Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Failed Blouse Cut Up and Made Into Ruffled Skirt

Last year I blogged about making this blouse, and it looked horrible. The yoke was too stiff, and the interfacing was a disaster after laundering.
I threw it in a drawer for awhile and then decided to rip it up and make something else.

I was obsessed with making a ruffled skirt. I wasn't sure whether or not to make extenders underneath each ruffle or what. I noticed that you could ruffle on the top layer and sew or serge to the bottom smooth layer at the same time, but I had very little experience in doing this. I decided I should just try to ruffle 1 layer before sewing onto a smooth extender piece at the same time. I made a basic skirt lining out of some light blue voile that I had purchased from I added an elastic waistband and marked where I wanted the ruffles placed across the lining with a Frixion pen. I added a  few inches of overlap for the start of each subsequent ruffle, so the lining would not be exposed when moving. Then, I went to town on adding rows of ruffles.

I'm no fan of gathering threads by hand, so I broke down and bought a ruffler foot. It is amazing!

How do I use this contraption? I found some great online tutorials, such as Using a Ruffler Foot Attachment,  Oh my, I Want to Ruffle Everything: Ruffler Tutorial and Ruffler Foot 101. I was still not sure how much ruffling yardage I could do with leftover fabric. Then I stumbled on this Pinterest item: make better ruffles. I made a sample with different stitch lengths and ruffle foot settings. That was a big help!

I had a tough time deciding how to finish the top seams of the ruffles. I ended up using the stitch and flip method for each row. I sewed each ruffle flipped up onto the shell. Then I flipped it down and stitched through the top enough to prevent future fraying.

Since I was piecing lots of scraps, I did end up having to piece a few disjointed sections together for each row. I'm hoping the busy print hides that.

For bottom seam finishes, I did a narrow rolled hem. I am no fan of pinning or pressing hems, so I used a narrow hem foot. After a little practice, I began hemming up a storm. Niler Taylor explains this very well here:

I'm pleasantly surprised that it turned out much better than the puritanical blouse!
I'm so glad I didn't let that fabric go to waste.

Fabric: "Turn of Events" in Indigo by Anna Maria Horner, part of her Innocent Crush collection