Red & Blue Skirt [Missing Images]

This is a fairly simple and theoretically quick skirt that I made entirely too complicated and time consuming.

To begin with: I bought some Stratton Cotton Twill from Mood, in the chili colourway. I thought this would be a quite dark red, and instead when it arrived it was quite a bright one, of medium tone. This meant it wasn’t usable for my planned project, and would have to be used for something else.

It was too short for a full length skirt on its own, and couldn’t be paired with any of my other cotton twills due to textural differences. I did realize that it could potentially pair with the light blue cotton/linen 4.5yd remnant I had gotten at the same time from Renaissance fabrics, which was a different enough texture to not look like a failed match. I earmarked the combination, and proceeded to not actually do anything with it for another year and change.

When I finally did do something with it, I decided it would be a matching blouse style bodice and skirt– this article covers only the skirt, which is predominantly red with a double layer of blue around the hem. The double layer was needed as the blue is much lighter in weight. The seam between the two will have some basic crossed embroidery, and the hem is piped. The seams will also be in a light blue to match the hems, when I have time.

[Images Here]

The basic construction is a gored skirt in the red, with a sloped waistline and pleats in the back. The blue is also gored to match. Then, I put the piping/cording in the blue (I’m not certain which it actually is in this case), and basted the blue to the red along the inside edge. I then went along the outside edge and whipstitched it in to place, though not going over the edge. At a later date I will come back and cross these stitches going the other way, as the final embellishment. The four to seven layers of fabric are quite difficult to get a needle through, and this is the project that has me finally shopping for a thimble (usually I pull rather than push, so haven’t needed one. Here I’m actually wanting to push as well).

[Images Here]

I then pleated in the back, and attached a waistband in the blue, which will be embroidered later in red floche. I used trouser hooks and bars to close the skirt at the sides.

[Images Here]

Green Serge Raincoat– Patterning and Main Assembly (MINUS SOME PICTURES)

I am moving to England this fall, and thus will need a raincoat.

I wear quite long skirts on a regular basis, so it should really be a long raincoat.

I also want it to work as a general purpose lightish coat, and I don’t like the splash noises of a fully waterproof coat, such as one made of vinyl or the like.

It is thus going to be a wool serge raincoat, patterned roughly after a double breasted ulster, with a standing collar. If its raining enough for the water resistance of the serge to be insufficient then I will be using an umbrella anyways, and the serge will be the best option for non-rain wear as well.

My initial sleeve-and-collar-less mock-up, cut with a waist seam that will not be present in the final outer fabric, is shown in the images below.

Its broadly correct, though the fronts need to overlap by another inch and a half or so, and the skirt needs to be curved more at the hem and less at the top (which extending the fronts should help with.) The armholes are large, but intentionally so. At this point I proceeded to a sleeve mockup, before starting on the final thing.

Mock-ups completed and notes made, I began on the final product. The first thing I did was to make a pair of shoulder pads, to fill in the extra room needed in the armscye in order to have the sleeves go over things as much as I wanted them to. These were made of six layers of cheap flannelette, padstitched into shape. I would not reccomend this method, as it got very hard to stitch through all the layers towards the end, and would have been much easier to do in a thicker fabric with more loft, such as a proper dommette or even thicker flannelette.

I then cut out the bodice lining in a stiff cotton twill. This extends some ways down into the skirt, moreso in the back than the front. This is simply to provide a bit of added structure to the drapey and heavy wool. The back panel was cut a couple inches wider than in the mock up, with the idea of having a buttoned pleat at the waist for extra room for the occasioanal extra bulky garment (such as my 1480s broadcloth overgown). I also made the fit modifications of extending the fronts by an inch each, and lowering the back neckline (which I am discovering is a problematic area across several of my drafts).

The skirt and sleeve linings were a simple matter of cutting the pieces in the cotton/linen twill and the cotton sateen respectively, assembling them, then dyeing the skirt panels to my desired teal from their initial indigo. I then assembled all of the lining pieces, and was ready to begin on the serge. This took place partially on the floor, so I could lay everything out properly to trace (asymmetry means I cant cut entirely on the fold.) I then moved things to the table to cut, and worked out how to cut the sleeves from the remnants.

Having done that, I basted the main body pieces together, and seamed both the outer and lining bodice portions. I left an inch extra seam allowance on the back bodice in the wool, and two inches for the skirt, to provide for any future alterations. The difference the lining stiffness and the shoulder pads make should be fairly evident in the image below.

I then hung this part up for the skirt to fall, and went to work on the sleeves, collar, buttons, cuffs, belt, and hem facing.