Friday, August 1, 2014

Historical Sew Fortnightly #14: Paisley & Plaid

This is one of those challenges that lines up perfectly with my own deadlines. I wanted to finish my skirt by the end of July, which features plaid. I actually finished the skirt about a week ago, but was unable to get picture at the time. Now that I live in a house full of people, it was much easier to rope someone into taking photos (my husband is always willing to snap pictures, but he fails to comprehend that picture taken for a costuming blog should be focused on the costume.)

Although Dean tends to wear plaid shirt less often than his brother Sam, he still wears a buttload of plaid.
That man's face should be illegal
But I decided early in the planning stages of these costumes that I was using the clothes on the show as inspiration, not direct outfits. I could simply do a blue denim colored skirt with a green Henley-style shirt front on a plaid bodice with a leather jacket and be Dean. But that felt like I was taking the outfits on the show and forcing them to look Victorian, rather than using Victorian principles and designing costumes that the characters would wear if they lived in that time period. With that idea in mind I moved the plaid to the skirt, going for a pleated, active wear look that would blend mobility with style. (Also, there are hidden slits so I can hide things and access them later.) The result:
The blue of the shirt is a little darker than the photo, but you can see the teal plaid nicely. The plaid sections are flatlined since the fabric was a bit on the light side.
In order to make the pleats hang more evenly a half moon of blue fabric was added to the waistband so the pleats would fall from the edge of the bustle.
The pleats aren't as sharp as I'd like, despite ironing them with vinegar and top-stitching, but the skirt still looks good.
Close-up of the plaid
An overskirt is going to be added later. You can't really tell from the photo, but the fabric is ivory with a floral brocade, a homage to the gun Dean favors.
Floral scroll work and a mother-of-pearl handle. Talk about a classy way to die.
Just the facts:
The Challenge: #14 Paisley and Plaid

Fabric: Navy blue broadcloth and Teal Plaid quilters cotton, white muslin for flatlining.

Pattern:  No pattern used, just math and draping

Year: 1884-1889

Notions:  Navy blue polyester thread, teal cotton thread, hook and bar closure

How historically accurate is it? Skirt closure is on the wrong side, and most of the stitching was in polyester thread, but the hem is hand tacked to keep it invisible and the techniques are solid. I'd say 95%

Hours to complete:  Lots. Cutting and flatlining took a while, since the plaid wasn't printed exactly straight of grain. Ironing took an entire day, as did topstitching. I'd put it in the realm of 25-40 hours.

First worn: The day it was completed. I didn't want to take it off.

Total cost: About $25

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