Finally today I was able to sew four seams on the georgette mentioned here.

That was more than enough for my back to tolerate, so I’ve been giving it a rest since then while I consider how to finish the top of the skirt. Skirt? Oh, you’re right. I forgot to tell you that somewhere in the last few weeks I decided to go with a tried and true solution for me: a long gathered skirt.

I now have the skirt draped over the silk that I plan to use for an ‘underskirt’ – I’d like to make it so it can be worn separately, rather than just as a lining or a slip. I have another silk fabric, wiry and fairly sheer, that coordinates with the under skirt fabric (but not so well with the georgette) that I may use for a jacket or something in the future.

The georgette snags and pulls and shows pin marks (even brand new Iris Silk pins) and is generally a pain to work with. On the other hand I’m very pleased with the stitches I’m getting from my ‘new-to me’ Bernina. I’m using a size 60 universal needle and Mettler Metrosene thread; I have a Gutermann thread that’s a bit closer match, but by just eyeballing it the Metrosene is finer/thinner and still a good color. One good thing about snags and pulls is that it is very easy to straighten the grain on this fabric by pulling on a crosswise thread! 😀

If I want a fairly long 41″ skirt (floor length would be 44 inches from waist to floor with flat shoes and .5 inch seam allowances top and bottom and no hem allowance) I have barely enough fabric for four panels. When testing how much gathering was most flattering for the skirt I found I needed four full panels, so I left the selvedges on for the seam finishes so I could use the full width of each panel (I prewashed and machine dried the georgette before cutting and the selvedges did not shrink.)

I’ll be using a narrow turned machine-stitched hem, I think. The shiny parts of the fabric make the hem a bit stiff, but those areas aren’t large and I hope will disappear once the skirt is hanging. Does anyone have experience with this? I could actually make bias strips of the more firmly woven under skirt fabric and face the hem with that. It would give it a more substantial look which might be good. Hmmm. How wide would I make the strips? Unfortunately I have only one small scrap of georgette to do all testing on; it measures 8 inches wide and about 1.5 inches high.

Next I’ll double-check to be sure the hem line is straight and on grain. I’ll gather (or softly pleat) the skirt onto a strip of the underskirt silk and then either run a drawstring or elastic through that added casing. I always have to shorten the center back of any skirts so they’ll hang straight, so I’ll get to figure out how much to cut off before I add the casing. This could be tricky with this slithery fabric…

Tomorrow or Monday I’ll share an excerpt from a letter we received yesterday – a neat story about my FIL that really gave me a a better idea of what he was like as a younger man.

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