Just Ain’t Fitting

To make the Straight-cut Tiered Skirt from Happy Homemade Sew Chic all floaty and cute, you not only cut and sew three tiers of skirts. You also gather  the tiers to varying degrees as you assemble the skirt.

Sounds easy, eh? Plenty of gathering goin’ on with Happy Homemade. It’s practically a signature look. But of course, there’s a hitch. There’s only so much you can gather something before you have to say, just ain’t gonna fit.

Example? The bottom tier – at 84 inches (210 cm) long needs to gather to fit onto the underskirt, at a mere 58 inches (150 cm) long. This picture shows the bottom tier and the underskirt folded in half.

IMG_20150809_211249188That’s what we call putting 10 pounds of shit into a 5-pound bag.

Of course, I am game for anything in service to the Japanese Doomsday Cult look, so I gave it a go. Twice. And twice the thread broke as I tried to make those humongous gathers.

Then I got a bit too clever for my own good. “I’ll just do little pleats instead.” Well, I took a picture of the result, but I’ll spare you the pain and myself the shame.

So, it’s off to the store for some heavy-duty thread to make those gathers. Dammit.

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11 thoughts on “Just Ain’t Fitting

  1. I am impressed by your strong desire to stay true to the pattern, but…. that’s a lot of fabric around the bottom half. That is more bulk than I would ever be willing to embrace. I hope this skirt works out though, can’t wait to see the end result! An off hand thought, have you tried to do the gathers with the 3 lines of basting stitches, I saw this technique some where but have not utilized it myself yet. Maybe that will give the extra strength needed to cram so much fabric into such a small space.

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    1. Thanks for the tip. I did two rows of gathers. I am going to try the heavy duty thread angle. If that doesn’t work then I’ll try to just trim down the volume of this thing.

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    2. Yeah, I finished this last night and it was just a hot mess. I knew it would be bulky but I also thought it would be swishy and light with this sheer fabric I got. Nope.

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      1. Bummer. I made a jacket and am in process of making a dress from another Japanese sewing book “Simply Sewn” and I’m glad I made a muslin first because I had to remove over 8 inches of gather and moved in my side seams by a couple of inches to make the dress/jacket more flattering. I think I will do this from now with these types of patterns. Has there been any item that you made and have found yourself wearing a lot so far from your sewing Japanese adventures?

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      2. The best pattern from Happy Homemade is the Tunic with Roll-up Sleeves, IMHO. The Bermuda Shorts are good. The Tunic Dress with Lace and the Dress with Front Tuck are also good. The Jacket With Back Tie is probably good – I just chose fabric that did not work well with it.

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  2. Always do at least 2 rows of gather for just this reason- you don’t need extra strong thread. Another fix is something the tutu/dance sewists use a lot, and that’s to have a reel of fishing wire which you zigzag over and miraculously the fabric rucks up obligingly over it, you can then pull it up with no fear of breakage, and either leave it on, or pull back out to reuse after fastening your gathered stuff to the plain. I do suspect that this will be as pouffy as some 80s prom dress though! I remember gathering much greater lengths together, so it isn’t all that excessive…well, it wasn’t in the 80s lol

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      1. It works well once you get the trick. I remember having to gather MILES of net back in the 80s when everyone wanted foofy wedding/bridesmaid dresses. Then more often than not, my ruddy cat would chew up the net hems overnight and sick up the results. Delightful creature.

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