Petticoat Layer 5

Here it is! The next step to the Belle/Cinderella cosplay tutorial. We are on layer 5 of the petticoat. This layer is constructed differently than the previous layers.

Here was the petticoat after Layer 4.

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Layer 5 is a simple circle skirt with a ruffled bottom. Based on the shape of the petticoat to this point I decided I didn’t want the ruffle to be the same length as the previous as it was starting to develop a “ledge” where the line of the skirt would angle down when it reached the ruffle. To compensate for that I decided to make the Layer 5 ruffle 9″ tall instead of 12″.

Reader beware! The next section is riddled with math! I actually love this. I teach math, so I think it is just fabulous when I can incorporate math into my projects. Don’t worry, I will keep it as simple as possible and try to make the calculations clear. If you are working on your own project, you may want a calculator handy as you do these steps.

First, I measured the length of the petticoat. Since the length is not consistent, due to the bustle, I measured the length from the front, sides, and back. In hindsight, if I made it again, I would probably now measure halfway between those points as well, for increased accuracy.

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To create the circle skirt I used the measurements I collected. I then needed to determine my waist measurement, for me, approximately 30 inches. Using the formula Radius = Circumference ÷ 6.28, I was able to determine that the radius for my waist was 4.75 inches. However, I need a seam allowance, so the measurement I will cut for my waist is actually 4.25 inches.

I added this length to the measurements needed for the skirt to create my cut pattern.

The largest radius used in my pattern was 47 inches. I used this radius to determine the length of ruffles needed. Circumference = 6.28 x Radius. Plugging in 47 inches for the radius I was able to determine that the circumference of the circle is approximately 300 inches. I doubled this for my ruffle. So, I needed 600 inches of ruffles for this layer of the petticoat. This actually worked out perfectly as the organza I used is 60 inches wide.

I cut ten 10″ strips that were the length of the fabric (60 inches) and sewed them together along the short edge. I finished both edges of the ruffle (hem and opposite side) using a narrow hem on my serger. I finished the non-hem edge to help prevent fraying as I worked with the gathers. I am very glad I did!

I made a gather stitch along the top edge of the ruffles. Don’t you just love all the fluff!

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The organza was not wide enough to cut the whole circle skirt, so I cut it in two sections, front and back.

Using 100 inches of organza fabric, I folded it width wise so I had a double layer of fabric that was 60 inches by approximately 50 inches. Laying the fabric flat, and pinning the edges to hold it together, I drew out the circular shapes from my sketches in the same manner that I drew out the curved sections of the godets. I also drew out the circle for the waist and cut them out.

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My yard stick wasn’t long enough to get the job done, so I taped two together. It worked great! I repeated this process for both the front and the back of the skirt.

Once both pieces had been cut I serged the sides together.

I cut an approximately 10 inch slit in the back and serged that edge as well.

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I draped the circle over my dress form to make sure it was the right length. It did require a few adjustments. As you can see, the edge closest to the camera is a little long. I trimmed that before adding the ruffle. I think this could have been prevented if I had taken more measurements at the beginning.

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I attached the ruffled edge with a straight stitch and then serged the seam to eliminate bulk.

Here is the Layer 5 petticoat complete!3IMG_3831

I think I may want to add a bit more volume to the back to create a smoother shape. The next two layers of the petticoat are simple circle skirts, so they won’t add much to the overall appearance. I do really like the shorter ruffle on this layer. I think it prevented the drop off problem I was having previously.

Overall, I think Layer 5 was a success. We will have to see if I decide to add more godets to  make it even bigger!

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