Period Dress – Skirt

It has been awhile since last posting but sewing up the seams of the skirt was a chore not that fun with such thick cloth. I love felled seams and did them on my other dresses (by machine) but am trying with this one to not have machine sewing show on the front so it was hand sew the seams. Notice that wording about machine sewing showing on the front? Well, I did dream of hand sewing the whole thing but boy does that take time that isn’t my cup of tea at all. So I did the felled seams. By hand. Three of them. Three panels to join. Which constitutes 6 complete lines of sewing top to bottom, bottom to top. Yikes! that was hard to keep at but alas it is DONE!

Panels of skirt all sewed together.

Panels of skirt all sewed together.

Learned something. Felled seams done by hand look a lot different than done by machine. I do so like the way they look by machine. But for these they are, in one sense, hardly noticeable  – that is on one side but with the thickness of the cloth it looks like a tube running down the sides on the other, but they are good and tight and not too bad – for me.

Can't see very well but a felled seam.

Can’t see very well but a felled seam.

The narrow stripe is the seam and you can see the end of it … well if you know what you are looking for. At least I’ll remember what these were like.

That done. It was much easier to move on to the hem. Did it all today. I had read about 19th century hems and how women then needed that hem and bottom of the skirt to be strong so they would sew in facings. Some (as for my 1830s time period) could be 12 inches or all the way to the knee in height. In looking the information I found over, I decided that actually the old ones were wiser than us today and it would be the perfect way to get a decent hem on the skirt, so into the fabric drawer I went in search of white cotton to use. I found several folded pieces, and being me, they each were made up of scraps I couldn’t throw away. So opening them all up I found one was rather long and of good height at its narrowest point. So it became the facing. I cut it. I ironed it. Desperately needed as who knows how long it has been in the drawer. And pinned it to the edge of the skirt.

White cotton that would work for the facing cut and ready to go.

White cotton that would work for the facing cut, ready to go.

I cheated on myself here and used the sewing machine. I hemmed the top of the facing and then boy, was that a fast run around the skirt. Those two long seams done in less than a couple of minutes. Wow! Then it was back to the ironing board and ironed up the hem and pinned it. Then it was sit with Les Miserables and start hand sewing the facing at the top to the skirt.

Skirt facing all sewed in.

Skirt facing all sewed in.

This went fast as well. It was easier to do than any of the other handwork I had done. And yes, it could have been a but thicker more substantial material for the job, but I wanted it white and out of the drawer so this is what it got and I think it will work well enough for its job.

Now on to the next step. And as is my want I have changed my mind again. (Not about which pattern will be sleeves or bodice this time though. That mind change has been enough already.) I do not think I will do a one piece dress but rather the more practical skirt and shortgown. I think it will also look better with the differences between the sections of fabric as then the skirt and the top will be the same colors but separate so as to not be so weird in their striped and checked look. Next steps will show what I mean.

Categories: Weaving | Tags: , | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “Period Dress – Skirt

  1. This dress will obviously be a labor of Love.


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