And they’re off! Well I am anyway. I’d already got this skirt and the jacket toile cut out when I decided to join into the SWAP, so they will count as my ‘two things started/completed before the start date’. First things first,
The pattern: a surplus-to-requirements McCall’s 4020 which I bought on Etsy to make the coat for DD’s wedding three years ago. I simply chopped it off at somewhere above waist level, with the intention of folding it down to get the right waist measurement once all the long seams are joined.
The fabric: old green curtains which have been travelling with us through four house moves now, and haven’t fitted any windows. It’s curtains for the curtains! The fabric is quite heavy, and will be a brilliant ‘walking skirt’ for winter market perambulations, without the need for more layers of petticoats.
They are suede-look, and a burn test indicates a very high synthetic fibre…but it feels and looks really nice so I don’t care. The curtains were already lined in cotton, so I cut them out double layered, trimmed the green fabric down a little along the long seams, and then sewed lining to fashion fabric, right sides together. I turned them back through, and pressed to get a ‘faux Hong Kong’ finish. I used this a few years ago on my MOB dress skirt, and it saves a lot of faff with lining.
Steampunk gear can get very cumbersome if you stick fairly closely to historical styles. I like to do this, and add some punky elements as befits my time travelling persona. [For those just joining the party, my character musings are here.] Nonetheless, I will be wearing this over
- stockings or long socks
- silk chemise
- cotton divided drawers [practical with all these layers]
- silk corset
- my mini bustle/tournure
The skirt seams took some steam and hard pressing, there are a lot of layers with my choice of seam finish, but it all helps to hold the skirt out into shape. I’ve just prevailed on my wife to help me with corset lacing, pinning, and general faffing, she’s a gem! She’s also not brilliant at being a fitting buddy, but she tries…
The skirt didn’t quite meet at first try, I don’t think she laced the corset quite as tightly this time. I’ve simply turned the waist down a fraction to gain half an inch extra girth. I’ll finish the waist with a short zip [not very Victorian] and a tape facing. I will also put a little bit of elastic in the back waist to allow for variation in corset lacing.
I like it!
I also tried it with my silver metallic linen blouse, and a fancy elastic belt. I’ve never looked so willowy!
I should be able to get the waistband and hem finished tomorrow.