My Daughters Dress Diary

Skirting the Issue...

...or, it had to grow with her, yaknow!

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Since the Skirt needed to be 30" long, and I had 22" of skirt legnth of white brocade, I needed 8" of banding. (plus seam allowances) So, I cut out all the white I needed for the skirt, and folded up the extra to use later. Laying that aside, I focused on the brown of the velvet cotton. After pulling the bembric lining away from the velvet gown, I realized I could use it for lining the hat, and maybe some of the bodice and sleeves. I put that aside also with the extra white brocade for later. I took the back of the gown and started measuring. I got 2 long pieces of 3" from the centre back, and one side had 2 lines of 3" toatlling 90". Then I started measuring the 2" pieces, and had enough left over for whatever else. I cut the velvet carefully, being sure to mark in perma-marker the nap direction on the back of the fabric.

Now, came the "fun" part. Remembering I had to have the 5" band, I measured 5+1/2" along the selvage...but, I needed 2 legnths that size, as the brown wasn't long enough. So, I took 78"+ seam allowance and divided by 2. 39" or 1 meter! I measured out what I needed, and after marking (in perma marker) I realized the design wasn't going to line up at all! (insert a bunch of cuss and curse words here). So, I sat back and thought. Grrr...
After a few hours break, I came back.... the pattern would work, it repeated close enough... I only had to move the cut lines about 1.25" more on the second band. That would work... I was back in business!
The perma marker. hmmm... can't sew it out, can't cut it out, can't wash it out.... I know! I'll sew over it! (With the gold bias tape).
Moving on.

After all the pattern pieces were laid out on the fabric, I cut out the skirt bands,I started sewing them together right away as I really wanted to know if this colour co-ordinating would work. I attached the brown velvet to the brocade, and it was here that I discovered the brown brocade was fraying like...(insert cuss works here). Using the zig zag on the machine, I zigged and zagged the seam allowances back into shape (they won't be going anywhere soon, I tell ya!). I turned the fabric right side out, and it looked.... Good!

I stitched the zig zagged edges down onto the brocade instead of the velvet as I wanted the velvet to look like it was just laying there, without any stitches thru it. I then took my perma marker and measured out my mistake line accross the rest of the brocade to create a sew line for the gold bias tape I was going to use to hide the mistake line in the first place. I lined up the bias tape and sewed it down by eyeballing the line, rather than pinning. It worked perfectly! And.... it looked good.

I then measured out the velvet strips to make sure they were still even, and sewed the bottom brown stuff to the white upper stuff. I next took the lining, sewed it together, and pinned it to the inside of the skirt. I sewed it down, and zig-zagged the edge that would be the waist. I now had some calculating to do... sorta. The opening for the skirt was going to be located in the right side back, as the I didn't want the front of the skirt to have any seams showing. That meant finding the centre front, and box pleating the skirt based from that, and fudging the pleating around the opening. After doing that, I played around with different pleating sizes to get the skirt's final circumference to match Cassy's waist. I also fudged around the opening enough that I have some room to let it out as she grows. (BONUS!!) Cassy tried it on and it lays quite nicely. The White brocade is quite stiff; it holds itself out better than I thought it would. I sewed the pleats down and added the waistband made from the striped lining material. I then handsewed the waistband down and after all the other pieces of the project were done, I hemmed the skirt on Cassy.


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This website is the created authorship of Brandy Dickson, also known in the SCA as Lady Desamona Villani. Copyrighted 2004-2008. Any questions or comments about the construction or contents of this website can be directed to her.