Saturday, October 13, 2012

Another Chima

So, a very long time ago I decided to redo my hanbok skirt as I still wasn't very satisfied with the end result. I ordered the cloth and the accessories and then...work life got in the way. Last week, I finally had a bit of a breather so I decided to finish up the chima so that I can wear it to a a year-end party.

This time I was working with duchess satin ordered from fabric.com. The fabric was a lot heavier than I expected and creased a lot more easily compared to the Korean (poly) satin. The Korean fabric was also stiffer; up till now I haven't found a comparable Western fabric alternative to the particular type of fabric used for hanbok making.

I first started work on the waistband. I used the reverse side of the duchess satin (didn't want it to be shiny).  The fabric presses flat really nicely but this needs to be anchored with topstitch, which I did around the edges of the piece.



Then I cut out two rectangle strips from the same piece of fabric to make the spaghetti straps for a more comfortable experience wearing the chima. Without which, the waistband would have to be tied very tightly in order to prevent it unraveling and the skirt slipping down. I had problems turning over the duchess satin roll when the strap was done--anyone who attempts to sew spaghetti straps will understand the painful process of having to invert a tiny strip of fabric the right side out. I'd gotten a fabric tube-turner to help me with this the last time round, but the duchess satin was too slippery and kept twisting on itself when I tried pulling the fabric through.

In the end, I found this genius of an idea at Crafty Endeavours, which recommends using a hairpin to tug the fabric through. It worked way better than the tube-turner and the various other methods I attempted.

Another problem for me was pressing the strips once they were turned the right side out. It was hard controlling the cloth to get the edges pressed right at the edge of the seam allowance; the satin pressed best with high heat and forcing steam into the fabric,  but that meant that putting your hand anywhere close to the belching steam-machine came with a high chance of getting scalded.  

I discovered then that if you fold a paper strip exactly the same width as the strip, and stuff in inside the fabric roll, aligning the edges, you can then iron the strips with as much steam and heat as you like, while ensuring that the fabric doesn't roll in on itself during the process. The folds of the paper also help to fill up the fabric roll during the ironing, making the strap stay in shape. 

After the pressing, I top-stitched a fine line across the edge with the seam-allowance to make the strap flat and neat.





Once that was done, I attached the body of the skirt to the waistband. This is the final product (without the spaghetti straps sewn on yet):




I was really amazed by the versatility of the fabric and how it can be manipulated by some pressing and stitchery. The little tips I picked up while working on this will definitely come in handy for future projects!

Next, I will be working on the overlay chima (Sonjjang's black floral burnout fabric + nobang) and the gache wig, once the hair extensions arrive. Can't wait!