I’m sure that when all of you read my post introducing this project you looked at the calendar and though “wait, you have only a week and a half (less really) left to do this. It isn’t going to happen!”
Not just progress, a whole, beautifully made, and almost finished, skirt!
For the basic construction of the skirt I used this fashion plate from 1902:
And this pattern from Turn-of-the-Century Fashion Patterns and Tailoring Techniques (originally from the Ladies Tailor Made section of The “Standard” Work on Cutting) to draft my pattern:
I decided to make the skirt right, and deal with whatever fabric was left for the bodice, come what may. I drew my pattern out on my skirt: one giant swoop of pattern piece going from centre front to centre back, with no side seams.
Felicity helped hold the fabric down:
Then I drew a slightly curvier swoosh for my flounce, and pinned it directly to the main body of the skirt, and sewed it on with one raw edge showing. My fabric is felted and won’t fray, and my LACMA inspiration dress shows that this is period.
There are little curved V’s at the centre front and back. All of this will probably get covered by the ‘cloud’ appliqué.
Then all I had to do was sew the front and back seams, set a placket in the back, and pleat the skirt to fit my waist.
There is a single set of pleats that opens up from the centre-back waist, with beautifully set hooks and eyes hidden in the pleating.
Placket and pleating sorted, I attached a waistband. It is faced with black silk satin left over from my Midnight Garden corset – the sort I hope to trim the whole skirt in.
For the hem, I marked the hem up, and then sewed in a line of tape to give the hem a little more body and stiffness and ‘swoosh’ (this skirt seems to be all about swoosh).
Although the fabric is felted enough to withstand fraying, I though it would be better safe than not, so I finished the edge of the wool with bias binding. Then I turned up the hem over the tape, and sewed it down with a machine invisible-hem stitch (yes, cutting a few corners here):
Hurrah! Basically done skirt:
And isn’t it deliciously swoosh-y?
All it needs is a hem protector, and the ‘cloud’ appliqué, and it will be done! And then at least I will have something to submit for the challenge, though I’m hoping I’ll manage the bodice as easily and quickly and with as little headache!
I thought a bit more about the design. I have been tempted by a bolero (and I know some of you are advocating it). I even drew up a design:
However, the more I looked and researched, the more obvious it became that short-sleeved boleros were really only for summer wear, and they were only made in silk, cotton, or very light wool. A bolero just wouldn’t be right for the idea of my outfit.