Just before our cross atlantic trip, we followed Alice Bygrave’s skirt Louisa Bygrave convertible skirt, and Mary & Sarah Pease’s cape, to make our mock-up toile for the next garment by Madame Julia Gill, a Court Dressmaker, whose patent was filed in 5th Jan 1895 and accepted on 16th Feb 1895.
Nadia, our incredibly talented tailor/pattern cutter, worked with Julia’s patent and our detailed brief that pulled together all sorts of other cultural and historic references to construct a pattern and also make a toile.
Julia Gill’s patent indicated 2 flounces, 1 covering a cord running through a set of ‘rings, tapes, eyelet holes etc‘ and is hoisted up to become a safe, easy and graceful riding garment’ with the lower flounce transforming into a peplum or ‘basque for the bodice‘ with the aim, as always, ‘effectively disguising the form of the limbs‘.
Nadia provided a toile with this paper pattern.
We then re-reinterpreted in miniature in paper and again in fabric maquette form….
It was then time to cut the mock-up. We chose a similar weight wool to the final garment.
There was the usual unpicking….
and period tailoring guides were consulted for the perfect seam finish….
we then assembled the under flounce curtain rings
and here’s how it comes out!
On the surface it appears to be an unassuming yet flattering A-line walking skirt. It converts into a surprisingly short fashion garment, with wasp waist and bustle combination, and beautiful double peplum effect. We nicknamed it the bubble skirt.