Elizabethan Coat Dress – Part 2
Many period clothing involves construction of a big skirt, this means a large amount of fabric that needs to be fit around the waist. And the best way to do this is with cartridge pleats, also known as gauging. Though the use of cartridge pleats is not really true to the period, but sometimes you need to prioritse efficiency over accuracy.
Once again, Marion has provided pictures for the construction of the dress with particular detail paid for the cartridge pleats. This is for hand-sewing construction, not machine, which I have done myself as its better for control.
First thing is to make sure that the skirt is hemmed and the top of the skirt is finished and neat, such as with overlocking as Marion did here,
Cartridge pleats look best when they are even, so Marion made a guide to make this easier, making a double line of markings where the hand stitches will be. Using heavy-duty thread and a large needle, connect the two lines of markings with a running stitch and then pull together so the folds meet. You should have something that looks a little like a set of curtains.
After this, there are several ways to fix the pleats in place, such a sewing in a waistband, Marion instead attached her skirt to the bodice, the heavy canvas already being quite stiff and supportive.
For more information on creating cartridge pleats, this tutorial is very good.
Just as important as the costume itself is having the right foundation garments. For the period, the correct ones is a bumroll, similar to the panniers for my 18th century court dress, with a farthingale hoop that can be seen beneath the petticoat.
Once these are in place, the right Elizabethan silhouette can be achieved which is seen when Marion tries it on with the front piece in place.
Lastly, some braid and ribbons finishes off the garment, the buttons more decorative than functional and the garment is finished!
Thanks go to Marion for such cleverness as well as permissions to use her photos!