I am making two Beatrix skirts (a Sense and Sensibility pattern) as gifts for friends for a picnic at the end of May. While the original pattern is for an untrimmed skirt, each of these will be trimmed in a fashion appropriate to the era. I am planning to set insertion lace in two rows into Rebecca's skirt around the hem, and Polly's skirt will receive a circular flounce headed by a row of ruching. Both ladies loved the idea of trained skirts, too, so both will have their heart's desire.
Having promised to document the process for our tea society, herewith the first report!
Rebecca's Willow Green Trained Skirt with Lace Insertion
On a sunny spring morning, with the crabapple blooming outside the window, I cut out the skirt pieces.
Ladybug helped. This was her first week with us, and she delighted me with her interest in sewing. Zip Zip used to love to help me, and I missed her company.
Now each panel is sewn together. I used 3/8" French seams. French seams are a delight when you have fabric of light enough weight to use them, because a French seam encloses the fabric edges neatly and sturdily, so there will be no loose threads, unraveling, and no further seam finishing!
Fully pieced together, the last seam that draws the skirt up from a two-dimensional bunch of panels into a three-dimensional garment, is ready to be sewn. In the background you can see my circa 1911 Willcox and Gibbs chainstitch treadle sewing machine. It makes sewing linen so straightforward, and it's so quiet that I can sew in the evening while the twins sleep in rooms nearby. Willcox and Gibbs advertised their machines as being silent stitchers, and oh, what a blessing, when you have light-sleeping children!
In fact, here is a little video of the machine at work: