Spiral Skirt Again--Report (Long)

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A few weeks ago I posted here with questions about the Birch Street
Spiral Skirt pattern.  My trial skirt (a "test" skirt from my
second-choice fabric) is now finished, except for the hem.  I love it!
So glad I went for it.  Can't wait to make the "real" one with the
prettier fabric now.

Below are some of my observations in making this skirt.  I think the
results are well worth the effort, and my comments are just intended as
information to keep in mind for those who might also try this.

1.  The fabric estimates on the pattern seem to be fairly accurate--you
really do need as much as it says.

2.  Making the spiral skirt takes a lot of time, especially cutting out
all those spiral pieces (12 of them, for a size small.)  This is not a
"whip-it-out-this-afternoon-and-wear-it-this-evening" project, unless
maybe you're Kate Dicey.

3.  Cutting spirals is a bit slower than cutting the usually straight
lines of more conventional skirts.

4.  I had some difficulty determining how long to make the pattern.  The
long version is 33" and the short one is 22", neither was right for me.
  But since the pattern doesn't hang straight to the hem, how long
should I cut it? I finally decided that I wanted the skirt 24" long, and
added 2" to the short version.  Well, either I was wrong about the
length I wanted or something, because the skirt was a little shorter
than I wanted it.  I managed to add the necessary length by adding a
separate waistband casing, which gave another inch or so, plus then I
didn't have to fold down a casing, which gave me the necessary length.
Next time I will add a couple of inches to the top of the pattern.  If
anyone makes one of these skirts, I would advise making it a couple of
inches longer than you think you want.  It's quite easy to shorten the
nearly-finished skirt from the top, but adding length takes some
creative thought.

5.  The very soft, drapey fabric recommended can be a bit harder to
control than plain cotton, but I didn't have too much trouble with it.

6.  I ended up catching some of the ruffles in the seams, especially
near the pointed end of the spirals.  Thought I was being SO careful,
but still got a few.  Not such a big deal on a sewing machine, as you
can just pick out that part and do it over, but I was using the serger,
which cuts the fabric as it sews.  oops.  But my oopses were just tiny
bits at the hem, and no one will ever notice.

As I said, I feel this pattern is well worth making, but I would not
recommend it for a beginning sewist as a first project.  NAYY, of
course, just thought that after our previous discussion, some of you
might like to know how it went.

Donna G.
Michigan's Upper Peninsula

Re: Spiral Skirt Again--Report (Long)
Thanks for the update, Donna. I'm so glad to know you liked the results!
Wear it with great pride and joy.

I've always wanted to make this skirt. Now, with all your great
suggestions, maybe I will.

Karen Maslowski in Cincinnati

Donna Gennick wrote:
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Re: Spiral Skirt Again--Report (Long)
Donna Gennick wrote:

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Hahahahahahaha!  ;)  Only a beanbag half the size of a sofa and three
cushion covers today, but at least I was sewing!

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Hm...  My preferred skirt length is 36".  I like them down there by my
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Especially on a busy fabric...  :)
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Thanks, Donna.  I shall look out for length and whathaveyou problems
with the KwikSew pattern I have.
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Kate  XXXXXX  R.C.T.Q Madame Chef des Trolls
Lady Catherine, Wardrobe Mistress of the Chocolate Buttons
We've slightly trimmed the long signature. Click to see the full one.
Re: Spiral Skirt Again--Report (Long)
Thanks for the update!!   I also am "in the process" of making one for
DDIL........and I agree that the cutting is fiddly in the extreme.....I
stacked my pieces, but even so, that spiral is difficult.

I am catching wrinkles in the serger too.......so I am going to change
to a simple overcasting stitch on the sewing machine.  It seems to me
that the curvy seams are easier to hold on to and guide with the sewing
machine.  The 1/4 inch seam allowance doesn't leave a lot of room for

Sure glad I took all the good advice offered here about NOT doing it on
anything that would stretch.........pretty sure that would have been a
real PITA...

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