I’m still catching up on my historical sewing from 2018, but don’t get too excited, because the bits I haven’t blogged really aren’t that exciting.
Like this petticoat. It’s useful, it’s helpful, it’s generally nicely made, but exciting? Not really.
I based the pattern on the width of my fabric + the dimensions of the skirts in a couple of dresses ca. 1810 in Janet Arnold’s Patterns of Fashion and Cassidy Percoco’s Regency Women’s Dress. I figure petticoat dimensions couldn’t have been that different to skirt dimensions.
I have a problem with anything with narrow straps sliding off my shoulders because I have sloping shoulders and scoliosis, PLUS I’ve had a problem with Regency petticoats wanting to pull down in the back with the weight of gathers, so I solved both with this one by angling my straps to the centre back of the petticoat.
The drawstring gathers, while I have no idea if they are accurate, allow it to be a little more adjustable to the person wearing it.
I intend to wear this petticoat under my 1813 Kashmiri dress, so I sewed 6 lines of tucks into the hem, to help it to support the slightly heavier wool fabric.
The tucks, while not exactly exciting fabric manipulation, did mean that I could enter it into the October Historical Sew Fortnightly challenge, because that’s when I finished the petticoat!
The Challenge: #10 Fabric Manipulation
Fabric: 2m of cotton lawn, found at an opshop
Pattern: None, based off of skirt patterns
Year: ca. 1810
Notions: thread, cotton tape
How historically accurate is it?: The shape is accurate to a Regency skirt, but I made up a number of the construction techniques, including the back gathers, so maybe 40%
Hours to complete: 3 hours – a bit more time for tucks and flat felled seams
First worn: by a friend during out Sew & Eat Historical Retreat, 20 October
Total cost: NZ$6 or so
And here it is, under a dress and apron, at the Sew & Eat Historical Retreat:
How many petticoats have survived from that era? Not many I should think. I suspect that someone else made a petticoat exactly like that for similar reasons. People have always innovated with what they have according to their needs; not everyone dressed in what was exactly the fashion or style of the moment. Just like today! I think your petticoat is lovely. Thanks for sharing.
Uh duh… I never knew tucks in petticoats were made to support outer garments….I thought they
were purely decorative.
Yep! Functional AND decorative! Anytime you double fabric you make it 2x stiffer and more structural. Like quilting, which strengthens fabric as it holds it together.