Under-skirts

For those do-it-yourselfers...
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kiltedterry
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Under-skirts

Post by kiltedterry »

Hi all,
During the lock-down I have been experimenting with some thin-ish cotton fabric I had lying around, and have made two under-skirts for wear under my lighter-weight kilts/kilt-skirts.
The first one is as simple as it gets- basically two rectangles of the fabric sewn together down the side seams , hemmed and with an elasticated waist. This comes down almost to the knees, so it is slightly restrictive movement wise.
The second one I decided to make longer to fit under a lightweight PV kilt I made a while back that rests below the knees. The construction of the first underskirt would not be practical for this length (it would be too restrictive), so I used four pieces of fabric- two for the fell like for the first one, and then two flaring out for the rest of the drop from the fell line, sewn together at the bottom of the fell. The sewing is rough and ready, but won't be seen. This one allows full movement.
I am amazed at how much extra heat these underskirts keep in- they will be great for winter wear.
I would appreciate advice from anyone who has made underskirts, especially longer ones:
-what is the proper way to make a skirt with flare so that the hemline is horizontal and so the drape is uniform (ie not with two untidy seams that put two peaks in the hemline)
-has anyone experimented with putting a bit more fullness into the underskirt. I want to have some extra layers in the underskirt, but not to the extent that it becomes a crinolene style petticoat; just enough to give my lightweight PV kilts a bit of body.
I have looked on various sewing websites- i suppose I could go the route of a circle skirt, but I don't know how well that would sit under a kilt-like garment (eg in the fell area); or I could pare down one of the full blown petticoat styles; maybe go for something a bit more tailored with a zip in the fell area?
Any suggestions/advice would be great.
Thanks.
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crfriend
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Re: Under-skirts

Post by crfriend »

kiltedterry wrote:
Sun Jun 21, 2020 9:13 am
I would appreciate advice from anyone who has made underskirts, especially longer ones:
-what is the proper way to make a skirt with flare so that the hemline is horizontal and so the drape is uniform (ie not with two untidy seams that put two peaks in the hemline)
-has anyone experimented with putting a bit more fullness into the underskirt. I want to have some extra layers in the underskirt, but not to the extent that it becomes a crinolene style petticoat; just enough to give my lightweight PV kilts a bit of body.
The tick here is to start thinking in three dimensionals, because what you're trying to do is make a three-dimensional object out of two-dimensional fabric. Instead of thinking in terms of rectangles, think in terms of conical structures with a large hole at one end (the hemline) and which is truncated and also open at the other (the waist). So, the shapes to be thinking of in 2-D are truncated triangles with curved tops and bottoms. The flare (or fullness) is a function of the fabric used and the circumference of the hemline; the larger the circumference the fuller the garment.

Contemplate what's known as a "circle skirt". This garment, placed flat, forms a ring of fabric on the floor and will lay flat on a plane. An A-line isn't as pronounced as a circle-skirt and won't lay flat; it'd want to "stand up" if it was stiff.

Making a circle-skirt from a round tablecloth is a classic training exercise and reasonably trivial to do. Find one that is large enough to get the hemline length you need, then find the largest measurement that the skirt will have to pass over whilst it's being put on (this will become the waist) and add an inch or so (humans being notoriously variable). Fold the tablecloth into quarters and lay it out, do the maths based on the radius of what'll become the waist and cut the top off the resulting rounded-bottom triangle at the indicated spot on a curve. Try putting it on to make sure you can, then finish off the waist by folding it over, creating a tunnel in it, and threading an elastic through said tunnel and you're pretty much done.

A-lines are constructed using "gores" (no, not the type that invented the Internet) which are essentially conical sections that are narrower than the ones hypothetically present in a circle-skirt, Interestingly, using gores and varying number and cut, it's possible to make a skirt that is even fuller than a circle skirt where the linear length-of-hemline can be as large as you can imagine it to be (within practical limits). Getting the curvature-of-hem perfect in things like this is going to be a mathematical exercise and sewing one would be a pretty intense affair but possible nonetheless. Think the sorts of skirts that were popular in the 1850s and 1860s which required hardware (literally) to support. Fred posted an image of one a while back under "social distancing".
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pelmut
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Re: Under-skirts

Post by pelmut »

kiltedterry wrote:
Sun Jun 21, 2020 9:13 am
Any suggestions/advice would be great.
Thanks.
A very simple modification would be to cut your two panels from the material with a slanted cut, then rotate one of the panels 180-degrees before joining them together.  That would give you a degree of flare without needing a lot more material.  You would then face the problems of a wobbly hem and waistband, because, as Carl says, the panels really need to be conical with the tops and bottoms forming curves.

To save you the bother of doing all the geometry and calculations, I have written this website which works it out for you.  You don't have to worry about the complication of making a real skirt, just use the calculator section to get the size and shape of panels you need.  If you intend to have an elasticated waistband, use a few inches larger than your hip measurement as the "waist" size.
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beachlion
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Re: Under-skirts

Post by beachlion »

pelmut wrote:
Sun Jun 21, 2020 5:05 pm
...... To save you the bother of doing all the geometry and calculations, I have written this website which works it out for you.  You don't have to worry about the complication of making a real skirt, just use the calculator section to get the size and shape of panels you need.  If you intend to have an elasticated waistband, use a few inches larger than your hip measurement as the "waist" size.
I use the calculator for my A-line skirts. I tried the same in SketchUp but paper and pencil still is the easiest way for me.

At first I had a spreadsheet to do the calculations but your program is easier to use.

From a very thankful user.
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kiltedterry
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Re: Under-skirts

Post by kiltedterry »

Thank you for the responses.
I shall definitely look at your website pelmut, and will have another go at this when I have got some fabric or a round tablecloth.
Terry
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