Like many sewists in internet land, I bought yards and yards of Vera Wang fabric when Fabric.com bought up the Lavender Label collection that was never manufactured. Long story short--the 2008 financial implosion caused retail to fall apart as well, many store orders (including Vera's) got cancelled, and she got stuck with a big inventory of fabric. Anyway, I purchased several lovely pieces that will someday become fabulous garments...well, that's my intent at least.
The last piece I bought was some beautiful slate blue print "cotton voile." This is a photo that another buyer posted on Pattern Review.
Isn't this pretty? I think some people actually got voile, but the piece I got was anything but. It definitely had some synthetic and also had a sheen on the face side. I still liked the print, so I was fine with the fabric being something else. Then proceeded to wash it like I almost always do. When I took it out of the dryer, it was permanently pleated.
So it sat in a pile in the sewing cave for several months.
Then inspiration struck: how about one of those gored broomstick skirts I like so well? So I lengthened the HotPatterns Bossa Nova skirt by 6 inches and got to work Saturday morning.
Needless to say, this is not the easiest fabric in the world to lay out. So I pinned the selvedges together, taped them to the cutting mat, spread out the fabric, and taped the folded edge down. Then I pinned massively all the way around the pattern piece and cut. Here's a photo of the pattern piece being pinned.
I repeated the process until I had 8 gores cut out.
Then, I sewed the panels together with 5/8" narrow zigzag seams. I tried on the skirt and it was huge. I went to the serger and trimmed off 1/4" on each seam as I finished the edges. I tried it on again, and still huge. I went back to the sewing machine and sewed new seams. Half were 5/8" deep, and half were 1/2" deep. And I tried it on again. Finally, it fit, after removing a total of 9" from the original circumference. The fabric still has some pleats at the hip level, too.
The rest was pretty simple. I installed an elastic waistband using the Loes Hinse technique (the original way, not the Hepburn way). And since I had so much practice with the serger rolled edge, that's how I hemmed the skirt. Here's a quick shot of the final project.
I may wash it before wearing, just to see if the pleats even out at all. No time right now, but I'll post a picture of me wearing it ASAP.
A fairly simple project, although it took a lot longer than expected due to tweaking the vertical seams of the pleated mystery fabric. Still, I learned a lot about working with pleated fabric that I can put to use on some of the rayon crinkles residing in my stash.