The search for peasant skirt fabric had proven fruitless for some time. It seems to be a bizarre kind of browny-burgundy colour (in linen, naturally) and changes depending on when you look at it.
I had already bought some linen which I found on special offer online but deemed it too pale and had subsequently set it to one side as potential series 3/4 skirt fabric. It is fairly noticeable that the skirt in those seasons looks quite a bit paler than in previous ones, so I had hoped it may yet prove useful. However, blessed as I am with online friends who possess genuine articles of screen used Gabby clothing, I decided it was best to be sure. A small sample was shipped off to the States to be compared to a costume belonging to a kindly member of the Xena Online Community forum. The photographs which appeared a week later sadly showed a marked difference:
|The comparison game.|
It wasn't until I began to realise how much dyeing would be involved in this project that I realised it still had potential. A glance at the peasant skirt in this photo by Phil Aldridge shows us just how thin the material is:
The next thing was trying to decide on a pattern. Now there was the skirt pattern that came with the same gypsy costume I had used for the blouse, but the skirt for that looked far too full and poofy, even if it did come ready tailored to have two layers - like Gabrielle's. Furthermore, due to it's fullness it says it needs a ridiculous amount of material per layer and I had nothing like the amount recommended.
A quick glance at some choice shots of Gabrielle in the show give a vague clue as to how big the skirt really is. Fortunately even in these early episodes there are scenes where Gab is fairly dynamic and we can see the shape and motion of the skirt as she moves around. In this shot from 'The Reckoning', for instance:
This is a simple enough design, so I simply patterned 4 panels (front and back, shorter layer and longer layer) based simply on my own hip measurement - not waist, gotta get the thing on, remember! - for the top edge, flaring to the full width of the fabric. I cut the front panels on folds and the back panels at the edge - so it looks like this skirt's gonna have a centre back seam after all!
|There's a reason I don't do graphics...|
|Ancient-style clothing: distressing is your friend.|