Different Shades of Silver

August 11, 2006

HTML Source EditorWord wrapMy friend Oana was looking for something simple to make and elegant. We picked out a double sided silver satin, from JoAnn Fabrics for a bias skirt.


Fabric and Embroidery

Browsing through my pattern magazines my eyes stopped at this pretty black and white bias skirt. The skirt had decoupage embroidery on the top black side, with the white showing through. That created a nice contrast and I really wish I could reproduce it on the silver satin. One side of the fabric is very smooth and shiny, while the other is a darker shade of gray. In my attempt to embroider the satin, after annoying mistakes on little pieces of fabric, I started reading a little about the right way to do this without an embroidery machine. Since i can only use a simple zig zag for this, here is a detailed description on how to tweak your stitch into a satin stitch, how to do appliqué embroidery:





The point is I need a hoop and a free motion foot, plus a lot of patience. Without the free motion foot, the pressure on the fabric is too big and you have to stop too often and pull too hard on the fabric to take turns. This cannot be done on bias fabric, as it stretches a lot much around the seams. I will certainly give embroidery another try later…and probably on a different texture of fabric, after I get a free motion foot. The price should be around 15-20$.


Instead of the embroidery, Oana and I chose a silver net ribbon that will be applied on the skirt. This of course will be much simpler to do…I always find it hard to decide how much fabric is needed for anything bias. I advised Oana to buy almost 2 yards of this satin (we had 40% off). That was exactly how much they had in the store. We bought all of it. The fabric turned out to be 58″ wide, and we got to cut out a bias top as well. I will use the ribbon for the top straps.

The Top

Remember the orange top I did in my previous project? I said I will reuse that pattern, and I kept my word. This time the top is simple, without the ruffle. StrapThe top straps are made of the silver ribbon, crossed in the back. I have started with the back seam. Then the lateral seams for the lining. Next attach the lining to the top, catching the ribbon straps in place in the front and back. There have been many fittings in the meanwhile to determine the length and placing of the straps.



The skirt

To sew the top part of the skirt, to the bottom part, I have adjusted the overlock machine to sew both the edges and the end seam at the same time, with 4 threads. It turned out great, without stretching the seam. Because the seam was on a bias cut, I was afraid that it will stretch, but not with the overlock. The differential feed was really useful for this.

After the seam was done between the lower and upper part of the skirt, on the front and back side, I ironed it, so the ribbon was easier to apply.

The ribbon was narrow enough to pass through the machine feet guide. Using the widest cover stitch (5.6mm), with 2 threads on top I sewed the ribbon in place, exactly over the bias seam. With one of the edges of the ribbon covering the seam, not centered. The ribbon was placed on the darker colored fabric, to create a higher contrast. It really looks good and Oana liked it too! It creates a nice pass from the darker fabric on top, to the silver bottom of the skirt.

The skirt was too loose at the waist line, and looked better with a higher waist. So I had to go in a little bit inside each pleat and a lot more on the lateral seams at the top, about 3 cm at least.


The Zipper

ZipperIt took me forever to attach the invisible zipper and do the lateral seams. Broke a needle as well. Although the fabric seemed to be a good idea for a bias project, I have strong doubts now… All seams seamed to look ok, without stretches when the fabric was inside out and unworn. As soon as Oana tried it on, it just would not seat as we wanted too…the seams were wavy and weird looking. I believe I had to sew over the same seams at least 10 times until I finally got it straight… Well almost right, the rest I took care of by ironing on the wet fabric.


LiningNext I attached the waist line, on the back side. I always sew a little seam that catches the seam allowance to the waist line, on the lining at the top of the skirt, very close to the front of the skirt. It will force the fabric to twist towards the back and sit nicely, without having the seam visible from the front of the fabric.

HemFor the hems on both the skirt and the top I used an embroidery thread in the lower looper, with a rolled hem.

HemOana tried the outfit on and it looks ok. The top goes way better with jeans, not with the skirt. Finally! It took a lot more time than I expected.

Triangle Top

After finishing the bias skirt and top, I was still left with a lot of fabric, and gray thread in my machines. It was about 8:30 PM when I spread the remaining fabric out and there was a large triangle, in a corner, perfect for something I have seen online. I rarely sew anything without a pattern, but I have experimented with this before, and it turned out ok. Oana also liked the idea of a simple top, and I though why not do it out of this fabric.

I got my inspiration navigating the web http://www.minxmodels.com/

Red Top

I have opened the link and there it was! The perfect idea for what I had! Silver satin triangle, silver ribbon!


In around 2 hours the top was ready. It turned out to look a lot better with the bias skirt. The ribbon on the skirt is parallel with the ribbons on the top. The ribbon is tied around the neck in a bow, and goes all the way around to the back. The ends of the triangle are tied in a knot at the waist line, on the left.

Enjoy and keep on sewing!


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