I’ve seen this style a few places – no where historical yet (mind you, I haven’t looked there either), it seems like an interesting style, easy to accomplish, and gives some degree of decoration while still being somewhat transformative… (which I really like, because although I rarely ever transform things, I do love clothing that can do double-duty).
So first – the inspiration:
For the top – a brown semi-sheer striped skirt with golden grosgrain ribbon ‘supports’. She has used sliders and suspender clips along with the ribbon to create the supports/suspenders/braces.
For the bottom photo, the first photo shows the tan pinstriped skirt with the brown (or black) straps, adn the second photo shows it with the straps tucked in, and not visible (for a more historical vs. steampunk fantasy look). The second photo also shows more clearly how the pattern is designed – the front part of the apron-skirt is not just a long skirt that gets gathered up by the straps – instead it’s a semi-circle, (perhaps with the edges cut off to form the side seams) gathered on the curve to the waist (which looks like an elastic waist) to get those deep cowls. I’m speculating that the skirt – since it’s made to be like an apron and worn over another garment (either tights, leggings, pants, or another skirt) – is open at the sides – which isn’t an issue since there is so much fabric anyways. With this – the back part of the skirt would be one long panel – a rectangle with curved edges at the hem, then gathered up into the bustle-poofs. It appears that the first tier goes from waist to poof and returns to the waist, while the second tier is longer but does the same, and the longest edge (the ‘tail’) also emerges from the waist. To me this would create a lot of additional bulk at the back waist – since it’s also gathered with an elastic waistband by the looks of things.
I like this LOOK a lot – but I think that I would create the front in the same way, but do the back as a two-part back, so that the front side seams could match up with the back (longest panel) and then drape the bustle so it emerged only once from the waistband and then draped onto the ‘tail’ portion of the skirt. This would result in only two layers of fabric at the back waist, rather than 5. (And then doubled in all cases for the fold-over for the waist casing.)
Of course, this is just speculation – I don’t really know how she constructed these without seeing them in person… but – hurrah for people who post lots of good photos of things!
The overall look-and-feel isn’t too dissimilar from Lip Service’s Newsprint skirt (above) or the “steampunk sally” Hallowe’en costume I saw at Dressew while in Vancouver (below), although they both have a more structured ‘suspender’ format – but also less transformable. I saw the Newsprint skirt up at Sanctuary in Edmonton as well, and it has awesome little touches on it as well – that really can’t be seen in this tiny photo. BUT… it’s also Lip Service – which doesn’t even begin to fit me in most cases. It’s also not dissimilar to the goth skirts with all the straps that are out there (I think we used to call them ‘bondage skirts’).
Also similar in theory is the clipped skirt idea -though it seems a bit more goth to me than steampunk/neovictorian.
I quite like the look of the more structured supports though – almost something belt-like. I think it would be really interesting as well as a separate garment – something that could move from one skirt to another perhaps – kind of like a garter belt, for skirts instead of stockings. Of course, then we’re back to the additional bulk at the waist… Hmmm I’m thinking of something with a lace-up (corset-like) front or back, with a big obvious buckle on the opposite side – suspenders hanging down just the front I think, though similar shaping in the back. I don’t think I would want suspenders at the back – pain to sit on with the clips, and what’s the point if not the clips?
More on the Lip Service skirt – I took a few photos to share:
Plus here’s a close up photo of the details.
Sorry that these are iPhone photos.
When I was fabric shopping later, I saw this fabric at Quilter’s Dream (I’ve also found it locally) that I thought would be a good reproduction if I was interested – which I was to start, but then decided against it.
So, just some ideas. Right now I seem to be more on a crafting bend (despite still living in reno-hell, or perhaps because of it…) rather than a sewing one though – so it might take me a while to actually try any of these ideas out!