One of the problems with my sewing is that I sew A LOT, and not all of it looks particularly interesting and dynamic unless I manage to do a whole photoshoot in it, in a picturesque locale (which, luckily, there are lots of in the Wellington region!).
Thing is, photoshoots take a lot of time and planning, and a willing photographer (which, unluckily, Mr D is not often). So I do a bit of self-timed photos, and a lot of mannequin photos.
Even with good images, some sewing isn’t that interesting without a really good story, and it’s too easy for too many blog posts to be summed up as:
tl:dr – I sewed something and there were a few tiny problems but I fixed them and now I mostly like it.
There isn’t a particularly interesting story for this sew. It’s a petticoat suitable for wear under late Victorian and early 1900s garments. It’s a basic 5-gore pattern with a bit of back gathers and a placket closure. It has tucks and a layer of ruffles to give it body at the hem, and a bit of beading with blue ribbon for a decorative element.
Vaguely interesting bits:
1. It’s made from an old sheet, and I used every single bit of the sheet in it, so you can even see the wide top hem in the back panel of ruffle.
3. The ruffles were made using the corded gathering technique, so took me 1/57th of the time and teeth-gnashing that standard gathering would, and look much better.
4. I’m showing the petticoat over another petticoat, because on a mannequin even petticoats need petticoats to avoid looking limp and flat (this is why museums show everything over custom crinolines & supports).
Felicity is, of course, far more than vaguely interesting. In these photos she’s playing with a nail. We’ve been doing a bit of summer DIY on the house, and somehow she found a nail and LOVES it. She bats it about and does the adorable prey-pounce and stalk routine.
We only let her play with it under supervision, just in case.
The Challenge: Re-Do
Challenges this is re-doing (once again, I am attempting to re-do every challenge from the year in December, though each item can cover multiple challeges):
— #1 Foundations: A petticoat is an obviously an important foundation garment.
— #2 Blue: Thanks to the little touch of decorative blue ribbon
— #3 Stashbusting: The sheet has been hanging around in the back of my linen closet for years, because it’s the wrong size for any of our beds, and I bought the blue ribbon at a Fabric Warehouse sale at least 4 years ago, probably more.
– #5 Practicality: I’m stretching a tiny bit, but by the standards of Edwardian fashion, this is an extremely practical petticoat: quite plain, short enough and durable enough to be worn under a walking skirt. It’s the kind of petticoat a typewriter or shopgirl would have worn.
— #10 Sewing Secret: It’s made from a sheet!
Materials: One sheet
Pattern: Based on a basic 5-gore skirt pattern.
Year: ca. 1900
Notions: Cotton thread, cotton beading lace, rayon ribbon, lingerie buttons.
How historically accurate is it? There are period accounts of making petticoats and other undergarments from sheets. The hand, thread weight, and general feel of this fabric is similar to, but not identical to some late 19th century petticoats I’ve worked with, so it’s not perfect, though I don’t that a period seamstress would find it too odd. Pattern, trims and sewing techniques are all in line with period examples. 80% or so.
Hours to Complete 5ish.
First worn: Not yet, but I’m sure it will be a very useful item!
Total Cost under $10