Ruffles, Ruffles Everywhere!

I am finally finishing my high-waisted Butterfly Sonnet skirt.  Which I didn’t finish for so long because I made a major derp and cut out the skirt with the butterflies flying downwards :P.  And even after consciously telling myself over and over again, I also accidentally sewed on the ruffle with the butterflies upside down.  Therefore, I am renaming this skirt

The Derp Skirt.

Despite that, I present the promised tutorial for Applied Ruffles.  This is the kind of ruffle that is placed onto the garment, not seamed to it, so that you have both the ruffle and a header (the top of the ruffle).


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Zipper in a Bag

This blog post – and the last tutorial from my Caramel Mocha Swirl set – is another Zipper! Tutorial!  Previously, I have talked about bagged out garments and how that works.  This post deals with how to put zippers into backed out garments.  In my CMS Bodice, the entire thing is bag-lined, but I need a way to get into it!  So I am going to put a zipper in the center back!  Using this method, you will be able to see the zipper, so make sure you color match – or contrast!  Also, be careful to note if your zipper will need to be separating!  In this garment, the zipper does need to be.

Here is the zipper this tutorial shows you how to do!


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Peek-a-Boo Ruffle

Ruffles!  They are a thing in Lolita.  There are several different kinds of ruffles, but the kind that I am applying to my Caramel Mocha Skirt is a hem ruffle, or a peek-a-boo ruffle.  It’s a small ruffle that comes out from under the hem but is not attached to a lining.

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Finding the Balance

Sometimes, simply hemming a skirt even all the way around does not produce an even hem when worn.  Sometimes, shaped waistbands, pleating, gathering and other sewing elements can effect the hem.  Sometimes, body shape is the factor that changes the hang of the skirt.  For me, on my Caramel Mocha Skirt, it is both.  My skirt has box pleats and I have a very uneven hips, thanks to figure skating.  So I always, ALWAYS Balance my Hems to make sure they will be even.

It is a very easy, quick process.  All you need is a good ruler, a tape measurer, a dress form or a friend to help you and some pins.  If your skirt is going over a petticoat, make sure you have that too.

  1. Set or pad out your dress form to match your body.  I use legwarmers and scrap fabric to pad out my forms.
  2. Put your petticoat and skirt onto the dress form.  You can see here why I need to balance my hem so bad.  So uneven!  (side shot)
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Defining the Waistband

So, we just put in the placket for the skirt and now it’s time to put on a controlled waistband!

  1. First, we need to cut the waistband, and to do that, we need to figure out the measurements! (as always.)  There are 3 factors for the waistband: waist measurement, waistband width and placket overlap.
    For me, the waist of my skirt is 26.5″, with a .5″ overlap and will be 1.25″ wide.  Adding in 1″ seam allowance, I cut a piece 29″ by 4.5″.
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A Placket for Every Occassion

May is moving along!  I have graduated, designed the Last Magic Show and now all that is left is Animazement!

It’s been far too long since I have sewn and I am LOVING being able to do it again.  Hopefully – if I remember and all goes well – you can be looking out for the following tutorials to come out of my AZ project, Caramel Mocha Swirl Bodice & Skirt:
Hem Ruffles
Bagged Zippers


Plackets are handy-dandy, I am telling you.  If you have a controlled point – such as a Waistband or Sleeve Cuff – a placket is what you need to allow the garment to get over the body and still fit snuggly around a smaller point.  In this tutorial, I am putting a placket in my skirt.

Since my skirt has a lot of fullness at the waist, I don’t need a very long placket, but if you are making a A-line skirt or a tapered sleeve you might want to consider a longer placket.  Here, my placket will be 4″ long.  Remember to backstitch at the top of the skirt seam where the placket will be and leave the top portion open.  This is where the placket will be sewn, into the seam.


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The Infamous Lapped Zipper

There are many ways one can set a zipper into a garment, but my personal favorite is the lapped zipper.  It provides a clean, fancy finish that hides the zipper completely!


Before beginning to set your zipper, make sure you a good amount of seam allowance on the seam where the zipper is going (I suggest at least 1.5″).  Where the zipper will be ending i.e. skirt portion of a dress, past the waist seam), make sure it is seamed together securely with a back-stitch from where the zipper will be stopping.

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