I had a lovely time this weekend - I hung out under a tent with people I normally only wave at, and it was an awesome experience of fun.
chargirlgenius was (see above) a patient and welcoming hostess, and I had a really good time, despite the mad, mad heat. I got to give the two new Laurels Attack Laurel bumper stickers, which (thankfully) amused them, I got to meet tashadandelion (who looked smashing in her boy clothes), and generally enjoyed myself.
I also got to give His Majesty the Coral Branch medallions I commissioned from ccunning - look for them at an event near you - but I was absent-minded, and failed to get a picture of them before I gave them to his Maj. They are awesome, and I got to yell out ccunning's name in court, so that rocked. :) I love being a muse for other people's creations - I told him "coral branch medallions - make some", and he came up with a great design.
I also got to wear the pink and green outfit for the first time:
The skirt turned out incredibly well - the pleating method (hang on, I'm getting to that) worked exactly the way I hoped it would, and the "floof" was as good as I get with a cartridge-pleated petticoat (which I am beginning to think, they may not have cartridge pleated; see below). The green and pink went together like the most beautiful rose bush ever, and while I left off my hat and coif for most of the day, and I was astoundingly hot, the outfit held its shape and didn't wilt at all (these pictures were taken at the end of the day, after the worst of the heat). I am ecstatic about the look.
Now, about the pleating:
I cut the waistband much thinner than I have done previously, and left only enough space for lacing holes after folding in the raw edges. I then pinned the skirt in tiny pleats to the waistband, much like I do for cartridge pleating, but while I was sewing at the edge of the waistband, I was not sewing at the edge of the petticoat folds:
Yes, those are tiny pleats. They are close together, and I had over five yards of width to work with. You can make the pleats wider, the same sewing method will apply. Note (this is important!) that the pins are pinned in so that the heads are pointed away from the waistband. This is so that the pins can be left in place until both sides are sewn - it helps to keep the pleats in place.
Then, I sewed along the face of the waistband (opposite side from where the pleats were pinned; this is the side that will show on the outside of the skirt when finished), taking care to only sew the side of the pleat that touched the waistband, never going all the way through:
Yes, I really did leave the pins in place the whole time; since I was only sewing one side at a time, the pleats stayed in place better with the pins left in. The I turned the waistband over and sewed the other side down, again making sure that I only sewed the edge of the pleat. Sorry, I didn't get pictures of this bit - I was moving along, and didn't think of it at the time. The end result was a very neat even pleat that sat in a rounder shape than knife pleating, box pleating, or gathering could provide.
It also looks a lot more like the picture and the one photograph of the Czech petticoat. I am really thinking it might be possible that they didn't cartridge pleat petticoats to waistbands, only to the bodices of gowns; the big issue with pleating something into a bodice is the line of fabric at the top of the pleating that is eliminated by cartridge pleating. This is not an issue with separate petticoats, since the fabric is underneath all of the bodice, not sandwiched in between the layers. It's just a thought, mind you; I'd have to see a lot more evidence before I'd state this with anything approaching conviction. It's just that what scant evidence I have seen shows petticoats pleated into a waistband, with no sign of cartridge pleating.
I also found that this double sewing method is neat, looks like the originals, and doesn't have the flattening issues of flat pleating, nor the uneven issues of gathering, as seen here in the periwinkle petticoat, which I gathered (by hand), to see which method worked better:
See the difference? The gathers were sewn down using one line of stitching, and they're not nearly as elegant-looking. There is a distinct lack of even-ness to the pleats, and the "floof" factor is severely curtailed. Yes, it's extra work, but I highly recommend using the two lines of stitching method. I'll post pictures of the finished waistband on the pink petticoat tomorrow, and put them side by side, so you can really appreciate the difference.
(Note the lacing holes; the pink petticoat has the same holes, and is roughly the same width.)
Speaking of the periwinkle petticoat, it is done, but I have not taken pictures of me wearing it yet. However, I can show you pictures of the trim I finally decided on - I got totally obsessed with the idea of gold trim, and it took me a while to find a trim I liked:
It's laid out like that because I could only find one length of the narrow trim - if I get around to it after Pennsic, I might order more of both trims and make it five rows instead of three, because hey - the more, the merrier, right?
Of course, both skirts are entirely hand-sewn from start to finish. I used Halcyon Yarn's gemstone silk in pink and green and purple and yellow, respectively. The basic sewing time for each skirt was about a week, then another 4-5 days to put the trim on the periwinkle skirt, and more like a week and a half for the pink skirt, mostly because the green trim was tough to sew (and there were five lines of it). You definitely want to pin the life out of trim before you sew it on silk - it loves to crawl, and I was constantly adjusting.
I love them both, and now want a wardrobe of silk petticoats in many colours (what am I talking about? I already have five silk petticoats in burgundy, periwinkle, pink, orange, and black - that should really cover every contingency).
But - I have to make 12 pairs of painted blue and white silk garters and a matching sash before Pennsic, and trim out a doublet of Bob's. I have more than enough clothes. I'm just indulging in a silk frenzy. Mmmm, silk...