FOUNDATIONS REVEALED COMPETITION ENTRY
A Weatherwax Winter
Outline the story …
Witches in Terry Pratchett's "Discworld" are non-hierarchical, and Esmerelda Weatherwax is the leader they don't have. A life-long bachelor now in her seventies, Granny Weatherwax is the strongest of the witches, challenging even Death if she thinks a situation is unjust. She lives in Lancre, a diminutive rural kingdom that is literally 15 years behind the rest of the world, which has not yet invented the steam engine but does have a condom factory. Since there is no clear timeline, I opted for a practical look based on late-Victorian fashion
Granny Weatherwax does not believe in finery: "[She] came back with her witch's cloak, which served as a blanket for sick goats when not otherwise employed. Once upon a time it had been black velvet, now it was just black." (Wyrd Sisters, p. 135). Witches wear black. She does not make or purchase her own clothes. Witches are given such things, not as payment, but as a sign of respect. In combination with the rural location, I chose a skirt that is fashionable but not very full, with the hemline safely out of the mud, and a warm wool (which is scratchy and requires an underskirt, but apparently true Lancre sheepswool resembles steelwool).
I wanted to make the shirtwaist look fancy without using fine trimmings, so I chose tucks and pleats. I imagine it was made by a mother grateful that her child's life was saved.
The pointy hat warns people a witch is coming, so they'd better behave.
Outline the construction…
First time drafting, used the Keystone Guide (I once tried commercial patterns and it was impossible to fit). I drafted a waist, and then used that to make the shirtwaist. Put darts in back panel where there was space between the original pieces. Added 20cm to the front pieces for the pleats. Next time: mark them better and be more accurate with pleating, since my second panel came out an inch smaller than my first, and I had to unpick and resew some. I put a plain sleeve into the mock-up, then drafted a bigger sleeve (high enough, not quite wide enough) for the shirt. The ruff is boxpleated, the seam allowance of the shirt and ruff keep the collar upright. I did not understand how much room to leave for closures, since my hooks and eyes wouldn't fit I made my own hooks and bars out of 1mm copper wire. Black cotton, hand sewing on cuffs, hem, closures, seam finishing, and collar.
Black boiled wool for the 'least full dress skirt.' Machined the side seams and darts. Cotton pockets, herringbone stitch hem, no seam finishing as the fabric doesn't fray. Two pleats on either back panel, placket, handmade hooks and eyes partially covered in black silk thread, waistband of red cotton tape with four lines of handsewing.
Underskirt: white cotton fleece, like above except two rows of handsewing, handfinished seams, and white silk.
Hat: Wool, cotton, buckram. First hat, many mistakes, looks cool anyway!
Word limit, bah!