Sunny did a wonderful job fully analyzing these skirts and there was so much information to aid me in creating my own, yet I still managed to mess the skirts up pretty badly. I have gone back a forth a couple of times on if I wanted to post about this attempt or not....but with all the talk lately in the online costume community about the myth of perfection, I figured I would go ahead and post anyway. This was a good learning experience for me, particularly since I am still pretty uncomfortable with the construction of Victorian clothing.
The brown skirt set is from 1869-1874 and I love that the pockets on the front are no only functional but show staining that suggests they were actually used. The original skirts were wool, but I had some brown twill laying around that I felt would be perfect. I also decided to vary my skirts a bit from the original and add a 3rd color trim as a method to use up a ton of oyster colored bias tape that has been sitting around my stash forever. I was inspired to do this because the pockets on the original were piped and I also had matching oyster colored piping in the stash I could use on my own pockets.
Sunny's analysis was absolutely wonderful! She provided information on the number, size and type of pleat for every position on the skirt. Using her article, I easily made the underskirt. The underskirt is kept fairly flat in the front with only one very shallow and wide pleat. The majority of the fullness in the skirt was kept to the back. The sides of the skirt had knife pleats with a set of stacked pleats in the center back for fullness. The is skirt is really very satisfying to wear as it moves beautifully!
|Both skirts Front|
|Both skirts Back|
I have since fixed the pattern issue, but I cannot get more of the twill to match. The brown set of skirts will need to stay too narrow, so they will not be appropriate for Victorian wear. I think I will keep these skirts for Steampunk, but I plan to make a new set of skirts using the corrected pattern for actual Victorian wear. I guess I can say that my May Practicality challenge produced a pattern, if not actual skirts! And I learned quite a bit from this experience.