Hello there! If you read my first two posts about making Pilgrim skirts from pillowcases and felt overwhelmed, don’t worry! There is always an easier way to make something.
It is almost impossible to find existing long skirts for girls, especially ones that can work for historical costumes. However, you can easily alter a woman’s skirt, like this black, wool, vintage one. It is midi length on me, but long enough to nearly reach the floor on Emma.
I simply had Emma try on the skirt. I pinched the extra material in the waistband until it fit snug against her waist and then safety pinned it. I could have stopped there and just let her wear the skirt with the safety pin, but I am going to caution against this for three reasons:
1: Safety pins can pop open and stab the wearer.
2: The material can work its way into the coil at the base of the safety pin and form a hole into the material.
3: Vintage clothing is especially fragile (even if it doesn’t look like it is) and can rip around a pin hole, especially if the material is under a bit of strain from the wearer’s activity. (Ask me how I know…)
So, I used the safety pin merely as a place marker and replaced it with stitches. Look at the photo, above, and you can see the hand stitches I made in the waistband. They are a bit difficult to see, being black-on-black, but they are right above my fingertip. This alteration only took a few minutes!
I could have tapered this stitch line further down into the skirt and formed a dart. However, I didn’t think this was necessary for a quick costume.
I altered this skirt for Emma to be a Pilgrim in our annual Classical Conversations home school celebration, called “Night of the Arts”. This was back in the spring, and it gave me the idea to make even more Pilgrim costume pieces for our kids. I was able to borrow a white cap and an apron for Emma, back then. However, I realized that it was time for me to make some of our own. People regularly ask me if they can borrow pioneer costumes, etc, and I never have hats or aprons! Accessories are what tie outfits together. They really help to identify a character or a particular historical period.
So, stay tuned for my next post. I will show you how to make easy and inexpensive historical aprons!