A 1917's Suit Ensemble, Part One - Skirt

The lead up to Napier Art Deco was a whirlwind of sewing. I managed to make a chemise, corset, and blouse with a couple of weeks to spare, but the look would not be complete without a skirt. I already had my hands on the 1917s suit pattern from Wearing History as I had been planning this ensemble for a while.

When I was originally brainstorming, my first decision in terms of fabric was whether I wanted a light summer suit, or a heavy winter one. I ended up settling on a linen suit so I could complete the coat for next year's summer deco event. I couldn't say no to this amazing striped linen from Draper's Fabrics - it was a perfect match for my favourite inspiration images!

Did I mention how in love with this fabric I am? This type of linen stripe is made by individually dyed threads, so I could be sure the grain lay with the pattern. It was the perfect weight, and had such a nice drape - not too heavy, and not too light. The only thing I regret is not trying harder to match the stripes along the sides.

The construction of the skirt was blessedly easy. Lauren has a number of blog posts for construction notes which really helped. I'm not sure I got the waist stay completely right - I think I would need to look at extant garments to really understand how it is meant to sit.

While I wore the correct foundation garments while fitting the mockup (a tedious process in and of itself), I still managed to make the skirt in too large a size. This meant I needed to cinch in the closure, which threw off the vertical stripes along the front.

For the hem, I cut a facing from cotton (I think a stiffer fabric like taffeta or organza would be better for this use) and slip stitched it down.

Overall I love the look of this skirt. Unfortunately I didn't have a petticoat and ended up kicking out the slip stitches at the back of the hem! An easy fix, and a good opportunity to make a petticoat. I'm really looking forward to starting on the coat. It will have to wait until I have access to some cheap linen, and enough of it. I have enough of the striped linen left for trimming the jacket which I'm quite excited about!