A Modern Take on Poodle Skirts
February 2, 2014
I really love '50s poodle skirts. (I always like adding a little motif or design element to any garment.) Lately I've been thinking that it would be fin to adapt the idea of the poodle skirt to a slightly more modern design.
I used Simplicity pattern 1500 for my foiled faux-suede skirt a while back, and I really like the swingy cut of the skirt, which is almost a full circle. So I decided to revisit it. I like it because the skirt is cut in four pieces -- that means that if I mess up a design motif to the point of irretrievability, I can just cut another!
For motifs for my two skirts, I used a design cut from a T-shirt for one, and a foil iron-on I've had in my sewing room for several years for the other.
For my first skirt, I used a Brussels Washer Linen Blend, which comes out of the dryer so soft. I cut a Jack Skellington design from an old T-shirt, leaving plenty of fabric around the design, and positioned it on one of my skirt panels. I always do any embellishing that can be done before assembly first. That way, if something goes awry with the design elements, you don't have to seam rip anything. Just cut a fresh panel and try again!
I safety pinned the design in place, and then straight-stitched around the outside of the design a little less than a quarter-inch from the image.
Here's my design panel with the stitching in place, before I removed the safety pins:
After the pins were removed, I carefully cut away the excess fabric about an eighth of an inch from the straight stitching. Since I'm using a T-shirt scrap, I don't need to worry about fraying, but if you cut a design from a woven fabric to use on your skirt, you might want to consider a zig-zag or satin stitch around the edges of your applique.
Here's what my stitching looked like on the back side of the skirt panel:
I finally used a foinf iron-on that I'd been hanging onto for years for my second skirt. I have mixed results with iron-ons, but this one turned out lovely (and SO shiny!). I used a lightweight twill for this one.
After my motifs were in place, I just assembled my skirts as normal according to the pattern directions.
Jack seems to approve.
He even approves of the princess version.
One of the things I like most of this is that it gives me a chance to bring some beloved designs out of the stash and into my wardrobe, while still incorporating new fabrics to freshen up my skirt collection. Now I'll be eyeing any novelty cotton print with a skirt agenda, that's for sure! And I'm already combing through applique embellishments for ideas for my next skirt. Maybe butterflies ...
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