The ‘573 metres later’ skirt
Remember how, back during the Plaid challenge, I said I only had one piece of tartan in my stash that wasn’t 8 metres long and intended for a crazy Victorian dress? Yeah, I wasn’t kidding.
OK, this skirt only took 4.5 metres of fabric, but it definitely makes up for it in crazy. It’s 4.5 metres, fully pleated, and since it is a lightweight tabby-weave cotton, every.single.one of those blasted pleats had to be sewn in back and front, and triple pressed to get them to stay pleated.
It took ages, which is why I started it May ’11, quickly got discouraged, and folded it up, pleats carefully pinned in, for almost a year and a half.
I started the skirt as an alternative skirt to my ‘By the Seashore’ ensemble – an 1880s outfit inspired by a Renoir painting. I’d never loved the original skirt I made, and I had all this tartan fabric I’d inherited from Nana, so I decided to give it another go. I wished I hadn’t at lots of points in the process of making it, but now that it is done, I’m glad I did. The skirt is spectacular in person. The pleats are arranged so most of the white is hidden, so the whole thing shimmers as it moves and bits of white are revealed.
Unfortunately I haven’t been able wear the skirt myself. I gave a talk on the historical origins of Steampunk fashion at a Steampunk convention on Saturday, and was hoping to wear it, but alas, I ended up wearing my Japonisme dress because I couldn’t find a model to fit it, and a friend/model fit perfectly in the ‘573 metres later’ skirt. Then I was hoping to do a photoshoot on Sunday or Monday, but it’s been miserably cold – too cold for me to be outside in it. Still, my friend/model looks beautiful in the ‘573 metres later’ skirt, and I’ll get to wear it soon. I hope!
If you want to read more about the talk and the other dresses, I’ll publish a post on it as soon as this one publishes.
So how do I know exactly how much thread I used? Well, the first four 150 metre spools of thread that I used up made that part of counting easy – and then I just calculated the rest based on the length of seams and the waistband.
Just the facts, Ma’am:
Fabric: 4.5 metres of blue tartan tabby weave cotton (inherited from Nana)
Pattern: My own, based on historical examples
Notions: 573+ metres of thread, tartan bias binding for the hem, hooks & loops.
And the insides? Flat felled seams, bias-turned hem, and just a little bit of mess.
Hours: Let’s not even go there.
First worn?: Saturday 13 October, by a friend
Wear again?: Yes. This is my new favourite Victorian skirt
Make again?: Oh H-alifax no!
Total cost: $9.60 – for the thread