Wednesday, February 17, 2010

1860's Skirt Turned Inside Out

I showed the bodice earlier that goes with this skirt. I turned it inside out to show how it had been constructed - by hand.

Here is the matching skirt turned inside out. It is attached to a lined waistband using the cartridge pleats that enabled so much fabric to be sew onto a small waistband. Much smaller than our normal waistbands today - as a rule.



The polished cotton used to flatline the skirt body is a common one that Ive seen used frequently then.
There is one long pocket at one side. And there is a an open section on the other side of the lining. Maybe there was supposed to be another pocket? Maybe an inner unattached pocket tied around her waist - I dont know........



A little hem was turned up at the floor, over the lining.
A little piece of fabric is falling off at the hooks on the waistline.
All sewn by hand.

This has little to do with garment construction - but it is about proportion. I hear smaller women complaining all the time that they cannot wear things that a larger woman might be able to wear. Wide legged pants for example. This is all about proportion and how you cut the garment to work on your particular body. A smaller woman wouldnt use as much fabric - the pants might be cut a tad less wide  for her size. Its also how you would wear them and with what. Take these bell shaped skirts and pagoda sleeves. These were generally worn by smaller women - but they are proportioned to be worn in a flattering way. A corset and petticoats, a corset cover, a bonnet. This is a lot of stuff to haul around. But the cut of the jacket and the shape of the skirt are very lovely on.

Now I, who am almost 6 ft. tall,  can look like a moose in a skirt when I'm wearing this style if Im not careful. I take up an awful lot of room. I still love this era and love to dress up, but I don't usually make my skirts quite as full - so as not to run everyone over when I walk around. Well, sometimes ........but its all about the proportion. And I feel a little strange when my dress is way huger than everyone else's. (unless thats my goal)

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