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Workbasket – Blue Skirt Finished

It is finally finished… again. If you remember, this is actually a remake. When my friend KB gave me this fabric, I just knew that it wanted to be a skirt. The skirt pattern is Past Patterns #5462.

I made it shorter because there wasn’t enough fabric for the longer version. At some recent time I got sick of my arm gobblers and started using the gym membership that I had been paying for. It wasn’t very long before my body started changing size, making it impossible to keep the skirt on. Did I already mention that I loved this skirt? I couldn’t let it go, it needed to be remade. It also fit in perfectly with the 2015 February Historical Sew Monthly Challenge – Blue. (I never did submit any of my makes for this year)

I have been hand sewing since I was 5 and sewing on the machine since I was 7 (currently 52). The first time I sewed the skirt, I just sewed it without much thought to more historical techniques. Having read stuff since 5 years ago, I have learned that there are some differences. The biggest difference in construction is the “interior waistband”. This time I actually paid attention when reading the instructions. They weren’t very detailed instructions so I went exploring on the inter-webs. I found Wearing History’s blog : “Part 7: Suit A Long: How To Attach The Inner Skirt Waisband”. It was very helpful and made things more clear. First pre-shaping the canvas (ticking) fabric with darts to my corseted measurements and then attaching the band only at the top. I was very pleasantly surprised to find that it worked out just perfectly and another, longer, band didn’t need to be cut.

Another change that I made was to use the actual seam allowances called for in the pattern instead of my lazy girl 1/4″ at the side of the presser-foot. This alone did wonders for the fit of the skirt.

Originally the skirt was closed with a few (4 or 5) snaps. They had a horrible habit of coming undone if I didn’t sit carefully. That can be awkward in many situations. :-/ The new closure is hooks and loops, spaced 1 inch a part. These were sewn using doubled over thread, sewn as many as was able with each thread. According to this blog ____ there are extant examples of hooks being sewn on like this. Each hook or loop sewn on through the eyes and additional secure points. These were then covered by a facing, for which I used faille ribbon from my stash.

The hem was turned up at the stay stitching line, then faced with the same ribbon. This project re-do successfully used up this ribbon from the stash. It had been gifted into the stash.

Hem
closed placket

All was well… right up to my first wearing of the skirt. I wore it without a corset, that wasn’t the issue. The issue was that the waist rolled down from the top, showing the canvas inner waistband. :-/ Remembering that the pattern said the raised waistband could be boned, I ordered some synthetic whale bone from Corset Making Supplies.com. The next thing I did was to go back to the suit along to see if I had missed anything. I had, a link to another suit-a-long featuring an actual 1910 skirt. Guess what? There was top stitching on the top of the waistband! For some reason I thought the purpose of the inner waistband was to allow the skirt to appear to float freely on the outer layer… never mind. Top stitching it is.

Top stitching on outside of waistband

After quickly trying it on, it was still a little bit floppy. Waist stays are called for. Thankfully I had just received my package from CorsetMakingSupplies.com. At each shaping seam, on the inner waistband, I added boning casing and bones.

boning tape and bones before filing the ends to a rounded shape
inside view of bone encased in channel at seam
view of sewn channels from the right side of the inner waistband. (still inside of the skirt)

I am calling this finished. (finally)

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