Sunday, February 20, 2011

Making a Pettiskirt with a Ruffler

With Jilli's 2nd birthday fast approaching, I decided to tackle a big project:  a pettiskirt.

I had been wanting to make one for awhile, but they are so intimidating.  After making one, I now know why the handmade ones are expensive!  I've seen many in stores, but they are not nearly as full (less fabric) and don't cost much less than a handmade one.  

I found many tutorials, but decided to follow this one by Make It and Love It.  She purchased her chiffon in rolls from AFC Express--I would totally recommend them (plus they have a link to the Make It and Love it Pettiskirt tutorial)!  They shipped my order very quickly. 

I priced out the nylon chiffon by the yard and by the rolls, and there isn't much difference in price once shipping calculated.  And for a small difference in price, who wouldn't want to have their chiffon precut!

I followed her [great!] tutorial for the first one, the only difference is that there was no way I was going to ruffle 60 yards of chiffon by hand...I used my ruffler.  That created some small problems as it is so hard to calculate the settings on the ruffler so you end up with exactly the right amount of ruffle.  That being said...I ripped out 20+ yards of stitching!  The first pettiskirt took me many, many hours to complete...but my second one took a little over 3 hours!

What I did differently on my second one to make it easier for me:
1.  Use a ruffler (have I mentioned I L-O-V-E my ruffler???)!  I don't think I would have even attempted to to this if I would have had to to the ruffles by hand (gathering stitch).
2.  Minimal handling of the chiffon as the edges will curl a little the more you handle it (I had handled the pieces for my first skirt a lot).
3.  Instead of following the tutorial and cutting the two - 10 yard pieces of chiffon (5" width) and then ruffling each one, I cut a piece of the 5" chiffon 20 yards long and started ruffling the 2" chiffon with my ruffle, sewing it directly on the 5" chiffon...and when I was finished, I cut the 5" piece of chiffon in half.  Perfectly ruffled and I didn't have to worry about running out of the 2" chiffon.
Pile of 20 yards of 5" chiffon with a ruffle...I then cut this in half to make two 10 yard pieces.

4.  Instead of holding the  rolls of chiffon or letting them fall to the floor, I rigged up this holder.  It worked great!  The rolls were positioned so they fed straight into the ruffler.  I just held it loosely.  It took approximately 45 minutes of continuous sewing, with the ruffler, to ruffle the 20 yards of chiffon! 
I used spools of thread to hold the rolls in the right place.

Being fed perfectly into the ruffler!
5.  The tutorial mentioned adjusting the thread tension to help with gathering.  I did this for the other two seams on each layer of the skirt and it worked wonderfully!  I happened to get one of these so perfect, I only had to adjust it 1"! 

1st Pettiskirt
Color:  Arabian Blue (this pic does not show the true color--it is really a bright turquoise color)
2nd Pettiskirt (a gift for Jilli's friend)
Color:  Fuschia (hot pink)
(I also made a hair clip out of the leftover satin and that is clipped to the waistband)

A view from the bottom looking up at all the ruffles!  If you love ruffles, this is a beautiful sight!
I added 3 flowers out of leftover chiffon to a plain tank to go with the first pettiskirt.

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