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Time
30h00

A unique skirt created from an old dress...
This skirt was created from a rather hideous beaded dress salvaged from a charity/thrift shop...

Posted by Portia from Burnham-on-Crouch, England, United Kingdom • Published See Portia's 7 projects »
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  • How to sew a gathered skirt. Diy Beaded Skirt - Step 1
    Step 1

    My first step was to deconstruct the dress, remove the lining (set aside for later!) and figure out what workable pieces of chiffon I had. In the end it was the front panel that gave me the most options because most of the beading was intact and it was the largest piece of beaded fabric uninterrupted by seaming/zips etc...

  • How to sew a gathered skirt. Diy Beaded Skirt - Step 2
    Step 2

    While I wanted to make a feature of the sheer fabric...I didn't want it to be see through. So I nabbed a pair of sandy coloured linen trousers from my refashioning pile to see how it would look as an underlining to the chiffon...that'll do then!

  • How to sew a gathered skirt. Diy Beaded Skirt - Step 3
    Step 3

    From one of the trouser legs I set about making my panels. After cutting along all of the side seams I was left with 2 large oblongs. I folded then in half lengthwise and squared off all the edges....

  • How to sew a gathered skirt. Diy Beaded Skirt - Step 4
    Step 4

    Cut along my squared off lines and then along the fold...

  • How to sew a gathered skirt. Diy Beaded Skirt - Step 5
    Step 5

    This gave me 4 linen panels...(in the end I only used 3)...

  • How to sew a gathered skirt. Diy Beaded Skirt - Step 6
    Step 6

    I pinned these to the underside of my beaded chiffon...

  • How to sew a gathered skirt. Diy Beaded Skirt - Step 7
    Step 7

    Now to stitch the underlining panels to the chiffon. I opted to sew with the beads facing upwards because a) I didn't want the beads getting ground up or falling into the feed dogs of my machine, and b) I could better see what I was doing. If the needle hits those beads at the wrong speed/angle then the needle is history and/or you have bits of glass bugle bead shattering everywhere. (Just trust me, ok!) I opted for a long stitch to give the needle a better chance of skipping over the beads rather than through them. For the most part, this strategy works. (Only one broken needle) But, GO SLOW! Very, very, very slow...and watch the needle on every downstroke. If it looks like it's gonna hit, stop, lift the presser foot and adgust the position of the fabric oh so slightly, then carry on....

  • How to sew a gathered skirt. Diy Beaded Skirt - Step 8
    Step 8

    Voila, underlining stitched to beaded chiffon...

  • How to sew a gathered skirt. Diy Beaded Skirt - Step 9
    Step 9

    Trim close to stitching. It was tricky to cut this as every inch or so my lovely (once sharp) dressmaking shears would snag on a bead (man it sets your teeth on edge when stainless steel crunches on glass beads!). So again, it was a slow process, adjusting the angle of the cut ever so slightly to avoid the beads...

  • How to sew a gathered skirt. Diy Beaded Skirt - Step 10
    Step 10

    Anyway, finally 3 underlined panels (below left) I then cut contrasting solid black panels from some plain black fabric in my stash....

  • How to sew a gathered skirt. Diy Beaded Skirt - Step 11
    Step 11

    Then sewed them all together, much as you would a patchwork, again using a long stitch. However a long stitch will not hold this skirt panel together for very long and the seams look all puffy, right? 'Cos I can't press those puppies properly because of those pesky beads, you see?! Sooooo.....

  • How to sew a gathered skirt. Diy Beaded Skirt - Step 12
    Step 12

    I removed all of the beads that fell within the seam allowances on each panel (left), graded the seams (middle) then flipped the seam allowances away from the beaded sections...

  • How to sew a gathered skirt. Diy Beaded Skirt - Step 13
    Step 13

    Because there are no beads under the black piece now, I can topstitch with a normal stitch length (below left) which reinforces the seams and allows the edges to sit flat and flush instead of puffing up (below right)....

  • How to sew a gathered skirt. Diy Beaded Skirt - Step 14
    Step 14

    Phew! I now had what was basically a flat piece of fabric to work with. Enter the Charlotte Skirt pattern. I simply cut my front piece from my panelled piece of fabric. (That's the reverse you can see, with the linen backing. Looks even more like a bumble bee!) The back pieces I cut from more of the plain black fabric...

  • How to sew a gathered skirt. Diy Beaded Skirt - Step 15
    Step 15

    The rest of the construction was as per the pattern apart from the waistband, which I faced with grosgrain ribbon. (Just find a faced waistband more comfy). I used the original zip by shortening it and then hand picked it. (I don't think I'll ever machine a zip in since discovering the hand picked method early on in my sewing journey). The side seams received the same topstitch treatment as the panels. I also used the lining from the original dress to line this baby. The eagle eyed might notice that there are only 2 beaded panels in the final skirt as opposed to 3. Well, in the end, when it came to it, the length just looked totally wrong. Like AWFUL. It just hit at the wrong spot on my calf. It was only a matter of an inch or so to make it right. But if I had just taken up the bottom black band by that, then the panelling effect would have been completelyout of balance. Taking it up to the next panel would've meant hemming over beads! Ack!.So I just lopped the bottom 2 panels off, et voila!

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