Help with an Unusual Layered Skirt Design

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#1 Ashfire on 1 year ago

After a year-long break, I'm back to cosplay!

This year, I'm planning on doing Rin's white sundress from the Vocaloid Synchronicity series


I'm aware that some of this might just be animation magic, but I'm trying to figure out how to get some of the fullness without loosing movement in the skirt. My current plan is to do the whole thing in cotton muslin- I can line the bodice and the two layers on the skirt should help deal with the potential sheerness issue. If all else fails, I'll get a slip.

For the bottom skirt layer, I thought I could cartridge pleat it to give that super-gathered look. Then for the top layer, a full circle skirt lined with tulle for the volume and gathered slightly at the hem to give the "bubble" look. I can attach the bottom ruffle below that, cause I don't know that just the little bit of gathering is going to be enough to give that much ruffle.

But... does this actually sound like it would work? I don't know as much about fabric dynamics as I'd like.

#2 Penlowe on 1 year ago

Your plan sounds solid, I even endorse the fabric choice if your shopping options are limited. The perfect fabric is even lighter and it's called lawn. Which can still be got (I know Home Sew carries it). Here's an antique sample of a lawn dress: [url][/url]
Good luck!

#3 DlGlT on 1 year ago

The underskirt reminded me of this fabric:

They also do sell lawn, which penlowe suggested. I believe Joanns also carries something similar in their cotton shirting fabric

#4 CapsuleCorp on 1 year ago

The problem is that pleated fabric is a knit, so using it in a skirt will probably end up in unsightly sagging (especially if the pleats are on the crossgrain!). That's the nightmare of finding pre-pleated fabric, most of it just. Isn't good for the purpose, argh.

Anyway, googled it because the link pic is too small and it looks like a lawn, muslin, or shirting for those nice clean pleats would be best. The overskirt poof is usually accomplished with some kind of underpinning - petticoat, hoop, or bum roll - which wouldn't be hard to do. The dress is just open in the back instead of the front so you'd literally wear any underpinning backwards compared to literally every other dress with an overskirt with front opening. As I stare at it, it seems to me that the way the ruffle at the bottom pulls the overskirt inward, that almost requires being either tacked onto a hoop or partially-lined with a static skirt lining that is slightly shorter. Almost the same principles as a puffed sleeve, really. That would solve the need for a hoop or petticoat, and it shouldn't rest too heavily on the pleated under-skirt.

#5 Ashfire on 1 year ago

@penlowe ooh, you're right, I forgot about lawn! when I did historical reenactments, the upper-class ladies used to use it for their summer dresses and it was lovely. Glad you think my idea will work!

@DIGIT the texture does look right, but I don't think a knit is going to work, and I don't really want anything shiny. However, looking it up, it appears crystal pleating is the name of an actual technique, albeit a rather obscure one, so I might look into that

@CapsuleCorp- dang it, I fixed the picture, but it looks like it's broken again. I'm not sure what you mean by "static skirt lining that is slightly shorter". Could you explain?

#6 CapsuleCorp on 1 year ago

Yeah, sure. Let's see if I can use words without having to resort to bad MS Paint diagrams.

In a puffed sleeve, what makes it super puffy is the sleeve lining (or stay), which is not the same size as the outer puffy sleeve part. It's shorter, and fits more closely to the arm, so that when the two are sewn together at the arm and at the cuff, the outer sleeve naturally puffs up. For a skirt (and mind, this is just theorizing, I've never attempted it) you would cut a skirt lining piece that is maybe a couple inches shorter than the ruffled outer skirt, not much more than that. Unlike a sleeve, you can probably get away with the skirt lining being the same size width-wise as the outer skirt. Sew them together at the waist and then match the lining hem with the spot where the ruffle attaches to the skirt. As long as the lining is shorter, voila, the outer skirt will puff right above the ruffle.

If nothing else, grab a couple of fabric scraps, cut them so that they're the same width but one piece is shorter than the other, and pin the two together so that the tops and bottoms match to see the principle in action.

#7 DlGlT on 1 year ago

You can get prepleated fabric in cottons, chiffon, etc. That's just what that site had. It would definitely save you a lot of headache if you don't have a high temp iron or pleating board.