How to Sew a Victorian Skirt

Written by hollan johnson
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Women's skirts in the Victorian age, the time ranging from 1837 to 1901, were long and modest. Although many different shapes of skirts fit in the Victorian era of clothing, from full to bustled or fitted, the most common type of Victorian skirt was foot length with a ruffle at the bottom and full enough that a woman could easily walk in it. Making a Victorian skirt for a costume requires basic sewing machine skills.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Fabric
  • Thread
  • Iron
  • Elastic
  • Scissors
  • Pins
  • Safety pin
  • Measuring tape

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  1. 1

    Measure the length from your waist to your feet. Measure around your waist as well. Purchase fabric that is 3 inches longer than your feet and three times as wide as your waist measurement. Purchase extra fabric that is 8 inches tall and 3 times as wide as your skirt for the ruffle.

  2. 2

    Fold over the bottom hem on the ruffle by 1/2 inch and iron it in place. Sew the hem in place with a straight stitch on normal tension.

  3. 3

    Sew a long stitch on the loosest tension across the top of the ruffle. Cut the thread leaving about 8 inches. Pull the top thread to create a ruffle. Ruffle the fabric until the ruffle is even and it is as wide as your skirt. Pin the ruffle to the bottom hem of the skirt and sew it in place.

  4. 4

    Fold over the top of your skirt by 1 1/2 inches and iron it down. Sew the top hem leaving the 1 1/2-inch tunnel in the fabric for the elastic.

  5. 5

    Pin the long sides of the skirt together and sew up it with a straight stitch on normal tension. Stop sewing when you reach the elastic tunnel.

  6. 6

    Measure a piece of elastic that will stretch as wide as your hips. Thread the elastic into the tunnel with a safety pin. Sew the ends of the tunnel with the elastic in them together with a straight stitch on normal tension.

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