The final version of the Pease sisters skirt and cape is made from a Dashing Tweeds Navy Raver Wave – 93% wool and 7% reflective 3M yarn. It’s a gorgeous piece of material to work with.
The pattern by Nadia – as discussed earlier when we were sewing the mock-up consists of 4 pieces – Cape front (also lining) | Cape hem 1 and Cape hem 2 | Collar/Waistband.
This was one of the largest pattern pieces of the collection and the table was already taken with the making of other costumes.
I am a big fan of Hockney style join-up collages and have used them a lot in previous work. While this join-up is not so good for showing the layout of the pattern pieces on the fabric (due to the distortion), it does illustrates how busy the studio was at times and just how much table-work and floor-work was being done by everyone.
The piecing together of the cape was pretty simple. There were fewer surprises with this final piece than we have with others – namely the Bygrave skirt. The only issue was the size of the cape. I bought a somewhat smaller piece of material than I should have which meant quite a lot of “how about we try it like this” discussion and different layouts took place before the cutting. The dominance of the stripe meant we could not simply add bits which were not cut on the proper bias. It worked out in the end.
Here, I am adding a nice bias tape to the edge of the collar/ waist band
Now for the lining!
This was really tricky. All the digitally printed illustrated linings were hard to cut because they were such precious pieces. But this garment posed the most challenges. It was the biggest piece, silk tends to creep and on a scale like this, a small slip could mean a big mistake, and the digital print was also a little out. Alice and the printer did a fantastic job with lots of tests to work out how the silk would respond to the printing process but there is still a margin of error/flexibility/slippage. The prints were slightly larger than the pattern which meant I was faced with having to cut through some of Alice’s gorgeous drawings. This took time – as it was difficult to decide.
This is me sitting on my research!
Again, and I know I say it a lot, but the actual sewing of the Dashing Tweeds to the illustrated silks was a sensory pleasure – seeing your research materialise in this form was a delight that I did not get used to.
A bit of try on to see how it works before the lining is completely sewn in. It felt very dramatic. There is something a bit performative about a high collar. I was also surprised with its flexibility – even beyond the skirt to cape convertibility. You can wear it fully closed or as in this image, flick it over your shoulders for more movement.
Rachel scored the unenviably task of hand sewing the circular hem. It took hours and it was worth it as it produced a lovely finish.