Wednesday, July 17, 2013

As you can see, the blouse is partly constructed. I think, when I cut it out I was going for a color match with the skirt and not absolute authenticity. The blouse fabric is a soft flowing polyester charmeuse with a cotton calico lining in the cuffs, collar and placket. The cream and pink print looks pretty with the taupe solid. I plan to use pink Swarovsky crystals and silver tone buttons to embellish.
I am using Folkwear pattern 120 in the child's size 10. Not at all sure how the sizing compares to whatever is considered standard in store bought. Will have to do some research. This blouse will measure 32 inches at the chest so the most a child can measure at the chest is 30 inches and really, 28 inches would be better.

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Yardage Requirement for 3 Tier Skirt

(Directions shown are for 36 inch long skirt)

1. Determine the desired finished length of the skirt by measuring from waist to mid calf or ankle. (36”) Divide that number by 3 and add 1 inch. (36/3=12+1=13) This is the length to cut for each tier.

2. You will need 2 cuts for the top tier, 4 for the middle and 8 for the lower; 14 cuts in all. So multiply 13 by 14 and add 5 additional inches for the waist band. (13x14=182+5=187)

3. Divide the 187 inches by 36 inches to get required yardage. (187/36=5.19) Round up to 5 ¼ yards.

Keep in mind that cotton shrinks and is often wound on the bolt crooked so plan on purchasing at least ½ yard extra. For this 36” skirt you should purchase at least 5 ¾ yards of fabric.

4. Before cutting you will want to pre-shrink cotton fabric. I usually wash in warm water with mild detergent to remove any sizing. Dry in dryer on hottest heat setting. Remove immediately and iron lightly to remove any deep wrinkles, being careful not to pull the fabric out of shape.

5. Fold the fabric in half length wise and you are ready to start cutting.

6. Use your predetermined tier length (for this skirt 13 inches) and cut.

7. Assemble using ½ inch seam allowance.

If you would prefer to purchase the skirt click here

Part 3

The skirt is finished. I like it. The embellishment is more subtle than I expected but I can always add more sparkle.  
Traditionally Navajo skirts are gathered to a straight waist band with a slit opening and are often closed and adjusted for size with a safety pin. They are made from either cotton calico or velvet and are sometimes trimmed with rickrack.
So this skirt fails these "traditional" tests; The waist is elastic, the fabric crinkle cotton and the trim crystals. However, the hem interest, pink satin bow and pink Swarovski crystals are really pretty.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Part  2

I have always loved the look of broomstick pleated skirts but have hated the work involved; wet the skirt, bind it tightly to a broomstick to form the long vertical pleats and wait (forever) for it to dry. Not so bad except the skirt will eventually be worn and get dirty. The whole process has to be repeated with each washing.
So, for this skirt I chose light weight crinkle cotton gauze; the look of broomstick pleats without the work! And I stand by my choice, even though assembling the garment while not stretching out the pleats is proving to be a challenge.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Part 1
About 7 years ago I started sewing for the students at Puente , a tri-lingual magnet school in Flagstaff, AZ. Students are enrolled in either the Spanish/English or Navajo/English programs of study. Each year the school puts on a Spring Cultural Dance event. Students perform with their own grade/class on stage in full costume (aka regalia). Its a very colorful, entertaining and educational evening.
My involvement started when my oldest grandson was in Kindergarten in the Navajo/English class. I made a traditional Navajo red velvet shirt for him to dance in a traditional Navajo round dance. I continued to make shirts for him and his younger brothers every year. Gradually I started sewing for other students to make a little extra cash.
Three years ago, I decided to do some spec sewing. Translated, that means I designed and cut out a lovely skirt and blouse set. And that's as far as it went. The un-sewn outfit has been sitting in a plastic grocery bag through two moves and umpteen cleaning/organizing rotations. Today, I opened the bag and decided to start sewing. I'll let you know how it goes.