Katherine Pierce – skirt progress

I’m making slow but steady progress on my green gown, in between other small projects.


The last time I blogged, I had finished the bodice and was starting to tackle trimming the skirt.  This is the just-finished body of the skirt – no petticoat or hoop underneath – not bad looking plain!  The skirt is made up of two panels of the green silk taffeta and one panel of same-colored plain cotton, in the back, where it will be covered by the pleated trim and the apron bustle.  The piecing was necessary because once I had got the skirt assembled and all my strips cut out for pleating, I had only one tiny scrap of fabric left, and I wasn’t willing to give up the apron part of this costume, so I removed a panel of the skirt and replaced it with cotton.

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I used the green cotton to back the green taffeta strips, to avoid having to do 170 feet of hand hemming!!  I ended up with two strips that measured 330″ long and one that measured 370″ long (the reason the weren’t equal was that I had the idea that if I couldn’t quite get the pleats to go all the way around the skirt, it would be okay if there was a small gap in the back, where it would be covered by the apron.  Therefore the only strip that I made certain would be long enough to go all the way around was the bottom one.)


Turning a giant tube of fabric inside out!

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Then came pleating!  As I was worried about a shortage of fabric, I couldn’t be as generous with the pleats as I’d have liked – the ones on Katherine’s skirt are quite deep.


Here’s a shot of the skirt with the first layer of pleats on (no, that’s not a dead body under my skirt; just a shoe.)  I also threw the bodice on to get an idea of what it’s going to look like, but I wasn’t wearing my corset so I had to hold it shut.  I have to say, I was a little discouraged at this point, because the pleats on the skirt just looked so sad and little – but as I’ve kept working on it, I’m feeling a little better about it.


Today I got the second layer of pleats put on, and tomorrow I’m going to tackle the last one.  Then, if all goes well, I can whip together the apron on my next off week, which will bring this costume to a finish!  I’ve certainly spent long enough getting it together that I’m ready for it to be done!


4 thoughts on “Katherine Pierce – skirt progress

  1. Clarissa says:

    I was just curious, did you finish the dress? If so I would like to see! Your posts have been helping me immensely because I am making the same dress for a cosplay of Katherine Pierce!! Thank you!!

    • Ellie says:

      Yes, this costume has been finished! you can check out all the posts I’ve made on it under the tag “Katherine Pierce green gown”. (I still have a post to make about the bustle construction, though.) Good luck with yours, I hope it turns out fabulous!

  2. Lara says:

    The dress is gorgeous! My sister and I might attempt to make this together, how much fabric (cotton and taffeta) did you actually use and how much should we buy? Thanks!

    • Ellie says:

      Thank you! For my dress, I had just a bit over nine yards of the taffeta and I ended up being a little short on fabric – I had to make the back panel of the skirt out of cotton. I’d recommend getting at least ten yards of your dress fabric. I bought I think six yards of cotton, which was only used to line the bodice and for the back of all the pleats, and one panel in the back of the skirt. I’d highly recommend double and triple checking all your calculations before buying and cutting! Good luck with making yours!

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