For some unknown, masochistic reason, I decided not to simply hem the silver skirt before adding the pleated flounce, but to do a piped and faced hem. Must be hormones…
My ever-patient wife had pin marked the hem length for me a couple of days ago, using a bit of card to identify the highest point from the ground, then matched it all the way round.
We debated making the skirt longer at the back, she decided not to, then I over ruled it when I actually came to trim it, as it distressed me to cut so much off! It now grades to being 3″ longer at the back. This means I can wear it with a bustle if I want, or wear flat shoes and let it trail a bit.
I cut 4.5yds of 3″ bias in the purple lining, and another 4.5 yds of 2″ bias in the shot taffeta. I made up the piping, basted it in place [I know, but it actually saves time in the end instead of relying on pins], then machined the facing strip over that, stretching it slightly to accommodate the hem curvature. Some serious pressing, and then a couple of episodes of Firefly got it hemmed and looking damn good.
All of this gorgeousness will of course be totally invisible once the pleated bit goes on. Why do we do it to ourselves?
I then started playing about with some trimming ideas. I won’t finalise any of this for some time, as I’ll need to get the whole ensemble together before I can add trim, and make sure it all works together. I already have some gorgeous purchased trimmings, as previously shown…
…but I fancy adding something that has a hint of period authenticity as well. Those skirt draperies will need edging to look good, after all. Here’s my Pinterest board with some of my inspiration images.
Picking up on the fabulous post by Jennifer, on the Historical Sewing blog I tried my hand at producing something like this pleated ribbon trim.
I don’t want to buy more ribbon, and matching purples is tricky to say the least, so I had a go with a couple of strips torn from my shot taffeta remnant. I tried pinking the first strip [the narrower of the 2]. Hmmm. I have NEVER managed to find a pair of pinking shears that actually cut neatly instead of chewing the fabric. Is it me?
For the second attempt, I tried something suggested on one of the Facebook groups I follow. I melted the edge of the fabric strip, by passing a gaslighter thingy along it. It actually works quite well, although it will take practice to avoid melting it too much and making a mess. As, true to form, I did.
The actual folding is dead easy, the tutorial pictures are nice and clear, you just have to pay attention in order to keep the units the same size, and also not to suddenly start producing them on the wrong side of the strip [can you see how I know that now?]
There’s potential here, I really like the 3D effect, and it’s one of those jobs you can do while watching TV.
I’m going to experiment with some narrow pleated strips later today, possibly layering the shot taffeta with the silver fabric…maybe I’ll use bias strips to avoid the ruddy edge finishing issue?
Would you use this sort of trim anywhere, or am I as crazy as the Victorians?