Garments & Rulerwork: Embellished Skirt

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Failure is just an opportunity to learn and grow. I was reminded of this as I attempted to make this skirt for the second time in the month. My initial plan was to embellish patchwork denim from JoAnn to create a beautiful border print denim skirt. Well, that vision went right out the window along with the unfinished skirt after I laid eyes on it. I will not bore you with the details but know what laid before my eyes was an absolute atrocity no ifs, ands, or buts about it. I realized far too late that the patchwork design was much too busy for the rulerwork design (I used this spinning wheel design). 

Moreover, the ruler design was far too large for the pleats, and it only revealed bits and pieces of the design instead of the entire spinwheel. I learned from that failure, which led to this beautiful summer skirt, so I am glad for it. It also goes to show that no matter how many years that you have been in this crafting world, you can always mess up, and that's okay as long as you remember that failure is not final; don't quit, learn from it. 

With that being said, let's talk about my new favorite skirt, which I intend to wear quite a bit this summer. I made this skirt using Simplicity 8609 (View E), casa collection crepe fabric from Joann, a Westalee 2 inch circle ruler, and my imagination! I wanted this skirt to be as versatile this summer, so I used black thread for the border panel design. The only modification made to the pattern was removing three inches from the skirt hem. As I general rule, I always remove 2 to 3 inches in length from the pattern piece because the cover model is usually taller than me (I'm 5'4).  I wanted the skirt to maintain its fluid drape, so I used Pellon SK 135 sheer knit specialty fusible as a stabilizer for the border area. Here are a few tips to consider if you want to do a similar project.

Tip  #1: Always do a swatch test with your marking tools before you begin to make your pattern marks. You don't want to mark everything only to discover that the marks won't come out. For example, with this crepe, I initially wanted to make all my pattern marks with a tracing wheel and tracing paper well, I am glad I did not. On my sample swatch, I used the water-soluble marker and tracing wheel. I sprayed each spot with water to see which would disappear, and as you can, the tracing paper marks remained. 

 
Tip #2: When doing a border design, mark your hem allowance. Then mark the border area. That will help ensure that that you do your rulerwork on a portion of the garment that will be on the outside. 
 
 
Most of all have fun with your design. The first time I tried this, I really focused on getting the design a specific way. On this second round, I just placed the circles wherever (within the border) I pleased without a care about how they were connecting. That made this task more enjoyable because it definitely took me a while to complete the border (about two hours). After I completed my border, the skirt was sewn up as instructed by Simplicity. Now go pull out the fabric you have been hoarding an embellish away. 
 

Jhasmine is an attorney, pre-law adjunct instructor, and creator of StrictStitchery, a sewing blog. She is mostly self-taught and began her sewing journey with bag making in 2016. While most of her makes are garments these days, you will find that she will occasionally put down the fashion fabric and treat herself by creating a new wallet or purse. In 2017 Jhasmine decided to enter the blogger world and share her makes with the online sewing community, which has allowed her to meet and interact with a diverse group of makers who have helped her further her craft. When she is not working, sewing, or blogging you will usually catch her reading or running.