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    Making a Handkerchief Skirt

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    Posts : 81
    Join date : 2011-05-30

    Making a Handkerchief Skirt

    Post  Admin on Wed Jun 01, 2011 10:25 pm

    Since a handkerchief
    skirt is a simple square, you don't really need a pattern. For a woman of
    average size, a yard and a half squares, or the full width of the 45"
    fabric should be about right--but cut a pattern of cheap muslin first. Trim the
    points if necessary, to an inch or two from the floor.



    The size of the circular
    opening should be just big enough to pull over your hips, and can then be
    tightened with elastic. If I remember my basic geometry, the circumference of a
    circle is about 3.14 times the diameter. Thus a 12-inch diameter circle would
    measure about 37 3/4 inches around, a 13-inch diameter circle would measure 40
    3/4 inches around, a 14-inch diameter circle would measure about 44 inches
    around, and so forth.



    The trickiest part is
    cutting the circular opening the correct size to fit hips through without too
    much extra space. The circumference of the circle will be about 3.1 times its
    diameter. This should add up to slightly larger than the largest part of your
    hip. Generally it's cut on the straight grain (parallel to the edge) but if
    your fabric is wide, you could try putting on the bias (diagonal) and you will
    get a more ripply effect on the edge, since it will stretch as you sew it. If
    your fabric is narrow or your size large, the pattern can be pieced, with a
    seam down the sides.


    How
    to Make an 8-Point Skirt?





    A pointed-hem skirt is
    flattering to all, but especially for short-legged dancers because the points
    break up that horizontal hemline.


    Handkerchief Skirt (Square Skirt)




    One easy way to get that
    effect is to hem two squares of chiffon, each having of course four points
    (called a "handkerchief" hem) and layer them as illustrated for an
    eight-pointed look. The two layers could be the same color or harmonizing
    colors, such as blue and purple. Experiment with swatches before you decide.
    The top layer could also be trimmed shorter than the under layer for a tiered
    look. Each point could be decorated with paillettes, sequins, trim, etc.


    Gored Skirt




    Another way to make an
    eight pointed skirt would use a classic full-length eight-gored flared skirt
    pattern. You may have to use a size or two bigger to allow for a loose fit with
    elastic, or use the zipper closure if you prefer a close fit. Cut the waist
    lower to sit on your hipline, and cut each panel into a pointed shape as
    illustrated, and decorate. Again, I suggest you first make a cheap prototype
    out of muslin or another inexpensive fabric.



    If
    you underline each panel with lining, the skirt will be opaque. If you don't,
    it will be sheer, and you can wear harem pants underneath. But you don't want
    an ugly raw seam edge showing through, so finish each seam nicely.



    By the way, georgette is
    a nice alternative to chiffon for a skirt. It has the same texture but is less
    sheer, like a double layer of chiffon, and a bit easier for a non-expert to
    handle.


    Multipoint Skirt




    My third skirt is more of
    a challenge and my own design. Each sheer panel is separately finished off with
    a tiny narrow hem, and they are assembled onto a band in a pleasing fashion.
    The panels overlap, with the shorter ones on top. Each is finished with a
    paillette at the tip. Use eight or ten wide panels, or as many as twenty or
    thirty narrow ones can look lovely.



    This
    is best worn with pants underneath, because the feathery panels fly all around
    as you dance. I used real silk gauze, but a sheer, non-raveling knit fabric
    would be easier to finish and would look as pretty on stage.



    I don't know about you,
    but after all that work I'm ready to relax with a diet root beer and get ready
    to graciously accept my compliments!


    Making
    a Multi-Point Skirt





    The multi-pointed skirt
    can be done any number of ways. I sewed my panels with one straight side simply
    because the curved side is a little trickier to get looking smooth. But both
    sides could be finished with a curved bottom to resemble a feather, as you say.



    I assembled the panels in
    random fashion, not putting much importance on which side was towards the center.
    Try pinning the whole thing together on a band and see which way you like it,
    before stitching.



    Some sergers have a
    setting for a tiny over locked thread edge. With a regular home sewing machine
    it might be more difficult. Buy a small sample of whatever fabric you want to
    use, and try making some narrow double-turned hems, including curves. I do
    these in one operation, but doing it in two steps is fine too. (Turn once,
    edge-stitch, trim closely, turn again, edge-stitch.)



    If it's making you tear
    your hair out, use an easier fabric. Instead of silk chiffon, try sheer knit
    chiffon (called "stretch" chiffon), a lingerie-type of fabric which
    doesn't ravel and might need only a single turned edge instead of a double
    turned edge. (Beware, this can melt from a hot iron). Experiment with any
    fabric you like. I chose silk because it's so "floaty", but in
    general knits will be easier to handle, because they don't ravel much and have
    some "give" which makes hemming curves easier.



    It's also not out of the
    question to make the edges square instead of curved, (have you heard of a
    "carwash" skirt?) or pointed at a 45-degree angle. If you have
    straight angles on your belt, or square or diamond-shaped jewels, it would all
    work together.



    Another thing I've done
    with these feathery panels is sew "tufts" of them on the bra straps
    to make feathery shoulder decorations, or on a sequin armband for feathery arm
    decorations.

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