Essential sewing keeping me clothed and sane

6Nap – The Skirt Plot


d7c25edc67374953149e8e261cd02e96“There are no limits to the possibilities of monomania,” I answered. “There is the condition which the modern French psychologists have called the ‘idee fixe ´ ,’ which may be trifling in character, and accompanied by complete sanity in every other way. A man who had read deeply about Napoleon, or who had possibly received some hereditary family injury through the great war, might conceivably form such an idee fixe ´ and under its influence be capable of any fantastic outrage.”

The skirt is mega….it really doesn’t matter what your preferred design is or your gathering/pleating method but if your cutting table, floor space or other substrate is not big enough, then move to one that is.

DSCN6380DSCN6374I did some really hard maths from my Storm Trooper skirt and it measured out as a ratio of 1.7 from short drop to pointy bit drop and the actual golden scale is 1.6 – so I consider this an achievement. I scaled it up to my measurements and went to the largest flat cutting table I have readily available- the lawn (I use that term advisedly – no croquet played here).




I marked the five crucial points with tacks and patches, then placed my metre rule as close to the desired angle and – cut! For a size guide, the top edge is in the region of 2m; as it’s doubled, there’s close on 4m of fabric at waist.



I kept the fold so only side seam needed.

This not-skirt-yet needed something to be draped upon. I quickly made Paco Peralta’s half circle skirt in the lightweight burnout cotton. Sewed up both side seams – no zip needed. This is the underskirt, partly for structure and partly for modesty.


Off we go… pleats are turning into gathers and the weight of the top skirt is dragging the underskirt down. My fabric is a stretchy mesh so the not-so-precise pleats and folds are somewhat arbitrary. I was never going to achieve crisp pleats like the original using this fabric.


I’ve been at the “let’s see if that works” point in this dress’s construction since the beginning. I joined the party late and didn’t really plan and plot. I can put the corset top on and I can pull the skirt on without any zips  (benefits of using stretch jersey) but I’m not 100% sure when I attach the two together that I’ll be able to wiggle and squirm my way in. This may well be a Hanger Dress only.

The corset top is now attached and the skirt hem is faced with red jersey for weight and body.


Almost finished. Only a few little hand sewing and tidying up things to do and then see if I can get into it…..



Oh look – snap!

When our visitor had disappeared Sherlock Holmes’s movements were such as to rivet our attention. He began by taking a clean white cloth from a drawer and laying it over the table. Then he placed his newly-acquired bust in the centre of the cloth. Finally, he picked up his hunting-crop 8 and struck Napoleon a sharp blow on the top of the head. The figure broke into fragments, and Holmes bent eagerly over the shattered remains.

Next instant, with a loud shout of triumph, he held up one splinter, in which a round, dark object was fixed like a plum in a pudding. “Gentlemen,” he cried, “let me introduce you to the famous black pearl of the Borgias.”

Click to access sixn.pdf






22 thoughts on “6Nap – The Skirt Plot

  1. ….. “hanger dress ” ????? – absolutely not Ruth ! You have done some amazing problem solving so far – so really hope that inspiration strikes for making the seam where bodice and skirt attach stretchy but at the same time have structure ( a hard ask I know – but hopefully more experienced sewists than me can help out with working towards a solution )

  2. Yes I too wondered what a hanger dress is! I think you have done something very clever here Ruth and I can’t wait to see it on.

  3. Where there is a will there is a way :). Beautiful work!

  4. Looks very pretty. You should feel proud of yourself.

  5. Great dress. What fun it will be to wear 😊

  6. Fabulous! What fun!
    Joyce from Sudbury

  7. Looks great. Hopefully this is no hanger dress!

  8. I have no doubts that you will wriggle into that wonderful dress.

  9. Your incredibly successful project venture gives me courage that with further efforts, I too shall figure out how to join these style arc pant pattern’s pocket pieces, and then how they attach to the side seam, sans directions. (A little alliteration for emphasis). Anyway, I am a pretty literal kind of person, and at the end of your post, you wrote “snap”, which I decided means use snaps on a section of the skirt and top to hook-up after you slip it on over your head. Nonetheless, I agree, you MUST find a way to wear this vibrant creation.

    • Sorry Chris, ‘snap’ was me trying to be ironic – the two dresses are world’s apart!
      Good luck with your pockets. If you have problems ask any of the Internet sewers – they’re a great bunch of people.

  10. Loving your version, very different and it’s great watching how you intrepid sewers are interpreting the challenge so differently. X

  11. What a vibrant looking dress. Let’s see it on you! No way to really tell how this looks from the hanger.

  12. So cool! I wanna see it on you!

  13. I think the hem is a nice line and the colours are delicious: very strawberries and cream. I hope the stitching added to the bodice won’t compromise the stretch properties of the jersey: we need to see this on you, preferably with a spin round! Who cares if it doesn’t look like the black one. You’ll always be the pearl!

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