Remember how I made a mid-1930s skirt to wear with a nautical outfit for Windy Lindy 2011 way back in August?
Well, I’ve been trying to get good images of me in that skirt ever since, and I tell you, that thing just doesn’t want to be photographed.
So I’ve finally conceded defeat, and am just showing you some mediocre images.
The inspiration for my skirt was a common mid-30s design with outward facing pleats front and back. I can’t find the actual image I used for inspiration, but you Wearing History has posted some images of similar skirts, like this adorable one with lacing (on the right) and a simple one in flat silk crepe (on the left).
Like I said, very common design!
For my skirt I used the same white cotton with irregular diagonal rib that I used for the 1770s man’s redux waistcoat and breeches. It’s not a period accurate fabric for the 1930s, and the resulting skirt is a bit more structured and tailored than a real 30s example would be.
I lined it in plain white cotton: not a traditional lining fabric at all. I sew modern clothes so rarely that I don’t own a lot of lining fabric, and didn’t have any on hand for this skirt (though I had just de-stashed some to an op-shop only a few days earlier – such is life!). So far it has worked incredibly well: it’s nice an supportive for holding everything in place, and thick enough that I can wear dark undergarments without worrying about it.
Since the skirt wasn’t going to be exactly period accurate due to my fabric choices, I decided to just make it ‘modern – period inspired’. So it has an invisible zip (which, of course, the pull on broke right away).
I did go for a beautifully done period bias tape and hand-stitched hem. Sometimes the old ways are really the best ways for getting something to lie perfectly!
To hold all of the pleating perfectly, and to add a little dimension to the diagonal fabric, I topstiched the pleating seams
The one place where I may have cut a few corners is in the edge finishings. For reasons that elude me completely, I left them totally raw. Quite unlike me!
Minor “Why did I do that?”s aside, I’m quite happy with the resulting skirt: it’s a nice twist on the traditional pencil skirt. I wouldn’t say that it is exactly 1930s, and I’m not sure that the double pleats are doing me any favours (they just seem to get a little odd and boxy at the hem), but it’s comfortable, fun to wear, and I can dance in it.
It doesn’t photograph well though!
Some lovely ladies and I had a nautical picnic yesterday, and I wore the skirt with the intention of giving it one last try in photographs. What do you think?