A Rose Petal Skirt

Taking inspiration from Dior and the 19th Century (specifically the mid 1860’s) I designed a skirt with petals that are short in the front and lengthen as they get to the back. These petals are more intricate than they appear, in fact, there are four layers of fabric to them: two types of organza, glitter tulle, and silk gauze.

Each petal is made from a base of gold organza with a second layer of the iridescent organza. These bases were cut to the shape of the final petal. I sewed them together around the edge, but then added three rows of stitching from the top to the bottom spaced out. This helps to prevent stretching and warping of the petals.

You can see the faint diagonal cut line on this base petal piece.

After the base was created, I then took the tulle and silk gauze and layered them together. I gathered the upper combined edge of the fabrics and sewed them to the width of the top of the petal. The total width of the fabric gathered in is 2x the width of the bottom of the petal. After the tulle and silk were sewn to the top, I sewed down the sides to stabilize the fabrics in place.

Then came the fun part, arranging the tulle and silk gauze on the base of the petal. Each was hand pleated down to distribute the fullness of the gathered material evenly. Only two more steps to go – and arguably the longest two of the whole process: Binding and Roses.

The binding was created out of metallic silk organza. It is not something you can pick up at the store, it’s actually leftovers from the petticoats that I repurposed to bind the petals. Not only did this choice cover the seam, but it added stability and slight rigidity to the petals, allowing them to keep their shape when moving. Finally, the roses went on. There are 13 roses on each petal. Why? Because 13 is my favorite number – so meta.

That’s how the petals were made, each taking about 5 hours to construct because of all the hand sewing that was involved.

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