Posts tagged: sew along

Sudoku ruffle skirt – Spring Ottobre 01/2009

The directions for this skirt make it sound very simple. There are 3 tiers to the skirt, each tier contains 3 different sized pieces. The instructions tell you to simply cut 8 of each of the largest sized pieces from at least six different fabrics. Sounds easy enough, right? Pick out some fabrics…

sudoku fabrics

Then you need to trim some of the pieces to the smaller sizes so that you will make 8 panels, each containing a piece of length a, b and c AND so that the adjacent pieces are different heights. Maybe some of you out there are confident and amazing enough to simply start whacking apart those pieces and have it all come out beautifully. I will admit that I am not such a person.

First of all, when I’m tracing a pattern piece that has three different lengths, I’m going to trace it as three different pieces because if I don’t, I’m definitely going to mess it up later. No problem there, but that means there are now nine different pieces for the main part of this skirt. In addition to keeping the adjacent pieces different in size, I wanted them to be different fabrics.

I made the following chart to use when cutting pieces and then assembling the skirt:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
1 1/b 2/c 3/a 4/c 5/b 6/c 7/b 8/a
2 4/c 5/a 8/b 7/a 1/c 3/a 2/c 6/b
3 3/a 7/b 1/c 6/b 2/a 8/b 4/a 5/c

Each part of the table has the number of a fabric and the length of the piece. For the first panel, I need to cut fabric 1 using piece 1-b, fabric 4 using piece 2-c and fabric 3 using piece 3-a. For the second panel, I’d need fabric 2 cut using piece 1-c, fabric 5 using 2-a and fabric 7 using 3-b.

Since I’m using 8 fabrics, I’ll cut 3 pieces from each fabric. I simply checked the chart to see which pattern pieces to use and then cut the three pieces from each fabric and labeled them with a Post-It note. This is fabric 1, cut with piece 1-b.

sudoku post-its

Once they were all cut, I referred to my chart again to lay all the pieces out on my table in the proper order.

sudoku panel pieces

Next, I stacked each panel with its pieces, so I had 8 stacks.
sudoku piles

Since I’m using 8 fabrics, it works out conveniently and the fabric number on the pieces in the top row also correspond to the panel number. Next I assembled each panel.

sudoku first panel

Since I didn’t want to worry about mixing them up, I attached the panels to each other as I completed them. I just kept attaching them to the right side.
Sudoku skirt, attaching the panels

Now, one of the nice things about this skirt is that, unlike the usual patchwork, there is no worrying about the corners in the middle of the skirt all lining up nicely because you’ve intentionally arranged the pieces so they are different sizes. This makes putting the assembled panels together less painful. Once you have all the panels assembled and sewn together, you’ll just need to put on the waistband and bottom frill.

I wanted to use a thicker elastic, so I cut the waistband piece 3″ wide. You can see where I’ve marked the quarters so I can attach it to the skirt.

sudoku waistband

After attaching the waistband, I use my zipper foot to help me get nice and close to the edge while I topstitch around the waist.

Using the zipper foot to topstitch

So far, so good!
sudoku waistband done

We still need that bottom ruffle, though. Since I can’t just leave things alone, I also cut the bottom ruffle at a 3″ width. I hemmed it before attaching it to the skirt so I didn’t have to deal with all the fluff when hemming. For the hem, I ran one side through the serger and then pressed it under and stitched it.

sudoku hem, ready to ruffle

I put about 5 3/4 yards of bottom ruffle on this skirt, but it could have easily taken more. I used my ruffler set at 12 to gather the ruffles.

sudoku Hem attached

Press the hem

Pressed hem

and you’re ready for the last topstitching!
Top stitching the hem

It looks a little odd on the hanger, but it’s done!

Finished Sudoku skirt Ottobre 1/2009

This is a size 128, with 20.5″ of 1″ wide elastic.

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