s fine for this one!

Now, by this point I had spent nearly two days working on this skirt, when it was only supposed to take me one, and I hadn’t even touched the pleats on the bottom yet. I took a break to drape the apron and bustle and make the shirt. But it’s probably better that I did.

TARDIS skirt pleats

The break gave me time to buy some poster board, which I used to make a pleating board. It took nearly three hours to pleat enough to go all the way around the skirt. And I only almost melted the taffeta once.

There is always time to add extra trim, which is what I’ll be doing for the next month or so, since my daily life will be too busy to facilitate the extracurriculars. So tedious hand sewing could keep me on track! But that’s the skirt as it stood for the pictures that I’ve taken of the whole costume.

I’ll be back on Thursday to show you the bustle. Till then!

Do you like my party skirt?

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Every time I think about this skirt, I think about the song My Party Dress from the musical Henry and Mudge (which I’ve never seen but I think I’d love, because of the song). I think this is the first version I ever heard, and I still love it, no matter how many versions I hear. I think I like the song because I always feel a bit out of place in fancy clothing.

I’ve grown to like wearing skirts and dresses (secret pajamas anyone?), but most of mine are solid (1,2,3,4), made of cheap jersey (1,2) , or are rather simple in design/execution (1,2). The majority are twirly, but rarely are they fancy. I don’t do flashy, you might say.

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So when I was trying to get out of my sewing funk in the latter half of my winter break, I surprised myself and reached for this polyester brocade. I bought this from Joann’s two years ago in order to make my Belle cape, but at the time I was not well versed in making circle skirts, or the like, so I ordered too much fabric.

Because it wasn’t particularly wide, it made a small capelet rather than anything like a full cape, but that left plenty of room for this skirt!

pocket

It started as a rectangular tube, and then I pleated it to fit a simple black waistband. There’s also two gigantic pockets and a center back zipper. I did have to use a lot of heat to get the pleats to span the width of the skirt, and I was very worried that I was going to burn the fabric, which would have ruined the whole effect!

I knew from experience that this stuff frays like crazy, so I had my FrayCheck at the ready, and used it every time I cut. But I also figured that a lining would be to my advantage to cut down on additional fraying. I had this brown cotton lawn, I think it is, and I’ve never figured out what to use it for. But it makes a great lining. A little staticy, but it’ll be okay. With the weight of the brocade, it won’t ever stick for long!

side spin

The zipper did puzzle me for a bit, and I had to put it in and take it out a few times. I guess my original seam wasn’t deep enough, so I had to take it in a smidge.

But the skirt had its first outing before that! I wore it the same day that I originally made it, when I went to a social ballroom dance, and it passed the twirling test at least! There was the issue when I was leading a friend in a swing dance, and her hand got caught in one of the pockets as we were passing each other, but that was a fluke.

side gaze

Then I let it fester in the alterations pile until now. I’ve since fixed the zipper, and if I ever need a fancy flashy skirt, I have it!

So… do you like my party dress? Or rather, skirt?

Completely Different

And now for something completely different…

pockets!

As a short person, I always assumed that I wouldn’t like maxi skirts, no matter what people say about how they can make you seem taller…

Those people wear heels.

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Don’t get me wrong, I have nothing against swimming in fabric. Why do you think I love circle skirts?

I also love the feeling of fabric against my legs when I’m ballroom dancing, and jeans are just not cutting it. Frankly, this won’t work for that either, but still.

But I think I’m in love. (I did just say that about my couch to everyone, but it definitely applies to this skirt).

And I fell hard.

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If you’ve been following my pictureless MMM15 posts, my Syrah skirt has made quite an impression, and not just because of a trip with limited outfits. (P.S. I got the pattern as part of a Perfect Pattern Parcel! Love those things)

It’s just so darn comfy! Perhaps the comfiest I’ve been barring pajamas. And maybe even then… but that could mean that I need to make some pajamas.

I cut it out, and I’m pretty sure I took off maybe an inch of lengthdue to me being short. I went for the ruched waistband, which is great, but I bet I would’ve preferred the straight one.

pock

Also pockets. I now require them in anything less than a ballroom only dress/skirt. So I pulled out the Hudson pockets and used them. I should draft them a little differently for the curved waist, but like ’em!

The fabric is some kind of mystery fabric that is at least 75% of definitely polyester. But it dries in a split second!

I followed the instructions and bought swimsuit fabric for the “slip,” and because I’m short I probably have enough for at least 4 more, since I didn’t quite add in all the length to that one either.

There was a bit of an issue easing in all the fabric, especially when I added the pockets, but I don’t mind a slight wrinkle or two!

feet length proof

Because the fabric is a knit, I made the executive decision not to hem it. Instead it got caught on my sandals for a week. I fixed it by cutting down the sandals instead.

So, definitely a super comfy make, that was concurrent with some Tania culottes… Also green. Do you sense a theme? Because I definitely do. And I’m pretty certain that my next make will be too.

Emerald Circle Skirt

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During one of the big storms that hit the South this winter I started dreaming of a wool skirt. And then I remembered my plans to make another circle skirt, this time out of a real color.

Grey is a great color, but it’s not someone’s first thought when you say “Pick a color!”

So I went online to the magical land of eBay and got this great emerald wool crepe. This one’s a nice weighty fabric with a loose weave and a lovely texture.

backtwirl

This time I made a 3/4 circle skirt, since the fabric already had enough body, and twirling would be dangerous enough.

I just had acquired a bunch of mystery fabric, and done of it was stiff and canvas like, so I used that as interfacing, since I always forget to obtain heavy interfacing.

pocketses!

And pockets. I put in (drumroll please: tssssssssssss) two pockets! Not one, which is acceptable, but two. Cause I love pockets!

Everything was going perfectly… until the hem. Now, I should have known better than to attempt using my rolled hem foot for such a thick fabric… but I don’t learn. So after an hour of attempting, I gave up.

sideMy piles and piles of vintage bias tape called to me, and I found this nice goldish beige. I’m pretty sure it isn’t the original color, as I think it just aged that way, but I love it!

So I attached this lovely double fold to the bottom and called it a day!

cute

I think I’m in love with this skirt, and I’m proud to wear it for St Patrick’s Day!

Of course, though, it’s now quite warm out. Oh well!

Insanity

** Full disclosure: This insane night was in reality in June… I’m just slow on the picture front**

You know how the night before something big, say prom or job interviews or the first day of school or the last day of school (please stop me now), you immediately rethink the status of your closet? Please tell me I’m not alone here…

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I’ve noticed that since I’ve moved towards the equator within the northern hemisphere I’ve been wearing skirts more. Perhaps its the fact that I’m dying from the heat, although I’m quite a weakling when it comes to heat shtuff. Perhaps its that I’m not at home, and that when I leave the house it’s pretty much just for actual reasons, like food shopping and getting a new drivers license and and being an adult is difficult. Needless to say, for all I’m a jeans and t-shirt girl, jeans are just not wearable in heat. Skirts are, though shorts come in as the close second.

So now I’m rambling. But what I am trying to do here is stall a bit. Because tonight I’m endeavoring to document my insanity and give you all the play by play of tonights “entertainment.” I am planning to make three skirts tonight, in the hopes that one will satisfy me tomorrow.

fronty

7:30 – The planning… and 8:00 – The time I realistically started this blog post.

I’ve had the deep purple fabric the longest out of all of these, but in reality it’s been just over a year. I got it while abroad in a remnants bin of the only fabric store that I visited there. It’s really only a half meter, so I’ve been debating what to do, since I wanted to make a blouse. There isn’t really enough for a blouse though, so swishy skirt it is! This is going to be my *fingers crossed* easy one. I’m thinking simpleĀ  gathered skirt with a black waistband… Now I need to find a zipper.

The black interlock in the middle is meant for an A-line skirt… Or that’s what I’ve been telling myself. It’s going to have a waistband, since I realize that I pretty much only wear things with waistband (sorry culottes).

The gold, which happens to be the same gold as I used for my Belle dress, would also be for an A-line skirt. Maybe I should start with this one.

teaser

8:20 – The setting up of supplies

Now’s the time to get out the iron and the ironing board, the scissors and the rotary cutter, and realizing that I haven’t eaten dinner. It’s been a long day, and I shall now pause to reconsider my life as I make mac and cheese… or maybe some leftovers. Leftovers sounds easier.

8:45 – Back on track: ironing

That purple fabric… grr. I hate ironing non-quilting cotton items. I think I suffer a bit from i-learned-to-sew with-the-most-maneagable-fabric-itis. Put I shall press on! Hee hee… I’ll shut up now.

9:00 – Cutting out

For the purple skirt I’ll be gathering all of the fabric in, but I still need a waistband! Need to cut that. Also, cutting out the gold A-line… need to do some measuring there I guess!

10:00 – Sewing of the gold skirt

The internet is distracting. All I wanted to do was find out the basics of knit A-line skirt construction, but no, the internet was much too exciting… Perhaps an episode of Criminal Minds involving twins contributed. It’s hard to keep storylines straight when the same actor plays a set of twins…

But I did find a post from ikat bag which discusses precisely what I was interested in! And it shows pockets! I’ve definitely told you of my love for pockets, right?

frontyel

11:15 – Sewing of the purple skirt

The gold skirt took a while, and its not hemmed, and honestly the waistband needs to be shortened and reattached, but all in all, not bad. I very much dislike unpicking, so I’ll fix it in the morning. It’s easier then.

The purple fabric is off kilter, though. I don’t think it was the end of the bolt, as both sides are very weirdly off grain. And its fraying a lot…

11:55 – Finally got one side of the purple fabric cut straight, and without further ado I am going to start the waistband process! I figure I’ll worry about the other side (aka hem) when I’ve finished the entire skirt.

backy

12:15 – I managed to sew the one side of the waistband down, and ironed the folded bit in place. I’ll start sewing soon, but have I mentioned that the purple fabric when hot smells like warm almonds?

12:45 – Finished the waistband and put in the zipper… Time for bed.

I hemmed it in the morning, and was all ready for the interview.

back prple

Never did get around to the third skirt, but it was since made into my black dress

I have learned that while A-line knit skirts are comfy, there is a greater risk of panty-lines, and it’s not good for sprawling when you want to take a nap… not that I have experience with that or anything…

But never fear, I’ve gotten pictures of the two finished skirts now. So, that was one crazy night!

Swingy Circle Skirt

My friends, this is my first full circle skirt. A lovely grey suiting (maybe wool?) circle skirt!

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Up until now, I’ve been worried that I would move too quickly or be in a blast of wind, and then my underwear would show.

This kind of malfunction is quite common in my life… Remember my culottes? I’m going to need to make another pair, because I wore these today, and… um… I’m pretty sure my fellow busriders who were lucky enough to get a seat could see somewhere quite private. And keep in mind I’m short. At very nearly 5’3″, no one except toddlers should be able to see up my skirt. I blame my lack of pre-washing (due to my inability at the time of make, and my obliviousness. There were signs. But it is an opportunity to make a better pair.

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This post isn’t about culottes though. It’s about a wonderful circle skirt.

The fabric for this is medium weight. Definitely autumn or winterwear, not summer. And possibly wool. I’m just too chicken to try to burn test it. Comfy wool, not super itchy, if it is in fact wool.

spin

Weight is the key factor for me here, the weight of the fabric keeps this from being indecent. Look at this spinning picture. If we get over the fact that my bangs are creating a hilariously funny blur, I’ll tell you that this is me spinning pretty quickly. East coast swing dance quickly, though not quite jive or quickstep. There is no reason for me to spin quicker. And it’s still got some nice conical-ness to it! I did manage to spin quick enough for indecency, but not on camera and it took too much effort. Never happening again!

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What else can I say?

It’s got a pocket? Big surprise there. I’m currently courting the title Princess of Pockets.

I interfaced the waistband for the first time? That was nice. Very necessary with the weight of the skirt too.

closing

I’m very proud of my closure? The invisible zip isn’t very invisible, but for a first-try, I think it’s alright. And if I don’t care, no one else should. And the hooks and eyes. Perfection for me. Granted, I had to use black thread on a grey skirt, so its a bit visible, but four years in the costume shop have taught me my way around hooks and eyes!

That’s all for now, but you’ll be seeing it again tomorrow for a new potential series installation!