This tutorial is for an open-front skirt, similar to the one worn by Cate Blanchett as Lady Tremaine in the 2015 Cinderella movie. The finished skirt has two layers of green satin (sewn together as one) on the bottom, and two layers of black organza (sewn together as one) on the top.
The skirt is primarily made up of very large rectangles of fabric, which are gathered at the end to make a very full and flowing skirt.
1. Cut 2 large rectangles of green fabric and 2 large rectangles of black fabric as shown in the diagram. (The 45/49 inch measurements are based on someone who is 5'6" tall; you may have to adjust for your height).
2. Sew the two pieces of green fabric (right sides together) along one long edge and the two short edges, making a large pocket, as shown in the diagram above. Press the seams flat and turn the pocket right side out. (Optional step: for extra firmness along the hem of the skirt sew a piece of horsehair crinoline to the seam allowance before turning the pocket right side out as shown below).
3. Use chalk to mark a line about 3 inches up from the edge of the fabric, and sew the two pieces of black fabric (right sides together) along the long edge on the chalk line. Press the fabric flat.
4. Sew the two short edges of the two pieces of black fabric (right edges together) to make a large pocket like the green fabric. (The 3 inch seam allowance will create a dark decorative band along the bottom of the semi-transparent fabric).
5. You should now have two very large rectangles, with raw edges hidden inside (except for one long edge on each top). Check that the hems are lined up then sew or serge the open tops of the "pockets" closed to make the fabric easier to control.
6. Mark the middle of the green and black "pockets" and pin them together. (This is to center the slightly smaller green rectangle on the larger black rectangle.
7. Fold the excess black fabric on each end in towards the middle and sew the top down. (This extra fabric is to make the front edges of the finished skirt look smooth, instead of having separate green and black layers).
8. Pleat and pin the fabric so that the total width is approximately half your waist size plus 3 inches. Sew the pleats together at the top.
9. Cut a waistband (I used black velvet, with a finished width of about 3 inches) then sew the waistband on the outside of your pleated skirt as shown in the diagram. (The rest of the waistband will wrap around your waist, with the end hidden under, and close using hooks and eyes on your hip). Place a piece of interfacing on the the inside of the waistband, and fold over and slip stitch to the inside of the skirt. Sew hooks and eyes onto the closure.
10. Optional: add appliques to increase the visual interest of your skirt! You can embroider the organza layer, purchase iron-on patches, or add fabric appliques. For this skirt I cut flowers out of heat-transfer flocking, and then ironed them on. This skirt can also be worn with a pointy hat to make a fancy witch costume!
This skirt used 8 yards of crepe back satin and 10 yards of crystal organza fabric.
This blog post was made by fashionista and dear friend Vivien Lee. Check her out at freshfrippery.com!
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