Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Skirt Review.

I don't like it.  Here's why:

It's dark this morning, so I had to open up the aperture on my camera. This makes the photo quality a little grainy. Sorry about that.  But you can see the pleating -- and more importantly, what's not pleated: the placket in the middle, where the skirt fastens together.

I think that's the problem.

If there were pleating all across the back, and the fastening was on the side, I think the drape on this skirt would be much more becoming. As it is, there's a "valley" between the two gathered bits and it looks kind of horrid -- at least in my opinion.

Looking at the original piece from which this pattern was made, it's a bit hard to see what's going on at the back. It appears similar, but the photo is small and... well, I linked it, but I think I'll also just pop it here.

I made the pic as big as I could, you guys. I wish it were a better picture. Oh well.

I can't tell what those light-colored tabs at the top of the extant skirt are meant to be -- maybe an attachment point for the bodice, or to affix to an undergarment to help support the weight of the backskirt. They weren't included in the pattern, at any rate.

My pleats look bigger than these, and I think the dressmaker overlapped the placket or something to obviate the "valley between the pleats" appearance that I've made. It looks much narrower than mine, go figure.

I made my pleats half an inch, which seemed small compared to the cartridge pleats I'm used to seeing on medieval constructions. I think perhaps that was my problem: thinking with my medieval brain, instead of checking with more current Victorian trends. Squinting at the blurry pleating in this pic, I think mine should have been smaller. If I had done that, perhaps the extra wool would not have been needed, also.

All that said, the rest of the skirt turned out very nicely and I like the shape and drape of it. I think I'll write this one off as a learning experience, tuck it into my unfinished projects drawer, and maybe revisit it at another time.

Now... what shall I make next?


  1. I also have far more experience with medieval sewing, but is there any reason you can't continue the pleats all the way to the edges of the waistband? it wouldn't overlap then, but when I've done that the opening is always hidden in the pleats. Sometimes if I'm really worried about gapping, I'll pin it shut about halfway down. I don't know if that will work over the bustle though. Its such a lovely skirt with perfect pleats. It would be a shame to not wear it!

  2. It's funny you should say that, Lauren. I was just thinking myself that I should just stitch the placket closed and pleat up the interstice, then put the closure on one of the hip seams. Thank you for the compliment on my pleats!

    When I first tried the skirt on, my mind cried out "Stop! Those pleats will make your butt look HUGE!" It's funny how the modern mind rebels. =)

  3. That sounds like a great idea, and not too hard of a fix. I hope it works! The pleats will make your butt a glorious size :-)