27 December 2006

Kampfrau gown - skirt assembled and pleated

Originally uploaded by Catrijn.
Since the last update, I've sewn the side seams and a front opening on the skirt panels, and, as the picture shows, pinned the pleats in place. I've pleated onto a linen tape that is cut and marked to the measurements of the bottom of the bodice. That gives me a bit more stability to pick things up and move them around compared to just pinning the fabric to itself. I can also completely sew down the pleats before attaching to the bodice, while still being assured that it will line up correctly.

I've used a combination of stacked pleats and box pleats, which are structurally and visually similar. The skirt panels are divided equally between the four bodice sections, but the back sections are significantly narrower than the front, so I was able to get 5-to-1 stacked pleats all across the back. (I find that stacked pleats behave a bit better than the roll pleats that Kass mentions in the directions. Both styles have the same take-up.) Because the front sections are wider, I have just a couple of stacked pleats at the sides and then switch over to box pleats. This leads to less fullness in the front, which isn't really a bad thing, but if I'd had enough material, I might have preferred to add width to the front skirt panel so that I could do stacked pleats all the way around. It seems to hang quite nicely, though, so I'm happy with the way it is. Of course, the material has so much body that it quickly falls out of the pleats and into much larger, looser folds.

Next, I'm going to sew the pleats down to the stay tape, and then attach the skirts to the bodice. Then I'll either put in the front closure (hooks and eyes, I think) or finally get started on the sleeves. I still haven't decided whether I want to line the sleeves, though, and I''m not totally sure what fabrics I'll use for the cuffs. (I cut pieces for doing main fabric + contrast fabric, but I'm thinking of maybe doing both sides in the contrast fabric.)

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