The second garment is a combination skirt and cape. It is a full circle skirt that gathers at the waist band with a drawstring cord. This ‘waist band’ then operates as a high collar, when draped around the shoulders. It is quite a dramatic piece and a garment we have been looking forward to making. It is considerably much simpler to make than the Bygrave ‘skirtain’ with it’s pulley system, stitched channels and weights!
This is also the first time we have worked with both a pattern and a toile. According to the Oxford English dictionary, a toile is:
An early version of a finished garment made up in cheap material so that the design can be tested and perfected
We employed a similar process to the Bygrave costume in that we provided Nadia, our tailor, with a pattern brief for the skirt/cape. This involved the patent, illustrations of the cape provided by the inventors and our interpretations of the design. We provided our thoughts about how it operated in words, drawings and visual references from archival research.
Nadia responded with a pattern pack comprising 4 pieces and a toile made of calico.
Cape front (also lining) | Cape hem 1 and Cape hem 2 | Collar/Waistband
We tried it on our bodies and on the wommanequin
It’s a simple pattern but it is magnificently large!
We chose to make a mock-up of the garment in a similar weight to the final Dashing Tweeds, yet cheaper, wool material
I stitched the lining to the cape front, attached the collar/waistband and turned it inside out.
Suddenly a cape appeared!