The band trimming the bottom is latticework! Strips of coordinating fabric were cut on the bias and sewn together in a grid pattern. The very bottom edge is a bias binding of the same fabric. Great idea!
True to RTW, some shortcuts were taken that we sewers probably would not do. The lattice was completed for front and back, sewn on the bottom of each skirt piece, then the side seams were sewn. It doesn't look bad, but it's not the neatest finish.
Most sewers would not have left the back side of each bias strip raw like this. At the very least, a coverstitch could have been used? It looks ok from the front but the back looks more messy than I'd want on one of my creations.
I know it sounds like I'm complaining but I'm really not.
I like the skirt, it's cute on me, and it's a clever concept. And it was on sale! The original price was $108 and I got it for $26.12 with free shipping. Don't get me wrong, I didn't buy it just because of the price. I'd noticed it before and liked it. However, the price was what pushed me over the edge.
This would be a cute touch to replicate on a hem, sleeve, or even on pants legs. Keep in mind that the latticework does stiffen the hem, resulting in a bell-like silhouette. You could put it as a lower band as Chico's did, or make an insert, ending with a lower band of the main fabric. There was an example of this in Threads' recent article on working with sheers.
In addition to my previous comments, here are my suggestions for incorporating this technique into your own outfit:
- Use a lightweight fabric--the Chico's version uses rayon charmeuse for the skirt and poly charmeuse for the latticework, which works well.
- Finish the raw edges of the lattice strips. Yes, they're bias and shouldn't ravel out. But you know better! 'Nuff said.
- Lay out your lattice strips on a layer or two of stabilizer; a water soluble kind like Solvy should work fine. The lattice on the Chico's skirt starts with a layer of vertical strips overlaid with a layer of horizontal strips. The horizontal strips were finished and attached to the vertical strips at the same time. I think it would work better to finish all the strips, lay them out, and tack together the intersections. But whatever. When everything's laid out, layer some more Solvy on top, pin all layers together securely before moving the whole "sandwich" to the machine to sew together. Make a piece long enough to fit all the way around the bottom with one joining seam. I'd work "semi-round". In other words, sew one of the side seams, attach the lattice (still contained with in the stabilizer), then sew the remaining side seam, skirt, lattice and all. Then bind the edge. Then, and only then, remove the stabilizer after everything is safely attached.
- If you have a serger, use it. Lots of raw edges to deal with. If you don't have a serger, bind your seams.
- This technique would probably work better on a straight-ish hem edge vs. a curved one. I know, someone will prove me wrong. Good for you! I'm just saying that's how I'd work it.
By the way, I'm thinking of adding this kind of post as a semi-regular feature on my blog. I'm thinking posts like this, little construction details, etc. I may or may not go into much detail, it just depends on what I'm featuring. What do you think? Good idea? Meh? Let me know...