Karlene's Workshop

My sewing, refashioning and upcycling projects revealed
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New Fairy Skirt

  • 19/11/2009 3:36 pm

We’ve been very busy this week, today was the first I have been able to get any sewing done. I was very pleased to get this fairy skirt finished this morning. It’s to go with the fairy wings in my last post.


I have used lots of layers of different fabrics cut into triangle or square shapes, overlapping at the waist, with a few lengths of ribbon to finish it off.
The main fabric is from an old silk skirt from my mum. I love it when Mum’s have clean outs!

The pale blue bits are from the lining of the skirt and the deep blue and turquoise tulle is the same as I used for the wings.

I have used some light turquoise/blue fine cotton to line it.

I didn’t want any gaps in the lining, but still wanted the shape and fullness of the outer layer, so what I did was cut two large squares, cut holes in the middle like I did for my first fairy skirt, then cut up the middle of each. I then joined the two together (the circle bits) to make one very full skirt layer with eight points. If you look carefully you can see one of the two seams where I joined them together.

This was the first time I tried this technique and I really like how it turned out. In fact I wish I done the same thing to the outer layer!
Will have to do some more skirts that way in the future.

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Fairy wings

  • 12/11/2009 8:33 pm

I’m so excited. I have just made my first successful pair of fairy wings!
Here is my little boy kindly modeling them for me, and yes he actually wanted to wear them.

In my research on how to make fairy wings I found mostly tutorials on the wire coat hanger technique, you know, you get the coat hangers (or just wire shapes) cover them with pantyhose and join them together. But of course I had to be different.

I wanted something a bit lighter and not so awkward so I decide to use layered tulle.
I used four layers, two turquoise and two dark blue, cut into a wing shape and then gathered up the middle. The two colours were overlapped slightly when I stacked them to show a variation of colour at the edges.

To cover up the stitching I sewed on some blue cord/braid over the top. I put shapes in the middle of the tulle and stitched around the edges through all the layers.

I also threaded some fishing wire through the wings in a loopy pattern for stiffness. To cover this up, on the back where you see most of the wings I sewed braid over the top of the wire and on the front I used some silver dimensional fabric paint.

For the straps I covered some elastic with fabric and hand stitched them in place on the front.

I had lots of fun making these. If I was going to make them quicker I think I would cut the wing shapes smaller and use more layers of tulle. Then there won’t be the need to add anything to stiffen them out.

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Layered circle skirt

  • 20/10/2009 8:42 pm

For my next “princess” skirt for the nieces I made this ruffled one from a Barbie print curtain that my mother-in-law gave me.

The curtain looked brand new, it was from the in-laws new house in the bedroom that our boys sleep in when we stay, and has now been replaced. I just knew it would make an awesome fairy princess skirt.

I’m not saying which niece is getting this one but if any of my family are reading this they can probably guess. Shh!

It is made from three circular layers of different lengths, with gathered tulle strips sewn on the lining layers. “What?” you say, just like this:

I made a circular skirt pattern for the longest layer and marked the two shorter ones on it, then cut them all out.

This is what the cut pieces looked like:

Then I did the same with the lining layers. Yip, this skirt has six layers, which makes it very interesting to sew on elastic for the waist but more about that later.

I’ve been storing some pink tulle in my stash for years, waiting for a project just like this to use it all up. The tulle was strip cut into pieces then gathered into a ruffle.

I sewed the ruffled tulle strips onto each layer so the edge was aligned with the hem. For the hems I just used a zig-zag stitch, I really couldn’t face properly hemming all that fabric! This picture shows the top layer with the ruffle stitched on.

I had to put this picture in because I just loved how the skirt layers looked on top of one another. For some reason it makes me think of a giant wedding cake!

Then came the elastic. I knew I would have a real problem trying to sew through 12 layers if I just folded the top over, so I joined the outer and the lining first, slipped the elastic on, then stitched a casing seam under the elastic to hold it up. Hope this makes sense, it is quite hard to explain.

All done. This is my favorite picture, the angle shows off the layers nicely.

Now I just have to make some kind of flower circlet headdress thing.

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