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Craft Rage

...Making a mess of things since 1973


Skirt B Mock-Up

I'd better sleep lightly tonight, because if cats are vengeful creatures, Boobah and Dinger are probably going to make their move tonight. They'll need the cover of darkness, though; I'm fat, but I move pretty fast when I'm scared.

I made an appointment to bring everyone but Smooshy to the vet - Bonzo and Dinger need checkups, and Boobah has...well, he has ongoing tail and head problems.

When the time came, Bonzo managed to hide so completely that I ended up leaving without her, and just took Boobah and Dinger to the vet. Unfortunately, when I was trying to load them into their cat carrier, the door came off, and I was forced to improvise a cat carrier.

Nothing screams white trash like walking into a veterinary office with a laundry basket full of cats with their harnesses tied together with string. Luckily my vets and their assistants have wonderful senses of humor!

There were shots all around, vaccinations and whatnot, and we got some pain medication for Boobah - I hate to medicate my animals, but I'm not willing to leave them hurting just to save the skin on my hands. And arms. And neck. Bygones.

On the way home I stopped and picked up a couple of extra-special cat massaging combs, and gave Boobah the royal treatment when we got home - poor dude has been in his collar for a week, now. Hopefully the shot he got will clear up any problems, and give him a bit of relief.

Along with that, I managed to get a bit of sewing done. I did a lot of staring at this skirt over the weekend, so that I could figure out what to do to make a similar skirt of my own.

After much staring, I made a paper model. I do this with pretty much everything I make, because I'm pattern challenged. Stupid lines everywhere. Don't cut here, do cut here, try not to cut off your fingertips, ha ha, you cut yourself! Stupid patterns. Yeah, yeah, a poor craftsman blames his tools. I hear you. :)

Anyway, since I'm pattern challenged, I tend to be less intimidated by just sketching out what I think the pieces should look like. I just use regular notepaper, sketch my pieces in miniature, then tape them together to see how the pieces fit. Everything ends up Barbie-sized, but at least I can tell if I'm on the right track.

Sometimes, I take my mini-pattern pieces and cut them out of my test fabric, to see if they hang properly; I did this with these pieces, and if I had a Barbie, she'd have a cute little blue taffeta fit-and-flare skirt to wear. Unfortunately, my Barbie and Ken dolls had an accident when I was 12, shortly after my mom rented The Fly.

Somehow, Barbie ended up with Ken's head and left arm, and a right leg made of twigs, and Ken ended up with Barbie's left arm and right leg, and a head made out of cheese. Then my dog ate his head. And the steering wheel out of the Barbie Corvette. Which is okay, since neither Barbie nor Ken could work the pedals anymore.

Anyway, back to the skirt. Since it seemed like I WAS on the right track, I cut out my four pieces, and this is what I ended up with;

I did a bit of retouching for color, because in real life, the bottom of the skirt is the same brown you see in the photo, but the top of the skirt is a bright, screaming teal color, so it's a bit distracting.

The skirt definitely needs some crinoline, and maybe a little bit less fullness, but I'm comfortable with the general shape. Once I get the crinoline under it, I can tweak the fullness as necessary. Also, I cut the skirt too long on purpose; I wasn't sure how much room to leave for the crinoline, so I figured that if I left a lot of extra fabric, I'd be able to figure out my hem length once the underskirt is sorted out.

I put in an invisible zipper so that I could test the size of my darts - the ones on the front are fine, but one of the back darts is pretty crooked, which is why the fabric is pulling on the left side. Oopsie! Once I have that worked out, and the hem length worked out, I'll be able to mark everything up, take the pieces apart, and I'll have pattern pieces with which to cut my real dress fabric.

Then I'll be working on the corset top. At least I only need to do one of those, not two, since the corset will actually be the same regardless of the skirt design I go for.

Next time, I'll show you the mock-up for the ballgown skirt. It was 20 minutes well spent!

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