Shirred JSK Materials Cheat Sheet.
A lot of Lolita fashion is based on adding different finishing details to the same basic thing. For this reason, it’s very useful to have a folder of filled out cheat sheets so you can know exactly how much fabric to buy, without having to do math over and over again.
Here’s some for the shirred JSK, in both imperial and metric*
Apologies for the fact that these aren’t the most printer-friendly. Better scans are coming soon.
Since the Imperial instructions are kind of blurry:
(A) * 3.5 = (E) / 45” = ____, Round up to nearest whole number: <#1> [Fabric Widths]
<#1> * (D) = ____ / 36” = [Yards of Fabric]
(E) / 36” = [Yards of Lace]
(C) * 3 = <#2>
(D) * 2 = <#3>
<#2> + <#3> / 36” = [Yards of Elastic]
The sheets are identical between the systems, except for a bit of formatting changing.
For those of you who are able to print your sheets out and understand it, go on ahead.
For those of you who like a little explaining:
- Write down your key numbers (A) through (D).
Measure your waist at your natural waist, the smallest part of your torso.
Measure your back-to-knee by holding a tape measure at the back of your neck and having a friend measure the distance to the back of your knee.
Your underbust is the area just under your boobs, where your bra band sits if you wear one.
Your chest is around the fullest/largest part of your chest.
- Multiply your waist by 3.25. 3.25 is the magic number to calculate Lolita skirts. The number you get is the number of inches/cm in your hemline If you want to get [Inches/cm of Hem Lace], get this many in/cm. Divide that number by 45in/115cm. A standard bolt of fabric is 45”/115cm wide. Round that up to the nearest whole number. If your number is only slightly over the number (2.1, 3.2, similar), you can round down. This number is how many rectangles of fabric you’ll need to cut out to sew end-to-end to make that distance around your skirt, or how many [Fabric Widths] you need. There’s a spot for that number on the sheet, under the “cut” category.
- Multiply the number of fabric widths by your back-to-knee length. The back-to-knee length determines how long your JSK will be total. Multiplying that by fabric widths give you how many inches of 45”/115cm wide fabric you will need to buy. Divide by 36”/100cm to determine how many yards/metres you will need to buy. Write that down under [Yards/Meters of Fabric.]
- The bodice of the dress will have five layers of elastic. Three of them will be the length of your underbust measurement, and two will be the length of your chest measurement. This avoids the dreaded Boob Loaf look. Multiply your underbust measurement by 3. Multiply your chest measurement by 2. Add those two numbers together. Divide by 36”/115cm to get [Yards/Meters of Elastic].
When you go buying, always get a little bit more than your measurements say. These calculations do not factor in seam allowance. When you go cutting, make sure to add a bit extra for that.
Now that you’ve got these numbers, go to the store/yard sales/fabric stash/estate sales/bedsheet section of Target and buy this:
- Outside fabric of the JSK: your yard/meters of fabric number (plus extra). I’m using a unpatterned sheer fabric. You can use anything you like. Because this dress is lined, you can use a very lightweight fabric.
- Lining fabric of the JSK: Same as outside. I chose a patterned quilting-weight cotton that shows through the outside.
- 1/4” (5mm or 6mm) or 3/8” (10mm) elastic: The number you calculated. If you’re smaller-chested, 1/4” is going to be fine. If you’re chestier (C-cup+) you might want 3/8”. You can also use a mix of the two widths (wider on the top and waistband for support). If you want elasticized fabric straps, get 2 2/3 /126 yards/cm more elastic.
- If you want lace on the hem: Lace length your calculated. If you want lace on the hem and the neckline: Twice the length you calculated.
- Other things you might want to buy: 1 1/3 /112 yards/cm ribbon, if you want ribbon instead of fabric straps. 1 1/3 /112 yards/cm lace if you would like lace edging on your fabric straps.
Well, that was technical, but in the next step we’ll actually have pictures and get to do some sewing.
*I have never bought fabric somewhere that uses the metric system, so this might be off. Thankfully, for this particular project, it doesn’t matter if things are off by a bit.