Welcome back to my blog, today I am going to share how I made my false front underskirt that goes underneath my Ariel Ballgown.
I’ll start by explaining briefly how and why I made the underskirt this way. I have been making this costume primarily out of materials from my stash and instead of purchasing an extra 3-4 yards of silk to make the entire skirt out of silk I chose to make the front panel out of silk and the other panels out of Kona cotton that I got on sale for $5 per 108” width yard. I don’t normally buy my kona cotton at Joanns because I absolutely love the Robert Kaufman Kona cotton but the extra wide white cotton is actually very nice quality and since I didn’t have enough silk for the skirt the cotton was a much more affordable option.
So to start off I used Simplicity Pattern 1728, 4 yards of 108” width Kona Cotton, 2.5 yards of “rolling fog” silk dupioni from Silk Baron and then a yard of trim that I painted and an assortment of beads that I also had in my stash.
I used this pattern for the underskirt and with lots of modifications. I will say there is absolutely nothing wrong with using this pattern if that’s what you want but I personally enjoy modifying patterns to get the results I desire.
For the purpose of this blog I just used the piece to make the skirt which was piece number 10.
I started the entire process by cutting out the cotton first and like most patterns I completely ignored the instructions and did my own thing.
Going into this project I knew I wanted a fuller skirt so using pattern piece 10 I cut out the front panel on the fold, then I cut “side” panels and “back” panels. I can’t remember but I am pretty sure the pattern called for only front and back.
After cutting out all the cotton pieces (this was actually how I found out that I didn’t have enough silk and would need to do the false front) I cut out the one silk panel which was the front on the fold.
From there I cut a waistband and I actually used the piece from this pattern as well.
Then I painted the trim, I didn’t have enough to cover the silk panel but I still had enough to cover the amount of space needed.
While the paint dried (I think it suggested 4 hours) I started sewing the cotton panels with french seams.
For the closure in the back I rolled the cotton inward and the base was basically done.
Once the paint was dry, I tacked down the silver trim onto the silk dupioni with 1.5” space from the hem so I could roll it later. It doesn’t look like I photographed that step but I did pin the silk front onto the dress form over the cotton before I actually added the trim to make sure it would cover enough of the under skirt.
Once the trim was applied to the skirt, I took the liberty to embellish the heck out of it. I did this before adding it to the cotton because the cotton actually acts as a lining and will keep all those pretty stitched concealed for a cleaner finish.
So now, it’s time to add the silk front to the rest of the skirt. The picture above is actually from after the silk application but you can still see the details which is important. So it’s very important to add the silk before adding the waistband.
I started this step by pinning the top of the center front of the silk to the top of the center front of the cotton. Baste those two together. Then went in to add my gather stitch but don’t gather down yet, just leave those be for a bit.
Once the top was together, I went down each side and folded the silk in half an inch onto the cotton lined up wit the seam from the cotton. Alternatively you could baste the two pieces together before putting the skirt together and then put the skirt together. Or you could also completely omit that center piece of cotton however if you do any embellishments you would be stuck with thread shown on the inside so the garment might not be competition level clean. All of these options are right though because in sewing there is no “wrong way” to do something, there’s just ways that work better for some then others.
Once both sides are done in this manor I actually go in and pin the entire hem to be made for half an inch rolled hem. I found that the front where the trip was had to be stitched by hand due to the embellishments but the rest of the hem was machine sewn.
Once the hem was done, I gathered down the top and slapped a waistband on it! I didn’t photograph this part since I have been putting waistbands on everything lately so I didn’t feel the need to show how that was done.
I did sew two hooks in the back of the skirt to put on and take off.
Finally, I went in and added my Patrons names to the hem of the skirt with this beautiful Robison Anton Thread Bright Jade
Once the skirt was done, I threw it over the hoop skirt to prep for the main dress. The entire build thread on this costume will be put into PDF e-book format in late June or early July and will be on Patreon first.
If you would like your name inside Constance Hatchaway like the names in this dress you can become a Patron for $1 or support me on ko-fi for $3 and anyone who buys 3 or more coffees for me on ko-fi will get the PDF Build Book on Constance Hatchaway when I release it on Patreon in September.