Author Topic: Help me in my bobbly skirt disaster  (Read 2553 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline ejvc

  • Machine-Knitting Cryptographer and Plan-Bot
  • Member
  • Posts: 7340
  • Gender: Female
  • Me about age 2
    • The Fabulous Dr E's Fabulous Blog
Help me in my bobbly skirt disaster
« on: November 15, 2011, 09:20:52 AM »
Dear sewing friends,

I have made a sow's ear out of a silk purse, and I don't know what (if anything) I can do about it. 

I picked a pattern from Ottobre with a straight-cut yoke and four bias panels for the skirt.  I checked the pattern carefully.  When the shell was nearly assembled I basted the side seams to check fit -- there was a little bit of wobbling at the hip area which I thought was due to poor grading on my part between sizes.  I smoothed the curve, checked again (better) and went on my merry way, trusting that the lining would help to improve the way the skirt lay.  But when the (hand-picked) zipper was inserted and the lining in (and joined to the zipper) and I tried it on again for the hem -- DISASTER.  Here it is on my dressmaker's dummy.  It is actually worse on me.

Front (the best view):


Side 1:


Side 2:


Back (with horrid bobbly zipper) (ignore the top of the zipper, that's just a missing hook and eye):


In its current state it is unwearable.  Is there anything I can do?  I have more fabric (not a lot, but some).

ETA: The shell fabric is wool.  The lining, cut on the straight, fits fine.

« Last Edit: November 15, 2011, 09:35:43 AM by ejvc »
My blog is at http://ejvc.wordpress.com

Sewing and machine knitting in Karlstad, Sweden!

Offline ejvc

  • Machine-Knitting Cryptographer and Plan-Bot
  • Member
  • Posts: 7340
  • Gender: Female
  • Me about age 2
    • The Fabulous Dr E's Fabulous Blog
Re: Help me in my bobbly skirt disaster
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2011, 09:30:00 AM »
Thought you might also like to see the pattern drawing and the Ottobre photo, neither of which hint at the bobble horror:




My blog is at http://ejvc.wordpress.com

Sewing and machine knitting in Karlstad, Sweden!

Offline kbenco

  • Member
  • Posts: 1180
  • Gender: Female
  • Queensland, Australia
    • kbenco's projects
Re: Help me in my bobbly skirt disaster
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2011, 09:41:56 AM »
Elizabeth, how annoying. It looks from here as if perhaps the fabric is rather unstable on the bias. Could you bear to unpick, leave the pieces to hang, unencumbered for a few days, and recut them?
I can't think of anything quick and easy. I hope someone more knowledgable has some tips. I approach bias with caution,  very large seam allowances and a walking foot.
Did you interface the zipper area? I like to use silk organza selvage on the straight grain for thin bias fabrics such as linen, but what is your fabric?
sewing hugs
Karen
ETA - sorry, I missed your edit re the fabric, does steaming the wool help at all? I would still hang the pieces then steam.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2011, 09:49:06 AM by kbenco »
what I am sewing  - http://kbenco.blogspot.com/

Offline AnnRowley

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3316
  • Gender: Female
Re: Help me in my bobbly skirt disaster
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2011, 11:03:41 AM »
Quote
The shell fabric is wool.  The lining, cut on the straight, fits fine.
 

I would suggest that is part of the problem - can you remove the lining, and especially the sewing to the zip, and see what happens.
It looks as though something is stopping the bias-cut wool from draping correctly.

Did you let the basted skirt hang overnight before fitting?  Bias fabric has a will of its own and needs time to settle before fitting. If you try to fit before it has settled then you will tend to get uneven results.

I'm afraid the Karen's suggestion of unpicking the machine stitching, re-basting and hanging for a day or two before fitting again is the only thing I would suggest too. But don't attempt to re-cut anything before fitting.
Do make sure that your basting thread isn't tight  and so preventing the seam from dropping - leave a long tail and don't fasten off...
And I'm afraid that a skirt like this needs a bias lining too... fitted as above.

Offline ejvc

  • Machine-Knitting Cryptographer and Plan-Bot
  • Member
  • Posts: 7340
  • Gender: Female
  • Me about age 2
    • The Fabulous Dr E's Fabulous Blog
Re: Help me in my bobbly skirt disaster
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2011, 11:52:16 AM »
I suppose I am encouraged that at least it may be POSSIBLE to salvage.  I'll remove the lining/zip stitching and have a look at it, but I think unpicking and hanging before a basted fitting is the way to go.

Do you think I can leave the panels attached to the yoke while I'm hanging them?

In general, how would you prepare fabric for a skirt of this type? I would like (if possible) to learn from my mistakes...

PS Also, the edges of the panel pieces are overlocked.  Do you think I need to remove the overlocking?  I'd worry about the allowance width if so though.



My blog is at http://ejvc.wordpress.com

Sewing and machine knitting in Karlstad, Sweden!

Offline Susan in Miami

  • Member
  • Posts: 1066
Re: Help me in my bobbly skirt disaster
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2011, 01:28:51 PM »
Elizabeth,

Marcy Tilton (and others) advise ironing the heck out of the fabric in the lengthwise direction before cutting and sewing - when it is intended to be cut on the bias. This ironing permanently removes a lot of the stretch before you handle the pattern pieces.

That said, you have already cut, so I would hang the garment in this case and see what happens. The first thing I noticed was that you had a straight grain lining and thought, as Ann said, this garment needs a bias lining.

Just my 2 cents, Susan



Offline ejvc

  • Machine-Knitting Cryptographer and Plan-Bot
  • Member
  • Posts: 7340
  • Gender: Female
  • Me about age 2
    • The Fabulous Dr E's Fabulous Blog
Re: Help me in my bobbly skirt disaster
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2011, 02:47:40 PM »
Well, hmm.  I can steam the heck out of them and pull them down.  But will my skirt fit after that as the pieces will get so much narrower.  The 6 million dollar question.

Here's a Threads article by Marci Tilton in which she advises 1 1/2" seam allowances.  I feel sure I'm in for a lot of work with perhaps not much reward.
« Last Edit: November 15, 2011, 02:57:01 PM by ejvc »
My blog is at http://ejvc.wordpress.com

Sewing and machine knitting in Karlstad, Sweden!

Offline Patti B

  • Member
  • Posts: 1339
  • Gender: Female
Re: Help me in my bobbly skirt disaster
« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2011, 04:11:16 PM »
Elizabeth, how very disappointing! I'm afraid that at my house this would end up in the scrap barrel but perhaps I'm a bit cowardly about this degree of remaking a garment. Good luck!

Offline AnnRowley

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3316
  • Gender: Female
Re: Help me in my bobbly skirt disaster
« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2011, 04:51:27 PM »
I'm one who doesn't do anything to the fabric before cutting on the bias. I simply allow at least 1 1/2" seam allowances and let the garment hang. It will almost certainly drop and therefore become narrower - I correct this at fitting. 
I must admit that I've never tried re-cutting using the original pattern because I suspect that some of the 'stretch' will go once the fabric is laid flat.

Elizabeth, you ask about removing the yoke - I hate to say this, but the photo of the skirt front definitely shows the skirt is stretched at this seam, so yes, remove the yoke.

This is quite a difficult style to get right on the bias -fitting the skirt to the deep, straight grain yoke is tricky -  and to be honest I think , if it were me I might give in and start again, especially as you may not have enough seam allowance to get it right.

But don't give up completely; a well fitting bias skirt is a wardrobe workhorse.

Offline sdBev

  • Member
  • Posts: 6773
  • Gender: Female
  • sdBev
Re: Help me in my bobbly skirt disaster
« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2011, 05:00:26 PM »
Oh too bad, elizabeth.  I've only had bobbling like that during zipper application.  I use SAS to fuse both layers along the stitching line.  I've also heard that's why many people interface the zipper area.  So possibly fusing 1/2 or 1" strips of interfacing along the seam lines (before stitching) would help?  Sigh, either way I think you are going to spend some time with the seam ripper. 

Offline ejvc

  • Machine-Knitting Cryptographer and Plan-Bot
  • Member
  • Posts: 7340
  • Gender: Female
  • Me about age 2
    • The Fabulous Dr E's Fabulous Blog
Re: Help me in my bobbly skirt disaster
« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2011, 05:06:40 PM »
OK.  Let's imagine what seems to me to be a very real possibility -- that the "hung" pieces are too narrow to fit.  Can I insert some kind of gore or panel at the sides?  (I'm desperately trying to imagine a way this would not look bad) And would those pieces then need also to be bias or could they be cut on the straight?  I could imagine a pieces at the centre front with a vertical stripe.  If I did that at the back too, I could then insert the zip at the side, perhaps.

I am inwardly crying at the thought of losing such a pretty piece.

ETA: Also the yoke seam has a built-in curve so some of that front wrinkling I believe has to do with that.  Could be corrected at fitting I suppose.  Will to live...subsiding...
« Last Edit: November 15, 2011, 05:09:08 PM by ejvc »
My blog is at http://ejvc.wordpress.com

Sewing and machine knitting in Karlstad, Sweden!

Offline sdBev

  • Member
  • Posts: 6773
  • Gender: Female
  • sdBev
Re: Help me in my bobbly skirt disaster
« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2011, 05:11:03 PM »
OK.  Let's imagine what seems to me to be a very real possibility -- that the "hung" pieces are too narrow to fit.  Can I insert some kind of gore or panel at the sides?  (I'm desperately trying to imagine a way this would not look bad) And would those pieces then need also to be bias or could they be cut on the straight?  I could imagine a pieces at the centre front with a vertical stripe.  If I did that at the back too, I could then insert the zip at the side, perhaps.

I am inwardly crying at the thought of losing such a pretty piece.

You are sure that it is too narrow? I'm really thinking the bobbly stuff is a result of the natural action of the bias being stretched during stitching and trying to recover when relaxed.

Offline ejvc

  • Machine-Knitting Cryptographer and Plan-Bot
  • Member
  • Posts: 7340
  • Gender: Female
  • Me about age 2
    • The Fabulous Dr E's Fabulous Blog
Re: Help me in my bobbly skirt disaster
« Reply #12 on: November 15, 2011, 06:10:17 PM »
I don't think so, Bev. When not on the dummy, the zipper is quite flat, as are the side seams.  also the zipper was hand basted prior to sewing, and it was not stretched as far as I could tell.  Side seams is possible. Well, it's all possible, but I think side seams are more likely.

The warp and weft of this fabric are also significantly different, while the magazine skirt is an even weave linen from what I can see. I didn't think, but I should have taken this into account.
My blog is at http://ejvc.wordpress.com

Sewing and machine knitting in Karlstad, Sweden!

Offline kbenco

  • Member
  • Posts: 1180
  • Gender: Female
  • Queensland, Australia
    • kbenco's projects
Re: Help me in my bobbly skirt disaster
« Reply #13 on: November 15, 2011, 07:53:44 PM »
Elizabeth, I am thinking that this could make a darling skirt for a 3 year old. How lucky that there is one in your house. I am sure you could cut a little girl skirt out on the straight from this skirt.  ;) I am feeling tired just reading these posts. I am worried that the remodelling work required will keep you out of the sewing room.
Karen
what I am sewing  - http://kbenco.blogspot.com/

Offline ejvc

  • Machine-Knitting Cryptographer and Plan-Bot
  • Member
  • Posts: 7340
  • Gender: Female
  • Me about age 2
    • The Fabulous Dr E's Fabulous Blog
Re: Help me in my bobbly skirt disaster
« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2011, 12:44:25 PM »
Karen, I see your point, I really do.  And when you AND Ann Rowley tell me that you would probably pack it in, I know to proceed at my own risk. What I've decided to do is tackle this as a longer-term project -- a kind of pattern-fitting exercise, and abandon any idea of a quick wearable garment.  Instead I'm working on some trousers alongside it and I'll basically just continue with my 6PAC sewing and work on this when inspiration strikes.

So, yesterday before my interview I unpicked the vertical seams and the zipper up to the yoke.  I did not forget about what Ann R said, I just decided I would have a look at what I found after letting the pieces stretch somewhat.

This morning I did some pinning.  I decided that IF I could salvage it I would have to have side panels or gores or something.  so I pulled the panels up on the CF/CB until the edges met and hung straight.  It's about a 1/2" tuck, and I pinned that, and then pinned the CF/CB.  At the bottom, the panels overlap somewhat - perhaps 1" beyond the seamline?

Then I had a look at the side seams, and discovered I could pin those seams down to hip level without noticeable distortion.  Below the hip I would need to insert a gore, about 8-10" wide at the bottom.  Fortunately I do have enough fabric to be able to do that.

Here are some pictures of the unpicked skirt pinned on to the dummy.

Front:


Side 1:


Side 2:


Back:


My next challenge is how to mark these new seamlines.  Also, of course, I certainly will have to unpick the yokes.  And then once that's done it will all need to be basted on again and refitted - on me, not the dummy.

Since every bias fabric has a different drape, is there *any* point in my redrafting the pattern to include the gores in the original panels, I wonder?
My blog is at http://ejvc.wordpress.com

Sewing and machine knitting in Karlstad, Sweden!

Offline BetsyV

  • Member
  • Posts: 5491
  • Gender: Female
  • Trillium Undulatum; Painted Trillium
Re: Help me in my bobbly skirt disaster
« Reply #15 on: November 17, 2011, 01:09:05 PM »
Big improvement Elizabeth. Even if it doesn't work in the end, you'll have learned a lot.

I don't have any experience working with bias, so, sadly, cannot answer your question.

Offline AnnRowley

  • Global Moderator
  • Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3316
  • Gender: Female
Re: Help me in my bobbly skirt disaster
« Reply #16 on: November 17, 2011, 06:50:16 PM »
Those "gores" have happened because you pulled the fabric up at the CF and CB. This will also have distorted the grain. I really don't think that adding a gore will be worth while.

A better bet would be to unpick the seam between the skirt and the yoke -  ;D - and "hang" each panel from each section of the yoke, making sure that the true bias is centred.  This is quite advanced draping, but you will learn something during the process.

Offline ejvc

  • Machine-Knitting Cryptographer and Plan-Bot
  • Member
  • Posts: 7340
  • Gender: Female
  • Me about age 2
    • The Fabulous Dr E's Fabulous Blog
Re: Help me in my bobbly skirt disaster
« Reply #17 on: November 17, 2011, 07:13:33 PM »
Bah. 

Thanks for your advice, Ann.
My blog is at http://ejvc.wordpress.com

Sewing and machine knitting in Karlstad, Sweden!

Offline vtmartha

  • Member
  • Posts: 7083
  • Gender: Female
Re: Help me in my bobbly skirt disaster
« Reply #18 on: November 17, 2011, 07:55:24 PM »
This is quite advanced draping, but you will learn something during the process.

As will the rest of us!  ;)  Thanks for keeping us posted.

Offline Claudine

  • Member
  • Posts: 886
    • Photos
Re: Help me in my bobbly skirt disaster
« Reply #19 on: November 17, 2011, 10:54:50 PM »
One thing that I do that works for me on bias cut skirts is I gently tug the bias while stitching in the same way it would tug on my body.  When I'm wearing a skirt, the side seams will get tugged horizontally above the widest part of my hip, so while sewing, I tug the fabric just a bit perpindicular to the seam.  Below the widest part of my hip, the fabric will stretch vertically while wearing, so I gently tug the fabric parallel to the seam.  This tends to prevent the bobbling effect.

 Before I do the above, I mark the seam line, since tugging the bias will change the seam allowances.

I have never read this anywhere, so it may be completely ineffective in reality, but it works for me.

Offline sewbarbie

  • Member
  • Posts: 177
  • Gender: Female
    • sewbarbie.blogspot.com/
Re: Help me in my bobbly skirt disaster
« Reply #20 on: November 19, 2011, 07:46:21 PM »
Elizabeth,  I've learned so much by reading the the entire post, your "disaster" has done lots of good.  Can't wait to see the corrections.
Shelly
Shelly

sewbarbie.blogspot.com/

Offline ejvc

  • Machine-Knitting Cryptographer and Plan-Bot
  • Member
  • Posts: 7340
  • Gender: Female
  • Me about age 2
    • The Fabulous Dr E's Fabulous Blog
Re: Help me in my bobbly skirt disaster
« Reply #21 on: November 20, 2011, 06:13:50 AM »
Before I do the above, I mark the seam line, since tugging the bias will change the seam allowances.

I am confused a little on this point.  From some things I read, there's a suggestion to pull or steam on the bias and then remark the seamlines, others say to mark before you remove the pattern and follow the marked line regardless of the shape of the stretched piece.  Clearly these are different pieces of advice.  Do you think they would be used in different situations?  It seems to me that you would want new seamlines, otherwise why leave yourself such large allowances?

I'm currently prepping a bias dress for Charlotte, now that I'm All About Bias.  I've stretched that one and relaid the pattern.  Really something to see, as the fabric was quite loosely woven.
My blog is at http://ejvc.wordpress.com

Sewing and machine knitting in Karlstad, Sweden!

 

Gorgeous Fabrics Fabric Mart Fabrics