Using the band will provide some guidance when working with the Cranach gown, as well as give the illusion of a longer torso for those that are short waisted.
Referring to the inspiration piece, the guards and additional guard down the front must be taken into consideration when determining the amount of fabric. In this case, the guard will be 12 inches. Giving a seam allowance of 1/2” for the top and 1/2” for the hem, I need to cut the guard strips out at 13“. For the main skirt, I will need strips that are 32”, which accounts for the 1/2” seam allowance to the guard and 1 and 1/2” seam allowance for folding/finishing/attaching the top edge of the skirt to the bodice.
Next I sewed the guard pieces together to form a very long strip and then repeated with the main skirt fabric. The guard and the main fabric were then sewn together, matching the seams of each panel. In case you were wondering, I used 7 panels of 55” wide fabric and included a 1 inch seam allowance (half inch for each side).
Along the top edge I used the serger to finish the raw edge. If you don’t have one, zig zag instead. Then I folded the serged edge to the inside of the panels, roughly an inch and then straight stitched at about 5/8 from the fold. The edge is then folded in again so the stitched line is just on the inside of the skirt and the raw edge is hidden. This creates a thick edge in order to attach the skirt to the waist band or directly on the bodice as you decide.
To attach the roll pleat, be sure you have a good metal thimble, a pair of pliers, and a strong needle; I used a size 1 Brazilian embroidery needle. You should also have a nice strong thread that matches your project. Thread your needle with three or four strands of thread. Double the thread over and knot the ends.
On just shy of the bottom edge of the band pull your thread through. Pick up your rolled pleat and about an 1/8 of the way in from the edge, stick your needle in. Be sure to go through all the layers in the rolled pleat; this is especially important when you are in the center of the pleat. Keep the edges as even as possible as you sew. This is where the thimble and pliers are useful. The thimble will help you push the needle through and the pliers will help you get the needle out. Otherwise you will have very sore hands. Once the thread is through the pleat and making sure the pleat is lined up on the waist band, sew the pleat in place by placing the needle through the band at the top of the pleat. Once on the back of the band, move over roughly a ¼ or an inch or so and poke the needle back through the waistband to just above the pleat. Repeat sewing through the pleat. When at the bottom, sew the pleat in place by going through the bottom, just shy of the edge. Repeat until all the pleats are sewn in place.