Monday, November 23, 2009

Cartridge pleats for the Italian Renaisance gown

We are on the final leg of making this gown, we are onto the outer skirt, creating the cartridge pleats and attaching it to the bodice. For those of you who have arrived via google you can find the rest of the posts on the gown creation at underpinnings, bodice, sleeves and under gown.

I hadn't made cartridge pleats before, my gowns so far have been much earlier in the period and only box pleats were required, so I went hunting for a good tutorials and found a number of them, but two stand out, Elizabethan Costume and Reconstructing History . I found them really easy to do, in fact, its the way I was taught to gather by my mum, two rows of gathering, three if you want a really good finish. The difference with cartridge pleats is that the gathering stitches are much wider, the width of my thumb.

To stitch the skirt to the bodice I used a waxed linen thread that I found amongst my mother's old sewing notions, it's brand name is Barbour's, the packet says they have been making linen thread since 1784. I went and googled it and you can still buy it today, pretty amazing, that's 225 years of linen thread making for hand stitching.

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