Monday, January 2, 2012

18th-Century Petticoat

The photos are crummy but they get the point across. I took them with my iPhone because my "real" camera is a POS.

Step 1: Wash and dry fabric and iron it. Then hem along the selvedge. You don't have to trim the selvedge off.

I hemmed it initially and then had to hem it again when I was finished with it so that it would be floor length. I didn't want to hem it to floor length until I was finished because I wanted to measure the length while I was wearing it with a crinoline.

Step 2: Fold fabric in half and pin together along hemline to make sure it's even on both sides. Then make a cut through the hem and tear to make the rest of the cut. Check out the blogs I linked in my previous post for instructions on making the pocket slits.

Step 3: Take one half of the fabric. Fold it in half again and mark the center point with a safety pin. Make the knife pleats. You'll want to have the pleats face the center of the fabric (where the safety pin is) on each side of the safety pin. You have to pin each pleat and when you've got the whole piece of fabric pleated, sew along the top to secure the pleats.

I had to redo my pleats 3 or 4 times because I couldn't get the spacing right. Then I remembered Google is my friend. The standard knife pleat formula is 3-inches of fabric = 1 inch of pleat. I used a credit card as a template and measured my pleats that way.

It should look like this:

 Step 4 & 5: Attach the waistband and ties, then assemble skirt. I'm sorry I didn't take a picture of this process! I bought a piece of unbleached muslin for the waistband. A quarter yard will do. Cut a 2" to 3" piece, fold in half lenthwise, iron to set crease. Then fold each half in towards center and iron to set creases. Now you've made something like double-fold bias tape, except it's not cut on the bias.

I sewed on the two waistbands and their ties before assembling the skirt because I thought that would be easier than wrestling 4.5 yds of fabric. After you've done the waistband and ties, pin the two skirt halves together right faces together, sew up the sides to the pocket slits. The fabric will be heavy, so put extra stitches in across the bottom of the pocket slits to reinforce them so the seams don't rip out.

Here's what the waistband and ties look like assembled:

And here's the finished petticoat! You can see where I re-hemmed the skirt. I like the look of that wide hem. The skirt is heavy and full and has a wonderful swing to it. I'll take a picture of it on when I get my corset!

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