Added Jun 22, 2010
Surprisingly, I’ve had a lot of my pettiskirt images stolen from sellers, selling Kaiya Eve skirts. The most insidious part is that some of them have watermarked them as their own images. Can you believe?!
The skirts are made from six yards of nylon chiffon each. So fluffy and soft, like butter cream icing on a cupcake. Molly loved to gather the fluff in her hands and run around the room laughing madly. Lily enjoyed twirling. When your little ones are twirling in a nylon chiffon pettiskirt your camera can do no wrong. Seriously. Just point and shoot. The skirt does like 90% of the work.
Last year I fell in love with these skirts. I had wanted to buy one for Lily and one for Molly to wear for their first and fourth birthday party. However, in the end, the price gave me pause. If any of you have seen these before, they are chiffon pettiskirts made famous by the Kaiya Eve line. If you buy them from her or her any of her competitors, they retail for $80-$100 a piece. Although, recently I’ve seen some on etsy for only $60. Still, sadly out of my price range. Especially seeing as I would be buying dos.
So imagine my surprise when I found a Martha Stewart interview with Kaiya Eve desinger Kandi Lightner who demonstrated how exactly to recreate her gorgeous skirts.
In case you don’t win or don’t have enough money to buy one online, here are the online instructions to try one yourself
Here is the video of Kandi and Martha. Although I have to warn you, it’s tedious. And the instructions don’t tell you everything you need to know.
I’ll let you in on some of the little secrets I had to learn the hard way. First, you CAN’T use polyester chiffon. It frays like you’d never believe. AND you can’t find nylon chiffon anywhere but online! Here is where I bought mine Good news, it’s only $1.59 a yard, plus shipping.
Second you should build it from the bottom up rather than the top down. That way you just sew in a straight line rather than a gathered circle.
Third, you have to know how to ‘shirr’. I didn’t, and Martha and Kandi didn’t let me in on it either. Apparently you need elastic thread which you wind on the bobbin by hand so that it is not stretched tight. Set your stitch to the longest setting and then sew down the middle. This should gather the fabric.
I used that method with the first skirt I attempted- the polyester chiffon mess. With my second attempt I thought I’d outwit Martha and use a ‘Gathering Foot’. When I first used it I thought it was the bees knees! That is until I stitched for longer than five minutes.
Maybe I wasn’t using it correctly but it kept unscrewing all the screws on the needle and gathered the fabric underneath as well as the fabric on top. In the end I spent all day on something I eventually had to rip apart to start over again. Lesson learned….never undermine Martha. She always knows best.
Lastly, you need to purchase about five yards of fabric to make one skirt. The directions tell you how many pieces and how long and wide but not how much to buy. If you are making a contrasting fluff you should buy equal parts of each color- 2.5 and 2.5.
When I was trying to come up with a name for the skirt I considered something to do with jellyfish. Since the bottom fluff reminded me of the ruffles on their tentacles. In the end, I didn’t think taking pictures at an aquarium would yield positive results. The strange thing was that when I asked Lily what she thought the skirts reminded her of she answered….jellyfish. I swear I hadn’t said a word about them to her.
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