Late March 2004
The Sari gets cut! Making the under skirt and over skirt combination
The next serious bit came a little before Easter. It was quite difficult to sew for a while, as the Fibromyalgia was playing merry hell, and I wasn't feeling good. Still, I got the skirt cut and put together. Choosing the fabric was harder than I thought, as the bit I planned to use originally went AWOL! I hunted high (in the loft!) and low (in the sewing room), and it failed to turn up for ages... So I pulled out several bits I thought might do, and discovered in one box was the bit I originally thought of - but it was the wrong colour! It WAS navy blue - but so dark it might as well have been black, and far too dark for the skirt if I wanted to use the navy blue tapestry bit for the bodice and sleeves...
I had a little re-think, and dug out the black poly cotton sheeting to use for the under skirt, rather than cut into a whole new bit, and from a collection of black lengths I chose a poly cotton twill trousering of a nice weight and a good crisp hand. I could not remember buying this piece, so it will be no loss to the stash! The tapestry can await a later project: it'll eat no dinners in the stash.
The bodice and sleeves will now be made from more of the sari, thus making use of a bit that would otherwise have been stashed for cushion covers or Christmas Stockings. There may well be enough left even so to do a few other projects. None will got to waste, even though it was dirt cheap!
This was a particularly nice wedding sari. It may only be rayon rather than silk (though I'm not too sure about that!), but it has plenty of gold thread woven into it. The headpiece is very fine, and I shall save this for another project as it isn't really suitable for this one.
The main body of the sari is the bit I shall use for the front piece of the underskirt. The edge has a good pattern on it and I shall use this for the over-skirt guards.
On the inside there was a comfort strip of lining fabric, machine finished but stitched to the sari by hand. This is to stop the scratchy gold thread rubbing on the skin at the waist when the sari is worn. I removed this before cutting out the bits.
|The front piece pattern for the underskirt only just fitted on the main pattern of the sari. I needed the pattern of the edge intact, though it wouldn't have been too much of a problem, with 5 yards of pattern down each edge of the sari!|
|Here's the price ticket! Yes, this glorious thing cost me the grand sum of eight quid! I can well afford to chop up a sari at this price!|
|The underskirt was cut from a piece of poly cotton sheeting in black. Here the over skirt is laid out on the poly cotton twill trouser fabric I chose from the stash. First the ends were straightened and I cut the two rectangular panels from it, then cut off the excess from the sides. The pattern is for 45" wide fabric, and this was 60" wide. I felt that the extra 30" would make the skirt too wide and even heavier, so I cut it off and serged the edges. The other small departure from the instructions at this point was that I attached the front skirt extensions together on the pattern, rather than cutting them out and sewing them on, making an extra seam. There was plenty of width in this fabric, but as you can see from the pictures, the 5 and a bit yards was only just long enough!|
|The next thing was to cut the edges off the sari to use as guard trim on the over skirt and sew it to the skirt.|
|Sewing this and the skirt was straight forward. I clean finished the cut side seams of the skirt panels, and the hem edge, but not the top as this is to have the gingham guide stitched to it. The seams were all sewn as flat seams. The centre back seam and skirt opening make sensible use of the selvege edges of the fabric.|
|I serged all edges of the front piece, then serged all the seams of the underskirt, except for those attaching the front piece to the rest of the underskirt. As these edges had been neatened, I sewed them with a flat seam and pressed it towards the sides.|
|The next step is to make up the waistband and put the gathering stitches into the underskirt. Again, I used two rows of stitching to ensure even gathers. The waistband is made from the same cloth as the over skirt, so that should the bodice ride up a little, the gap is less likely to to be seen. Rather than mess about with a pattern, I just cut a strip and made it fit my waist.|
underskirt instructions are another area where Simplicity fall foul of
trying to be too economical with the paper! Here one is instructed
to make up the underskirt as one does the farthingale, just missing out
the section on putting the hoop pockets in place... As the
underskirt and farthingale are made with all the same pattern pieces,
this makes sense, but-- What they fail to tell you is to
sew the waistband to the INSIDE of the underskirt, so that the
front section of the overskirt can be sewn in later!
As a result, I need to unpick a bit of carefully sewn waistband, apply the front sections of the over skirt, and re-stitch, before completing the waistband... Not really serious, but again an area where a less experienced sewist might be floored and give up.
Mind you. even with the the waistband incomplete, and no overskirt, this is starting to look quite impressive! I did have to shift a pile of stuff on the landing to make room to photograph it! This is going to be a massive storage problem one day soon... Good job I can take the bones out of the farthingale!
gingham strip is sewn on to help guide stitches for the cartridge
pleating. This worked well, and the only thing I might do in
future is clean finish the lower edge of the gingham... I didn't
do it this time so that a ridge didn't show on the outside.
Trouble is it frays!
The stitching is done by hand, with some black poly carpet thread and a darning needle to large it looks like a poker! But it works!
At this point I took a break: several things got in the way of sewing on this project, and I had a week or two of almost no sewing of any sort! I then took part of the project away with me for the weekend, and started on the bodice...