Research: Skirts

Mermaid Skirt

Decade: 1930s
Fabric: Silks and satins, which allow the dress to flow when worn
Origin: Created by Marcel Rochas, who created trademark hourglass silhouettes as a tribute to the female form.

Circle skirt

Decade: 1940s
Fabric: Light/Medium weight woven fabric, such as cotton lawn.
Origin: Created by Christian Dior. The nipped waist, full skirted re-defined postwar fashion in the 1940s. After fabric rationing ended, Dior wanted to create a style which was no longer limited by the amount of fabric it was made from.

A-Line Skirt

Decade: 1950s
Fabric: Crisp light/medium weight fabrics, eg silk or cotton A-Line Skirt
Origin: Created by Christian Dior, as a move away from his postwar New Look collection. Slender shoulders, flaring out gradually from the waist to create an A shape.

Mini Skirt

Decade: 1960s
Fabric: Medium weight knits, denims or cottons
Origin: Created by Mary Quant as a controversial way of rebelling. The miniskirt shaped the image of young, modern, self-aware women. Twiggy became the unofficial poster girl for the look.

Rah-rah Skirt

Decade: 1980s
Fabric: Lightweigh fabric, eg cotton, silk, linen
Origin: A reinvention of the mini skirt, became the layered rah-rah skirt.

Research: Seams and Hems

Seam Finishes

Plain Seam Used on fabrics which do not fray and garments which do not require finishing
Fabrics: Stable knits and bonded fabrics 

French SeamUsed for unlined garments with delicate fabrics. Prevents fraying and gives a neat, professional finish
Fabrics: Lightweight woven and sheer fabrics 
Zig Zag SeamA very versatile and widely used. Prevents fraying and can also be used to reduce bulk in knits.
Fabrics: This method can be used on most fabrics.

Hem Finishes

Overlocked Hem Used to make the hem less bulky
Fabrics: Light to medium weight fabrics with a tendency to fray 
Bias Bound HemUsed for neatening and decorating (such as contrast hems)
Fabrics: This method can be used on most fabrics.
Double-Folded HemA very versatile hem which is used to enclose the raw edge of the fabric.
Fabrics: Light to medium weight fabrics, as it can add bulk in heavier weight fabrics.

Research: Types of Fabrics

A fabric is defined as a textile product made from fibres. Fabric types are split in to three groups:
• Knitted – Created with rows of loops. To create a new row, loops are pulled through existing loops.
• Woven – Created by interweaving yarns at 90 degrees to each other.
• Non-woven – Fibres are bonded together by chemical, mechanical, heat or solvent treatment.
Cotton
A very durable and versatile fabric. It can be woven or knitted and is used for a variety of everyday garments. It shrinks and creases easily.
Silk
A warm, smooth and delicate woven fabric. It is strong, moisture wicking and often requires dry cleaning.
Jersey
A stretchy, warm and comfortable knit. It is easy to print and is great for making dresses, tshirts and leggings.
Chiffon
A sheer and lightweight woven fabric, which frays easily and can be difficult to cut. It can be used for scarves, sheer blouses and lined dresses.
Wool
A warm fabric which can be woven or knitted. Wool garments often require lining, due to feeling scratchy against skin.