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Caribbean Pirate Dress

The skirts of a seventeenth century gown were separate from the bodice, which makes things simple from the start. Not only will you not need to mess about attaching skirt to bodice, you’ll also have the beginnings of a mix-and-match wardrobe.

As you can see, there seem to be two skirts:

  • a paler coloured underskirt and
  • an overskirt that’s split down the front.

 

 

You have four options as to how to go about creating this look in a convincing way:

  1. Make two skirts (the “keeping it real” approach)
  2. Make two skirts, but make the underskirt out of something cheap such as calico, with a panel of something fancier sewn to the front (keeping it real and saving money too, although you have fewer options for pinning the skirt back later)
  3. Make the two skirts and put them on one waistband (I wouldn’t recommend this – it saves a little time but feels heavier at the waist when worn)
  4. Make the underskirt just a panel rather than a full skirt (saves money and time, also good for hot climates, but you end up with only one way to wear it, with no options for pinning the overskirt up in interesting ways.)

 

 

The first, red pirate gown just had a panel as an underskirt effect, but for the Black Pearl I went with option 1 and made two full skirts. The fabric I was using wasn’t expensive and I didn’t like the restrictions that the underskirt panel imposed. With the Black Pearl I was able to pin the overskirt up in a huge variety of ways, or omit it altogether. In other words, if you make a skirt with a panel, you have a skirt. If you make the two skirts, you have infinite variety.

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cindy  
I cannot see any of the images!   Hello,
The text sounds like this would be a helpful site for me to subscribe to, but without being able to see any photos of the Pirate Dress - I cannot tell. Can you please check why the images are all broken? It seems to be through the entire article!

Thank you!
 
 
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Cathy Hay  
  Oops! Thank you for pointing this out, we're fixing it right now!  
 
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cindy  
Not to be a pest, but...   It's still not working for me? Looking forward to it! Thank you!  
 
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cathyhay  
  The article is now fixed as far as page 8; the rest should be done tomorrow. An outside hosting site that we were using in 2007 has changed things around without us realising it, so the task involves saving, moving and re-linking all the images on our own server, which is a big task. Thank you again for the heads up.  
 
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cindy  
THANK YOU!   I can see! Awesome. And I so appreciate the problem - I'm a web designer/developer... Good luck with getting it all together and thanks for not getting annoyed! Take care!  
 
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Cathy Hay  
  The article is now fixed in full, as far as I can see - let me know if I missed anything!  
 
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crimsongypsy  
  Unfortunately, the cartridge pleating tutorial is no longer at that link.  
 
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englishmouse  
maths   Love this tutorial and the dress and i'm really grateful you put it up, but i'm really struggling to figure out the math on these knife pleats withought a clear sum. my fabric has ended up 162" and I need to get it down to 30", I don't know where to even begin to get it to the correct width :/  
 

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