Gathering a million yards of trim.

Sorry for the long gap, this costume was finished and worn for Jordan Con. But the post-project sewing malaise apparently leads to blogging malaise.

I decided to do the big gathered waves that was very popular on sacque gowns. I wanted the waves narrow at the top and wide at the bottom. I used the full width of the fabric (or equivalent) on each strip, so I ended up with around 150″ of total length to gather (by hand, eep!) for each side.

I also cut a narrow strip to go down each robing and around the back. To be frugal with my fabric, I used the random bits of fabric I had from the rest of the gown to make the trim, rather than the uncut yardage.

40 trim lines

2 inch strips on a piece that was chopped off the hem

Maybe one day I’ll get a genuine pinking tool, but that was more time than I wanted to spend on this costume.

41 scalloped

I used a scalloped rotary cutter to cut the strips

I used whipped gathers on the strips, after reading on a few blogs that this is a period way to gather. I used Katherine’s video tutorial, then just guessed as to how that might apply on something that was gathered in the middle, rather than an edge.

Step one: Sew your gathers. The needle is just going in one side, and back around. Super simple (if time consuming). These stitches are about 1/4″ apart.


42 whipped gather

Step 2: pull the thread to make the gathers. It’s hard to make them even, it might work better with less distance between the stitches.43 pull

When you open it up, here’s what it looks like:44 open

The nice thing is that you don’t actually see the gathering stitches, and it’s not hard to hide the stitches which attach this to the gown in the gathers.

Then trying to sew the strips on. I sewed one side, and then had to try and mirror it on the second side. YIKES did that take forever. Things just kept looking a bit off, so I would take the pins out and start over. I must have spent an hour trying to position that second side. Finally decided it was close enough for government work and sewed the damn thing on.

No photos, since I didn’t take any at this point until the dress was done.


This entry was posted in Fantasy/Scifi/Cosplay, Georgian, Lady Moiraine's Sacque Gown. Bookmark the permalink.

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