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Unread 01-28-2013, 01:21 AM   #1
patriciarakel
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Full 1950's skirt?

I'm looking to cosplay Rose Tyler (Doctor Who) in the outfit she wears in the episode "The Idiot's Lantern", which is a giant, poofy, tea-length 1950's style dress.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/doctorwho/media...d=s2_07_wal_17
http://www.angelicdream.com/costumes...osetyler02.jpg
http://images2.fanpop.com/images/pho...79-640-368.jpg

I know many of the basics of sewing, but following patterns has never been my strong suit, so I've pretty much stuck to easy things that don't require making or using an actual pattern for. But I've never done a skirt quite like this before.

The pleats at the top of the skirt are really what's throwing me off. I don't know if I should do a circle skirt or a dirndl skirt, and that's where I'm needing some help, as I've never made either, and therefore my knowledge of both is purely theoretical.

If I went with the circle skirt, how much extra room do you think I should add to waistline to add all those little pleats? Would this greatly affect how many yards of fabric I would need to accomplish the look I'm going for? My waist where I want the skirt to fall is about 35".

If I went with a dirndl skirt, would using enough length to still get that poof effect leave me with too much gather at the waist? Would a dirndl skirt of this length look right for this style dress? I've never really seen a dirndl skirt go this far passed the knee.

What do you suggest? Are there any other ways I could go about doing this? I'm on a little bit of a tight budget, so I'm trying to get this done in the cheapest, most efficient way possible. Thank you for dealing with my ramblings!
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Last edited by patriciarakel : 01-28-2013 at 11:27 AM.
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Unread 01-28-2013, 10:41 AM   #2
MedievalGirl
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A circle skirt will be very difficult to hem evenly. It looks to me like the hem in the pictures is even with the grain of the fabric. I would go with a rectangle that is gathered at the waist. I have a full length dress that is gathered with simple knife pleats at the waist and it is plenty full at the ankles.
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Unread 01-28-2013, 11:19 AM   #3
patriciarakel
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MedievalGirl View Post
A circle skirt will be very difficult to hem evenly. It looks to me like the hem in the pictures is even with the grain of the fabric. I would go with a rectangle that is gathered at the waist. I have a full length dress that is gathered with simple knife pleats at the waist and it is plenty full at the ankles.
Okay. So you think that a knife-pleated dirndl skirt is definitely the way to go. I hadn't even really thought about how difficult it would be to hem a monster circle skirt like this one. For the dirndl, do you think I should use two panels of fabric or three? I see a lot of people saying two panels, but since it's so long, would three be better? I really want the skirt to be as full as possible.
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Unread 01-28-2013, 11:46 AM   #4
Faraday
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I recently redid my Rose Tyler circle skirt so I feel ya!
I chose to make a basic full circle, following this pattern, only I folded it in half once then made two different half circles to sew together.
Circle skirts are all about math. I used about 4yds of 60" wide satin to make a 36" long skirt with a 6" radius. I had about 18" left at the bottom so if I decided to make the waist wider to pleat, all I'd have to do was move the hem down to fill in that section to maintain my 36" length.
Though this does mean you'd probably want an extra yard to be safe when it comes to expanding your pattern.

I've made basic pleated skirts and they don't have the right shape with a petticoat underneath, they always look to triangular to me..
but Kiggi here on coscom made her Cinderella costume using a dirndl skirt pattern and can still wear her hoop skirt. So long skirts are possible with that pattern.

As far a 'cheap' goes. Keep your eye on fabric sales in your area. Look into discount fabric stores.
Joann's offers 50% coupons if you have a smart phone, all you have to do is pull up the page on your phone at check out.
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Unread 01-28-2013, 12:53 PM   #5
Emrys
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That looks like a circle skirt to me, but with all the pleats at the top there probably isn't much difference between a large circle skirt and a rectangle pattern. No matter if you go with a circle skirt or start with a rectangle, that is still going to be a lot of fabric to make that many pleats. It really depends on the shape you want to achieve - a circle skirt is economical for getting more bottom flounce out of less fabric, but the top of the skirt is the issue here.

The length of the waistband laid flat would be at least 3x the size of your hips (each fold/pleat is 3 layers of fabric at that point), unless you do fewer pleats with some space between them. So that's about three yards of fabric gathered at the waist.
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Unread 01-28-2013, 04:18 PM   #6
KuruttaKanashii
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It's definitely a circle skirt. Dirndl style won't look right at all. I recently made a circle-skirted dress, and if you're willing to shell out a few extra bucks, there's something called horsehair braid, a stiff polyester ribbon you can use to hem a circle skirt. It has a gathering thread at one side so once you get the hang of it it makes circle skirts really easy to hem.

It also stiffens the hem and makes it stand out a little more. Gertie's Blog for Better Sewing has good instructions for using it. http://www.blogforbettersewing.com/2...id-little.html
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Unread 01-28-2013, 09:44 PM   #7
Penlowe
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Quote:
I chose to make a basic full circle, following this pattern, only I folded it in half once then made two different half circles to sew together.
And now that the skirt has existed for a while, go look at it hanging in your closet. Has the hem sagged? it's no longer even all the way around? It will continue to do so the longer it hangs. This is why the instructions are written the way they are, there is good reason for making 4 sections, it results in a more even hem down the road.

I would stick with a circle skirt, but large enough to pleat. Even with a 25" waist you are looking at 4 yards of fabric to get that look. The way to save money on this costume is to get a good coupon when you buy the fabric.
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Unread 01-29-2013, 12:42 PM   #8
patriciarakel
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Okay, so everyone is pretty much agreed on a circle skirt, then. Okay. I'll keep an eye out for a good fabric. I only wish that my local stores sold low sheen satins. Even the pricier satin is super shiny.
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Future plans:
'Idiot's Lantern' Rose Tyler (Doctor Who)
Rapunzel (Tangled)
Astrid (How to Train Your Dragon)
Tinkerbell (Peter Pan)
Reviving This Year:
Annabeth Chase (Percy Jackson)
Katniss Everdeen (Hunger Games)
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Unread 06-21-2013, 11:33 PM   #9
CWarfield42
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Sorry to post in an old thread, but you need to look for "Mi Amore Duchess Satin" in light pink. It is the same type of fabric (poly duchess satin) that Louise Page used to make the dress and it is the correct color. The Fabric Exchange has it relatively cheap. Good luck!
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