Trashcan Couture Part II

It’s neither finished nor “unfinished.”  Technically, I could wear it outside the house but I think it needs more.  Lace?  Lace applique?  Black? Pintucks?

This is the skirt from before, with a of poly cotton base, a layer of mosquito netting embellished with ribbon, and an exterior of soft pink cotton voile.  I’m not that crash hot on dirndls, but it was the simplest shape to test embellished layering, and it springs out so stiffly from the waistband I don’t mind the bulk.

Please indulge my photo notes on gathering with my overlocker.  I want to try keeping better track of my optimal machine settings by fabric.  This is lightweight cotton voile.

Needle Tension turned up, other settings normal. Medium gathering.

Needle tension normal, differential feed turned up to 2.  Thick gathering, like pleating.

Needle tension normal, differential feed at 2, short stitch length.  Heavy gathering, tight and inflexible.

Needle tension 2, differential feed normal, larger stitch length.  Good, stable gathering.

I gathered each layer one at a time to a ribbon cut the width of my waist.  Each layer needed to be attached higher than the lower one, creating a graded effect.  I used a wide, long zig-zag stitch to secure the layers. 

Then I basted the two underlayers together at the back seams.  I basted all three layers together for the length of the invisible zip.  Below the zip, I sewed the exterior skirt seam separately from the other two layers.

When I tried it on without a waistband, it did two unflattering things for me.  One, it looked a little “unfinished,” too much resembling a little girl’s dress up skirt.  For the other, it created very little definition at my waists.  Hourglasses and S-shapes need waist definition.

Ribbons hardly visible here, it was a little dark and rainy.

I made a little ruched waistband with extra-heavy cardboard interfacing.  Loops and buttons to close.  I should have used white lace on the base layer.


I was wearing this all day, I don’t think I’d normally pair the Ruffles Have Ridges with the pink skirt.  Two statement pieces together knocks Pluto’s moons out of orbit.

Now I need to figure out if I want to add more ribbon to the underlayer, and what embellishments to use on the top layer.  I’m using rubbishy hoarded stuff (so much netting saved from other projects!) to help me understand light and layers for future projects.


  1. Your skirt is so pretty and nicely worked. I love the blouse that you chose to wear with it. This outfit would make me feel so pretty wearing it and I think that is what it is about. Thanks for sharing

  2. I love the waistband on the skirt :) I love the idea of dirndls but the reality just doesn't do me any favors, sigh.For me, I'd be tempted to add rows of tone-on-tone lace to the overskirt, but then I have this thing for texture. Alternatively, what about sheer insets to let the ribbons show through even more? Hmm, I bet you'll have lots more fun playing with this layering thing… :)

  3. I like the idea of lace, too. I just saw a blog post somewhere (I can't remember where now) about embroidery cut outs. Maybe something like that would be nice? Thanks for the super kind comment on my kindergarten blues shirt. I was starting to feel like my skills were really improving, except I've made so many wadders lately :)

  4. I really like the top and skirt. It's hard to tell how much the ribbon shows through from the pictures. How about triming the top skirt with a ruche of ribbon at the hem to pick out the colours of the layer underneath.. A sprinkling of ribbon bows? More ribbon on the layer underneath seems like a good plan. The lace layers sound good too..

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