Early Tudor Project — Katherine of Aragon's Portrait dated 1502 — Part XII

Da Skoirts!

Today is the day when I begin working on the skirts. This should be the least complicated part of the construction. Heh.

If you will recall, the front of the gown has no waist seam, so the skirts are contiguous with the bodice. But there is a back waist seam in the pictures I’ve examined, and that has to be there for the skirts to pleat into the waist as shown in the pictures below.

DavidBathsheba15151520ToursFrance.jpg1490-1500CharlesdOrleanslover addressingthree_ladies.jpg
Detail from David Sees Bathsheba in the Bath (manuscript dated 1515-1520 from Tours, France) and detail from Charles d’Orleans’ “Lover Addressing Three Ladies” (circa 1490-1500)

The skirts are long enough to touch the ground, fold back up, and tuck into the waist of the gown. I measure 45″ from back waist to the floor. Doubling that number and adding some inches for seam allowance, hem turnings, and drape, I decided to cut my skirts 100″ long.

The first problem is that my fur is 60″ wide but my velvet is only 45″ wide. So I have to cut twice the length of velvet and sew it together along the selvedges.

I’ve already taken the liberty of cutting the curved train shape into the fur. When the velvet is sewn together, I will place the fur over it like a template and cut away any excess.


The pleats are concentrated at center back. They do not continue around to the sides. So I will not be pleating a section on either side of the centerline. I have decided to cartridge pleating my skirts to a band for stability and then attaching the band to the bodice back.



© 2008 Kass McGann. All Rights Reserved. The Author of this work retains full copyright for this material. Permission is granted to make and distribute verbatim copies of this document for non-commercial private research or educational purposes provided the copyright notice, the author’s name and website, and this permission notice are preserved on all copies.

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.