Saturday, February 23, 2013

Petticoat - Finished!

I finally finished my first petticoat last night! I've been working on it for a few weeks. I found a pattern online (can't remember where now), which is basically triangles sewn together with a ruffle on the bottom. It was very easy, and the lady who drafted it did a step-by-step tutorial on her website. I'll have to see if I can find it.

When I first started making historical clothing, I doubted how much of a different a petticoat would make. After all, we don't wear them very often - if ever! - nowadays. As I read again and again how important it was to make the correct undergarments to complete your outfit, I started looking around and finally found a free pattern that didn't look too hard. The original petticoat was made from 6 yards of a cheap cotton, but I repurposed an old sheet (two, really) for the job. It's a bright pink, purple, and green Mexican-ish looking print, but both my Bustle dress skirt and my Civil War dress skirt are dark, so it showing through shouldn't ever be a problem.

There is one long ruffle around the bottom. I think it measured 150 inches, post-ruffling. My hoops are 120 inches at the bottom hoop, so it fits nicely over them.

I originally planned on making ruffles all the way up it, to smooth my Civil War skirt out over my hoops, but when I saw how much it took to make one ruffle around the bottom (four lengths of sheet - the long way!), I gave up on that idea pretty fast. I still have parts of one sheet and another sheet (though in a different print), so I'll see if my dress really needs it. Otherwise, I may just cut the extra sheet up for another plain petticoat.

I tried my petticoat on last night over my hoops with my Civil War dress on over it all and was pleasantly surprised how it got rid of my "lampshade hoop." Yay! :) Now I want to go take lots of pictures in my dress. Too bad it's so snowy out.

As lovely as this lady's dress is, it could benefit from a petticoat or two!

I'd like to have my petticoat the right length so I can wear it with my bustle dress skirt too, but right now it's way too long. If I put the waistband lower (pulling the whole petticoat up), it will be too short for my hoops... Hmm. What to do. I might try making a second waistband so I can put the drawstring into whichever one I want, thus making the petticoat two different lengths and just fold down the excess fabric. It does wonders for my bustle dress skirt as well, plus it's just so fun to wear! I'm always watching in movies now to see if I can tell how many petticoats the actresses are wearing, if any! Yes, I'm a bit obsessed. :) I'll try to get some pictures of it to show you all.

If you ever get the chance to wear a petticoat, try it! It might do more than you think.

*On another note, I turned anonymous comments on, so now anyone should be able to post a reply.


  1. I'm willing to take more pics when it gets warm and green again. ;)

    1. I'd like to get a shawl to wear when it's colder. Do we have any wool blankets I could cut up?

    2. Not sure, go look in Grandma's cedar chest. :)