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’ applique.
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’ applique, 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.
I’m in love. That skirt shape is so wonderful, words fail me. The colour, too, and your design sketch, but most of all, that wonderfully swooshy, elegant skirt shape.
I think I really really need to make something from that era…Need. But I suck at pattern drafting – do you have any recommendations? My historical sewing experience amounts to one roba Ã la francaise (plus stays and pocket hoops), and I’m generella not afraid of anything, but I do need some kind of starting point.
I love that waistband, and I love these skirts with no side seams – I definitely want to make one, too!
I now hope that you have enough fabric left for the bodice!
Ladies Tailor Made section of The “Standard” Work on Cutting is online at the internet archive in all formats for those that want a free digital version. http://archive.org/details/standardworkoncu00gord
Thank you for that, saved me buying it after I’d just sprung for the Norah Waugh corset book. Can’t really justify the extra right now.
The one thing I do like about Edwardian fashion is that they knew how to make a graceful skirt. You have emulated the fashion silhouette to perfection. Magnifique!
I like skirts of this era. Not only are they elegant, but they tend to be fairly easy to make as well. Yours is lovely, especially in that blue color.
Love the skirt! Well done. I prefer the top minus bolero – I think the cloud on the front is wonderful, and I look forward to seeing that. What with the cloud on the skirt, it is going to go together so well. Lovely thing.
I can’t wait to see the top with that beautiful skirt! I’ve always loved the skirts from that era–they’re amazingly elegant and…well, beautiful! You’ve done a wonderful job!
I know some people will cringe…but I think your Plly/Oliver Jacet would look smashing with this skirt….