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Offline elthefairy

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Skirt problems
« on: March 28, 2016, 02:04:25 PM »
Last year I made a replica of the pisa gown. It looks great, but my skirt isn't staying up in the back leading to my pair of bodies peaking out which looks pretty weird. I want to sew the skirt into the bodice, but the bodice has two side back closures. Is it accurate to have a skirt with side back closures? Also, I tried to cartridge pleat my skirt but it just didn't look right. How can I bulk up the pleats so they don't just look like gathers? I used thin fabric for my gown, so I think that's why. I'm planning on making a farthingale and bum roll before next season. Thank you!

Offline gem

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Re: Skirt problems
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2016, 08:58:34 PM »
What about using skirt hooks to connect the skirt and bodice? Or if you feel that's not secure enough, maybe points (laces)? My side-back lacing kirtle does have two openings in the skirt, as does this Pisa recreation by forum member Centuries Sewing. But I can't really see where the skirt opening is on the extant piece (and haven't studied it enough to remember offhand).

Lots of options for bulking up your pleats: Pleating tape will do it; lining them with anything from another layer of fashion fabric to a layer of wool felt will also work. How many rows of gathering threads did you put in, and did you leave them there? But FWIW, the back pleats on the Pisa skirts really aren't all that rigid; they do look quite gathery:






Offline elthefairy

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Re: Skirt problems
« Reply #2 on: March 31, 2016, 05:10:56 PM »
Thank you so much!! I did two rows and left them in. I think I will back them with a thicker fabric. Adding points to the skirt sounds like a great idea.

Offline operafantomet

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Re: Skirt problems
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2016, 01:54:52 PM »
Last year I made a replica of the pisa gown. It looks great, but my skirt isn't staying up in the back leading to my pair of bodies peaking out which looks pretty weird. I want to sew the skirt into the bodice, but the bodice has two side back closures. Is it accurate to have a skirt with side back closures? Also, I tried to cartridge pleat my skirt but it just didn't look right. How can I bulk up the pleats so they don't just look like gathers? I used thin fabric for my gown, so I think that's why. I'm planning on making a farthingale and bum roll before next season. Thank you!

It's definitely period to have a skirt with two side/back closures sewn to the bodice. Each side will then have a small slit/opening where loose pockets usually could be reached. This 1606 painting by Caravaggio shows a slit in the side/back of the skirt, similar to what your dress will have if attaching the skirt (click to enlarge):



(Full painting here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Death_of_the_Virgin_%28Caravaggio%29 )

It's hard to use the Pisa dress as a "proof" of anything re: the skirt. This because the dress was at one point heavily altered, with the back bodice removed, trims replaced, and the skirt and its impressive train lifted up to form a shorter back. The sleeves were also shortened. All this was done because the dress was used to clothe a statue of a saint, and the altered back made clothing it easier.

Through two restoration processes the gown is now back to its original state - BUT: the current bodice back is a replacement piece, not original. And the skirt is now attached to a waistband and is separate, with the length and train reinstated. That's why you see that weird horizontal/sloaping line over the butt. It may or may not have the skirt attached originally - both ways were common, judging from the inventory lists of Eleonora di Toledo's wardrobe. Sometimes they're describing gowns, other times they're describing matching "pair of bodices" and "petticoats". Using hooks and bars or ties sounds like a good alternative to attaching bodice and skirt. :)

Eleonora di Toledo's funeral dress in Palazzo Pitti shows a skirt which was attached to the bodice, with slits in the side/back area. You can see photos of it here: http://realmofvenus.renaissanceitaly.net/workbox/extwomclo2.htm

(I'd love to see your creation, by the way!  :) )

Offline elthefairy

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Re: Skirt problems
« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2016, 11:45:23 AM »
I'm sorry for replying so late, but thank you very much! I really appreciate the period references. I never knew that the pisa gown has a replica back, that's very interesting.

Offline operafantomet

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Re: Skirt problems
« Reply #5 on: September 04, 2016, 12:50:13 AM »
I'm sorry for replying so late, but thank you very much! I really appreciate the period references. I never knew that the pisa gown has a replica back, that's very interesting.

I had no idea either, until I got a small publication called "L'abito della Granduchessa: Vesti di corte e di madonne nel Palazzo Reale di Pisa". This book, or rather booklet, is a 90 page thing describing the restoration of the three late 16th century/early 17th century gowns they have in the Palazzo Reale in Pisa. It shows lots of before-and-after photos, and explains the restoration of the crimson Pisa dress in particular. I did a quick a dirty translation of the chapter some years ago, it can be found in my long-abandoned Livejournal, here:

http://operafantomet.livejournal.com/227065.html

As for "uuumphing up" the pleats/gathers, gem's suggestion of adding a pleating tape or another sort of fabric on the inside, and then pleat/gather anew, is a very good one. A double layer only at that area will create a rich result. I often do the lazy version - I fold down the skirt fabric once or twice and then pleat. Tends to work well. :)

Offline gem

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Re: Skirt problems
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2016, 08:32:05 AM »
Quote
A double layer only at that area will create a rich result. I often do the lazy version - I fold down the skirt fabric once or twice and then pleat. Tends to work well. :)

Ooooh, that's brilliant. And saves on hemming! (Says the short person.)

 

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