View Full Version : Gored Skirt
12-13-2003, 08:41 AM
I am planning on making a better winter day dress out of wool, and am wondering how appropriate it would be to make a slightly gored skirt. The fabric is slightly heavier than dress weight, so it would be nice to cut down on the weight of the skirt a little (especially if I want to try skating in it! :) ). I have a pattern for a gored skirt, but from the research I've done on the topic, it seems that the practice was more common post-war. I have not had a chance to study many original garments, so if anyone who has can give some input it would be greatly appreciated!
12-13-2003, 04:13 PM
There's a good article on the introduction of gored skirts in the June 1861 Harper's fashion section at
http://tinyurl.com/k9wt Click on "next page" to see the text of the article. Gored skirts apparently began as extreme high fashion on Broadway even prior to the summer of 1861, and gradually worked their way down, becoming more common but still upscale by 1863.
From the June 1863 Peterson's at http://www.theladiesparlor.com/newsletter.html :
THE SKIRTS OF DRESSES are still made very long behind, and are much gored, to throw the fullness nicely to the bottom. They are now arranged behind in large gathers, and plaited in small plaits from the gathers to the front.
Vicki Betts just posted the following on a list today, from SOUTHERN ILLUSTRATED NEWS, November 21, 1863:
In the Way of Making Ordinary Dresses,
There is absolutely nothing new to chronicle; all efforts seem to be
directed to the trimming of the skirts. The most fashionable style is
decidedly the gored skirt, with trimming upon each breadth. Sometimes
it consists of a simple cording, either a precise match or a decided
contrast in color to the material; sometimes black lace, lined with
white, placed in zigzags up the seams; while others have wide box
plaitings, of a contrary color, upon each breadth.
12-14-2003, 06:52 PM
There are a few things you can do to reduce the weight and bulk of the skirts; first being, wear it with a corded petticoat, as you'll need a lot less fabric in the skirt than you would with a hoop! (Cutting a dress down from 150" to 120" makes a huge difference in weight.)
If you do opt to gore it, be aware that the amount of goring is not huge; you still end up with 2-3+ times your waist measure at the waistline, and it's still full. These are not the smoothly gored, fully fitted skirts of later in the century. If you have a plain wool, you may not even see the goring when the skirt is made up; with a plaid, it would be a bit visible.
You may find you can cut lower sleeve pieces, cuffs, and other bits out of the gore excess... or you may find that the pieces are not terribly useful at all.
Time-period wise, goring is an option--and in the case of a slightly-too-heavy wool dress, it's a good option. There's nothing inaccurate (to my mind) in using it for the style you're planning--what are you trimming with?
12-15-2003, 10:59 AM
Thanks for the input! The fabric that I am working with is a solid forest green wool. I have another lightweight plaid wool (green/fuschia/maroon) which I plan to use to trim it. Plus, I have some 1/4 in. maroon velvet for trim. I'm planning on making a coat sleeved bodice, so I can make a coordinating saque w/pagodas to go over it. Here's an idea for the trimming, from Godey's Jan, '62:
I am going to cut the plaid on the bias to make a stripe down the front and a large (6") border of it just above the hem. Any other ideas or suggestions?
Powered by vBulletin® Version 4.1.7 Copyright © 2013 vBulletin Solutions, Inc. All rights reserved.