Sunday, March 17, 2013

SKIRT: Component #3 for Plaid Voile Steampunk Costume

I love me some plaid. And purple is my favourite colour. Throw in a sale price of $3.50/yd, and graverobbergirl's getting a new full Steampunk/Victorian dress.

Fall 1890 Pattern Draft
I did a boo-boo with this skirt (that's what I get for sewing at night after work, which with my commute by bus and walking, is a 12 hour day). Because I wanted a contrast band on the hem, I measured down from the front to get the width of the piece I wanted to cut for the main body of the skirt. In so doing, I neglected to refer back to my pattern draft and allow for the slope of the piece along the top down 2.5 inches at the center front, which effectively makes the back longer/a train. Now, this is done because the draft is designed for (at least going by the accompanying fashion plate), a fabric with a unique design, a border already laying along the hem (which would be destroyed by allowing for the train at the bottom of the skirt).

Almost aligned seam, addition of fabric
 Of course, I did not realize my mistake until the skirt was finished and I put it on my dress form, only to discover that the petticoat showed (thus meaning it was longer) in the back. And nothing is worse than a visible petticoat!

Okay, granted this is going to be steampunk in the end, so it will likely have much more scandalous (to proper Victorian societal standards) elements by the time I'm finished.

'Fixed' skirt back
At any rate, sewing OCD as I possess, I of course, had to fix this. But how? Add lace or a ruffle to the bottom? This would render it too long in the front, unless I sloped/eased it to the back. But this would be noticeable (to me, anyway). So, no. Not extra trim. Extra fabric, of course could not be added to the bottom, for the contrast band  is an even width all across, and with plaid, messing with this might create a visually wonky result. I woke up the next morning knowing what I had to do (even though I had tried to figure my way around it, because it was going to be a pain in the butt!).

But I did end up taking all of the super-gathered skirt back out of the waistband and adding several inches of fabric to the back, lining up the plaid as best I could. I think with the gathers, you can't tell the difference... maybe?

Other Posts for this costume:
SKIRT: Component #3 for Plaid Voile Steampunk Costume


  1. This is exciting (and educational) to watch you create an outfit in stages. It feels like we're with you on a journey. Thanks for showing us the process.

  2. Oh no, how frustrating! Your fix blends in really well, and I'd say it was worth it because the bottom band adds a lot of visual interest to the skirt. The purple plaid is great, can't wait to see the rest come together!

  3. Absolutely fabulous work! The purple plaid truly rocks socks and, although I am untrained and it might mean nothing, I can barely see anything wrong with your alteration. I am in envy.