--- In SCA-Garb@yahoogroups.com
, Arianwen ferch Arthur <caer_mab@...> wrote:
> I was having a discussion on gores. I talked about using the fabric and cutting out the gores in such a way that one side was on the straight grain and the other side was therefore bias, (not both sides bias with grain up center). I was asked about, number of gores, that extant examples showed an even number of gores at the sides (implication is that 1 single gore would be an uneven number and a pieced gore was used on the sides)
Gores are cut according to the shape one wants the finished garment to have. I you want the skirt to hang with even fullness all the way around, the grain goes to the center of each gore. If you want a flat front and the fullness swept to the back, as in a Victorian skirt, the straight edge goes to the front, and the bias to the back, working from the center front, with two bias edges meeting at the center back or joining a straight back panel. The greater the slant on each gore, making that edge closer to "true" bias, the more technically difficult it is to get the fabric to hang smoothly at the seams. It's all about control of the fabric, and one simply chooses the technique that works with the design and material. Also, before modern times when fabric became very cheap, comparatively speaking, and when it came in narrower widths, a rectangle of fabric would be cut diagonally from center top to bottom corners to make one gore and the two off-cut pieces turned and joined to form the second gore. If one is cutting several gores and wants the grain up the center, half the finished gores are going to have a straight-to-straight join at the center. When counting "gores" it gets a bit confusing if people are not being specific about a "gore" being defined as either a single piece of fabric, or a pattern-unit that might be made up of more than one piece of fabric to avoid waste.
Generally speaking, unless someone is doing what is called "late period" in the SCA, gores are going to be cut so that the straight grain will be down the center of the gore. This means that if there are single gores down the front and back of a skirt, there are going to be enough pieces left over to make matching single gores in each side-seam, but those gores are going to have to be pieced with a seam down the center of each. Some people think it is easier to form the side gores by cutting a rectangle from corner to corner, thus having no seam and one edge straight and the other closer to the bias, but a skirt like that tends to need a train to keep it from swinging forward and looking badly balanced *especially* if there is a pronounced weave or grain to the fabric, plus there is often a problem with the fabric falling eventually and forming a sort of "swag" effect where the bias wants to drop as it hangs, but the cut edge is pulled up by the straight edge it is sewn to. The problem is less with stiff, tightly woven fabric like the silks that came into use later on, but it can be *trouble* with soft wools.
Is that any help?