So, after I posted about pleating my plaid 1880s skirt, an awesome friend crunched some number and figured out that if I counted the thread I used in the skirt in imperial rather than metric I would have used 1883 feet of thread in the skirt, which, since it is circa 1883, is just perfect. How fantastic is that?
Most of the thread usage in the skirt went into the pleats, but after I had sewn them all, and attached the bottom portion of the pleats to the skirt base, I had to do the hardest part: drape the overskirt.
I suck at draping overskirts. I don’t know why. Mine just never look right! I do better when they are separate pieces, but after scrutinizing the inspiration skirt from the Met, and considering how much fabric I had left to play with, I decided to sew it as one skirt. I’m still not sure that was the right decision.
First I had to make my pieces of pleating big enough. Remember, I had a 5.4 metre long, 12â€³ wide length to work with, so I sewed it into three shorter 36″ wide lengths – one each for each side, and a further fall for the back. Luckily piecing was really easy with this plaid, and the pleats and topstitching held it even more.
For the apron overskirt, I arranged the pleats running around the body, so they sort of fall in a fan from the centre front points. I did lots and lots of pinning and and re-pining and basting to get everything where I wanted it to be.
When I was reasonably happy, I sewed everything down to get it to stay. I still haven’t figured out how I’m going to press it the next time I display it, but it looked rather good at AetherCon.
What do you think? Too controlled and pannier-y? Too symmetrical? Should I incorporate another fabric to give more fullness to my overskirt? Or is it just right?
Doesn’t my model look fabulous in the ensemble though?