Thursday, February 14, 2013

Tutorial: Organza Petticoat

Happy Valentine's Day (I'm a Legumentine's gal myself but I'm a Hato-nerd so y'know)! Let's talk underthings~. Lolita underthings as in petticoats.

I remembered reading once that organza petticoats were supposed to retain their fluff better than tulle/net ones and also not be as itchy. I had been fighting with a ball of net I called a petti and was tired of it so I experimented with organza and this is what I got. The first organza petticoat I made was my blue one, I made it a few years ago and while it has lost some of it's poof after averaging once a week wear over it's whole life it is still pretty solid. I saw this organza on clearance and fell in love with the color so I figured why not give my blue petti a break and make another one. I've also made a cupcake petti using a similar method and will note the lengths needed to make one in parenthesis.

For this project you will need:
3 1/3yd organza (5 1/4 for cupcake)
1 package of bias tape (2x the width of your organza) (2 for cupcake)
4"xYour waist measurement+3" of cotton or other sturdy but not bulky fabric

This explains juuuust about everything. It's a very simple design but one I thought very hard on since organza frays like a mofo and I knew the key to a long lasting organza petti would be to minimizing that. About sizing, I have a 26" waist and this works very well for me but because of the pleating it could probably go up to 32" without major modifications.

Step 1
Buy 3 1/3yds organza (if using the base measurements, if not just add up your panels), wash and iron it. Remember to either have your iron on a low setting or place a cloth over the organza so you don't melt/burn it.

Step 2
Cut your fabric into panels as shown in the diagram.

Step 3
Pin the selvage/short sides together. The selvage won't unravel which is why you want that for the seams. With one of the base skirt's seams, start and end the seam about twelve inches from the edge like the diagram above. The length of unsewn seam needs to be symmetrical.

Step 4
Iron your seams open. Remember what I said about ironing organza? Yeah, this is what happens if you aren't careful. When ironing the partially not stitched seam, iron the unstitched ends folded back like the rest of the seam.
Step 5
Fold both the base skirt tube and the ruffle tube in half (hotdog style), sandwiching the seams inside and matching them up. Pin the raw edges together and go ahead and run a quick stitch there. It will just makes things way easier and is worth the five minutes it takes (trust me, I've tried skipping, it just causes frustration).

Your back opening will look like this. This is why you're shooting to make the unstitched lengths of that seam symmetrical.

Step 6
Now the time consuming part, pleat the ruffle along the rough/unraveling edge so it is the same width as your base skirt. I like to mark the to be ruffled fabric into four equal sections and figure out what a 1/4th of my needed length is then do each section at a time. It helps to keep it even. Pin your pleats then sew them down with a straight stitch. The organza likes to slip so be careful or else the ruffle tube will be slightly larger than you want. That won't be the end of the world but still, aim for a perfect fit.

Step 7
Now pin your bias tape/ribbon casing over that raw edge. This will keep it from unravelling and also add some body to the petti. Once you have it pinned on then sew it down. It doesn't have to be pretty so don't worry about fighting that bias tape/organza duo of evil.

Step 8
Now for the weird part. We're going to fit the ruffle onto the petticoat skirt. You want the bottom of the ruffle pointing to the waistband/top when you're sewing it on, not folded over or anything but just like the diagram. Pin it on.

Step 9
Chances are it won't be a perfect fit. Luckily it's a petticoat so one of those two pleating options will solve the problem without many issues. Be ready to enact one of those while sewing the ruffle on, the organza is a beast and will change dimensions so one of those pleats will likely be needed.

Step 10
Pleat the skirt. With ruffle attached you're almost done! Pleat the skirt just like the ruffle but this time down to your waist measurement. I make mine 1/2" too short  so there isn't bulk where it would otherwise likely overlap. Your call on that. I also do a box pleat on the front and then have the direction to either side matching it. Again, your call.

Step 11
Iron your 4" strip of fabric into bias tape, just admittedly big bias tape. And yes iron, it will look 20x nicer and be easier. Again, I've tried to be lazy with this before and the 5 minutes it takes to iron it is sooo worth it. You can also fold in the short edges and iron them down too since it'll make finishing those easier.

Step 12
Pin your waistband to the pleated end of your petticoat, making sure there is at least a one inch tab of extra on each end of the unsewn seam which is like your petticoat's fly. I aim the center of my waistband tape at that center front box pleat to make sure there's enough tab on each side of the petti-fly.

Step 13
Button placement. Figure out where you want to put your buttons then sew the buttonholes first. In case your buttonholes are a little off, since adjusting the placement of buttons is way easier than buttonhole placement. I used two buttons since my tabs were a little long.

And you're done! It's really that easier. You could make it with elastic in the waist but I worry that it'd bulk up the waist area and that it might get tangled in the rough edge of the organza which would also occupy the waistband. This kind of petti can be machine washed (machine dry low for best results). It will lose a bit of poof over time but it holds onto a good bit.

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