Thursday, 13 November 2014

The black, crispy ballskirt

I have made progress, and enough progress that I don't feel too stressed about finishing the ballskirt for the ball next weekend.

Now with my big petticoat I needed something to match it, and I figured why not make an accurate late 19th century skirt to go with it. This is not an era that I'm terribly fond of, or have studied a lot, so my first step was to go out and find some inspiration. I was definitely drawn towards the late 1890s when it came to skirt. I put some of the pictures that I found on my pinterest board. Two of the dresses that I fell for immediately were thes

Portrait of a Lady in Black", c. 1895, by William Merritt Chase (American, 1849-1916).
Evening Dress 1898-1899, Metropolitan Museum
I liked the fairly simple front, and then you have all the fabric cascading in the back. For a pattern I went to this free pattern for an 1895 skirt. I didn't try to scale it up, I rather used it as a guiding line for making my own pattern.

It turned out I definitely had enough fabric of my fancy fabric, but I could just find bits and pieces of dark fabric I could use as an underlining, I didn't want to use light fabric under the black taffeta. That made me do some changes to the pattern, most of all I didn't do the two back pieces, instead I've cut out one rectangular piece that I'm going to pleat in the back. In that way it's more like the back of an 18th century gown. The skirt consists of one front piece, cut on fold, two side pieces, two side back pieces and one back piece. The front piece has two darts and all the others, except for the back, has one dart to give shape to the skirt.

My process so far has been to first flatline all the pieces. Then I made a placket between the left side and side back piece, according to these instructions It's the first time I've made a placket, and except for making it a bit too narrow it wasn't hard at all  Then I sewed all the darts and then I finally attached all the panels to each other.

 I've started to play around with the pleating in the back, nothing really serious but I haven't decided about using knife pleats or box pleats yet. I need to wait with that until I have fixed the front though.
.The front is way too big. I can't pull it tighter, then it gets too tight over the thighs and knees, so I will have to make the darts much bigger, and possibly take in the side seams as well.

No comments:

Post a Comment