Sunday, May 18, 2014

Skirt Lifters

I've been wondering how to not totally ruin my hem on trek this summer. I thought maybe I'd just hem my dress up, but on the Civilian Civil War Closet Facebook page tonight, I noticed something about "skirt lifters." I haven't researched it yet myself, but apparently they were appropriate in foul weather and dirty working situations. I'd say trek qualifies for that, right? I'm happy to have a more authentic way to shorten my dress!

Jennifer Green shared some pictures as to what they look like from the inside and out:

Jennifer said I could find out more about them on Liz Clark's site, but summarized:
  • petticoats should not show, even if the skirt is tied up, so you need to compensate when tying. Unless you have a work skirt (the skirt of an old dress made into a petticoat. Possibly wool, printed, but not a plain white petticoat).
  • the twill tapes and stitches hide in the folds of your skirt, so when the ties are undone, no one will know they are there.
  • There should be pairs in each seam, and then again in the center of each panel.
  • And Terre Lawson added: made of twill tape. The top set is installed at about the height of my fingertips in the seam lines all the way around inside. The second set is 8 inches down. Then you reach and tie each pair together and it shortens the skirt.
Thank you Jennifer and the CCWC!

Update 5/20/14: I took a minute to check out the topic of skirt lifters at The Sewing Academy, here are Carolann Schmitt's instructions on how to make them:

. . . There is this very nifty period device called a skirt lifter. It costs about $2.00 and takes about 30 minutes to make. 

Turn your skirt inside out. 
* Mark each seam allowance 9"-12" from the bottom edge. 
* Place a second mark 9"-12" above each of the first marks.
* If your skirt panels are 45" wide, put corresponding marks in the center of each panel. If the fabric is heavy, divide each panel vertically into thirds and put two sets of marks on each panel.
* If your skirt panels are 60" wide, put two or three sets of corresponding marks in each panel.
* Cut a piece of 1/4"-1/2" wide cotton or linen twill tape into 12"-15" lengths. You'll need one piece of tape for each mark.
* Sew one end of each piece of tape to each mark. Use a stacked backstitch (one stitch on top of the next) for the marks in the centers of the skirt panels. The little 'dot' of stitching will disappear in the folds of the skirt.
* To shorten skirt, tie the ends of each pair of tapes together. This will allow you to shorten the skirt from 4"-10", and will create a pretty draped effect on the skirt.


Abigail said...

How funny! I'm actually wearing a modern skirt today that has those! Funny how delighted I am to find this isn't some modern style after all!

doug said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
doug said...

This is really nice. I have a question - In old family tales an old lady (born about 1845 so maybe a description from about 1900 or 1910) was described with her friend as wearing old fashioned "little flash bonnets with a pansy tie and the funny little bobbing black things that stuck out on top, the black satin ribbons were tied in bows beneath their chins." What does "flash" signify and what does little bobbing black things and Pansy ties mean?

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