I’m having a design dilemma and need some feedback from anyone with an opinion. please?
Would you wear ruffles cascading from your knee to your ankle? Maybe not everyday, but as part of a costume at least?
I’ve been working up several test pairs of ruffle pants for various costuming uses. They would typically be worn under a big skirt, but could also be worn without the skirt. I’m thinking a pair of these would look great peeking out from a floor length skirt that has been gathered up and pinned with a couple of fabric roses at one knee.
I’ve got 3 test pairs thus far, and I’m starting to worry about wasting my time and materials on these samples. I really hate the prototype stage of garment design. I detest using fabrics in something that may never be worn so I’m stingy with my good stuff.
The black and white pair was the first. I started with an existing pair of yoga pants and added ruffles using some 2nd hand textiles and some lace yardage. I cut out the inside leg seam, then topstitched the ruffles into place after carefully marking on the pants, then serged the leg seam back together when done. I really like the vintage hanky as the top ruffle here. It was very tattered and worked well in this color scheme.
But the yoga pant legs were not wide enough, so I built my own yoga pants with some red jersey fabric I had. I tried quilt weight cotton and jersey for these ruffles, just to see if I liked it. But I didn’t. I prefer the lighter, flowing ruffles. For this pair, each ruffle was attached to a strip of the pant fabric, then all the ruffled strips were joined before sewing up the leg seam. I thought this piecing method might be quicker – but it really wasn’t. There were too many seams inside the pant leg making these itchy and less structurally sound in my opinion. Also, these pant legs were still not wide enough for the look I wanted.
Back to the drawing board…
I tried a different tactic on the 3rd pair. This time I used turquoise jersey from my stash to build a looser pant, and layered it with ruffles made from silk and linen shirts, as well as the turquoise jersey to echo the base pants. These are not finished yet, I expect to add a drawstring elastic waist low on the hips for this pair and embellish them because they are too plain with just ruffles. I think these need some lace trim, and maybe more vintage buttons where the shirt plackets are showing. I like the shirt placket detail on these, it’s weird, but an interesting touch.
Once I decide on the pattern I prefer, I will start adding vintage lace, embroidery, buttons, beads and any other embellishments I can think of onto the ruffles. When it comes to great costuming, it is the details that make all the difference.
Tell me you thoughts on these pants. Would you ever wear something like this for a costume? What features do you like or dislike? Maybe hearing the thoughts from others will keep that light bulb in my head from going dim. I’m afraid to use my favorite fabrics and trims in the prototype pants, so I need to settle on a design pretty quickly before I deplete my stash on all these tester pairs!