Not really. But you’ll see in a moment.
Here is where the cosplay element of my dress comes in – the petticoat and stomacher. For those Wheel of Time fans out there, I was portraying Moiraine Damodred *before* she went to the White Tower, and therefore would be wearing fashionable Cairhien dress. All nobles in Cairhien wear their house colors in stripes. The higher your rank, the lower your stripes go.
So these stripes are described in two ways – stripes down your front, but also slashes down your front.
See the difference? When I think “slashes”, I think of the renaissance technique where the outer layer of fabric was slashed (aka cut) to show the layer of fabric underneath. (Example, although it could also be a lot bigger). Here’s the problem when author meets costumer – this is just not possible to do as described.
Renaissance slashing works because the slashes are generally:
- on the bias
- on a curved surface (often a sleeve, maybe a bodice or doublet)
But doing slashes on a petticoat would violate every single one of these things. A large slash would mean the petticoat fabric would start drooping awkwardly, and not show the color behind evenly. These slashes would be along the weft, meaning they would fray like hell. And the petticoat front is mostly a flat surface, so again you’ve got the drooping issue, or a no-color-showing issue.
The only way to get around all these things would be to have the slashes be done as very narrow cutouts, with the edges finished with bias or buttonhole stitch (to avoid the fraying), and likely sewn down to the colors below (to avoid the drooping).
So, in the interests of sanity, I decided to go the stripe route. I wanted the stripes to show the petticoat fabric behind, cause I dunno I visualized it that way. I bought a half yard each of red and green silk taffeta, and I already had some cream taffeta in the stash (Moiraine’s house colors are red, green, and white). I figured this would be cheaper than buying enough wide silk ribbon.
FYI, I got the taffeta from this etsy store. It is the most flimsy and sheer excuse for taffeta I’ve ever seen. Practically an organza. I would not recommend it for a full garment if you are expecting legit taffeta. However, it ended up pretty perfect for me – the red and green are both shot with black, and as my main fabric is shot with black the colors were perfect.
I cut 2″ strips of the taffeta, ironed all the edges under, and popped that on the petticoat and stomacher.
And promptly realized that it made my skirt look like a walking aquafresh advertisement.
But it was the look I wanted, so toothpaste petticoat it is!
(I also realized after needing to cut the red strips multiple times because I kept cutting them too narrow, I should have just sucked it up and bought ribbon. On the other hand, silk satin ribbon wouldn’t have been shot with black and not matched my petticoat as well. C’est la vie.)