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How fun would it be to use the lined option for the Brook Blossom Skirt with a sheer fabric on top? Make the skirt a little fancier, more ethereal… The thing is, you don’t want to see the elastic (girls’ version) or zipper (ladies’ version) from the outside, so you do need to do things just a little different than when you use only opaque fabrics. It’s really simple, though. I’ll show you with the girls’ version.
(Because of the zipper, the ladies version has more small changes, so that will have to wait for a separate tutorial. Oh, the suspense!)
But first, some general tips on using sheers:
—Go slowly and carefully! Sheers tend to be difficult to work with, so take your time.
—Before you prewash the fabric, serge or zig-zag down the cut edges. These fabrics tend to fray a lot, especially in the wash, so let’s prevent that.
—Be aware that sheers often want to shift when cutting. I suggest using a rotary cutter and mat and pattern weights (small cans of food work great) in rather than scissors and pinning.
—A walking foot, while not necessary, is very helpful.
—To prevent your sewing machine from “eating” the fabric, hold the thread tails out of the way and gently pull them as you start sewing. Keep in mind that you are not using them to pull the fabric through the machine; rather, you are keeping just enough tension on the threads to keep the fabric from being pushed down into the machine. Once you’ve gotten going, you can drop the threads.
—I don’t typically use many pins when I sew, but with these misbehaving fabrics, I recommend using plenty of them. Keep the pins within the seam allowance, though, in case they leave a hole in these delicate fabrics.
—Be aware of your iron temperature! Some types of sheers will require low temperatures.
I hope I haven’t scared you away! You can do it!! Let’s go.
The biggest change you’ll need to make to sew up this skirt with a sheer top layer is to underline the yoke pieces. Underlining is not the same as lining; when you underline the garment, you sew a different type of fabric onto the fashion fabric and then use the joined pieces as if they were one. (You’ll see what I mean in a minute.) The underlining will strengthen the sheer, providing support for the yoke, and also hide the inner workings of the skirt. (Here’s a Craftsy article on the topic if you want more information.)
First, cut out an extra yoke (both front and back) from your lining fabric. These are pattern pieces 1 and 3. The picture shows all the things you need to cut from those pattern pieces. Yes, it’s a lot. On the plus side, the pieces are small, so you shouldn’t have to buy extra fabric for the extra yokes.
Fuse the interfacing onto the extra lining yokes, rather than onto the main (meaning sheer) fabric.
Layer the yoke pieces you just interfaced right side up with the sheer, also right side up, on top of them. Baste around the edges within the seam allowance. Remember to go slowly and use lots of pins!
Follow the pattern as written until it’s time to attach the skirt pieces to the yokes. There is only one change left!
Namely, the pattern directs you to attach the lining with the wrong side out/right side in. This is to give the most beautiful interior possible. With a sheer top layer, though, you will want the right side facing out, since you’ll be able to see it through the sheer.
It can help to baste (within the seam allowance so you don’t have to remove it later) the sheer skirt to the lining skirt, to keep the two skirts lined up properly.
Continue on as the pattern directs. Those are all the changes!
I love how this simple adaptation makes the already versatile Brook Blossom Skirt even more serviceable. Flower girl skirt? Sure! Fairy princess costume? Why not? And of course, my little redhead loves it for simply playing around at home. And my oldest daughter has already asked for one of her own.
You can purchase Jill’s pattern for the Girls Brook Blossom Skirt as a single PDF HERE or for the Brook Blossom Skirt (ladies sizes) HERE or visit her website to see more of her work HERE or purchase Issue 12 which contains this pattern HERE.