Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Operation Petticoat

So I'm putting together 'lower orders' C18th kit as you know - see previous post on jacket (which is finished, but need a good photo). I bought some striped linen from Tinsmiths, it was cheaper than most of their linens, but the top end of my personal budget. To be honest, having looked about online and in local shops, there is nothing in the way of striped line. Cotton, yes, but no linen.

Anyway, I ordered it late last year and then found out a couple of days later that the shop is closed until 3rd January. I was really hoping I would get it by today (4th January) because I had the great idea and temptation to travel on the London Underground in my 'scummy' kit after dancing in my 'posh' stuff at the Twelfth Night celebrations at Dr. Johnson's House on 5th January.
Well, it turned up, as I hoped just before 10.15 this morning. I was now racing against the clock to get the petticoat made. After washing the fabric, drying it in front of the Aga, and then ironing it, at 1.40pm I made a start on measuring the length I needed. As the fabric is 150cm wide, I only needed to buy enough for the length I wanted for my petticoat, plus a little extra just in case.

Once cut, I pinned and sewed up the side seams on the sewing machine, leaving a 10" gap at the top to allow access to the pockets. As it was the selvedge, I didn't need to the neaten the seam, hurrah! With the seams ironed open, I turned up a 2" hem and hand sewed this. Then ironed the hem.
After this, I pleated the waist. I had a 2" box pleat in the centre and then fourteen 0.5" pleats either side. I pinned these first and then machine sewed them. It was now time to add the waistband.
I used 1" wide white cotton tape for this. I cut two lengths long enough to go around my waist and tie into a bow. I then machine sewed one length onto the back waist, folding it over the pleats to cover the raw edge, and the other length onto the front waist.
To some this may sound odd. The way this is worn is that the back is tied first (the ties brought round to the front and tied) and then the front (ties taken round to the back and tied). This allows for the pocket slits to overlap (noone wants their pocket slits gaping!) and also means it can be worn by pretty much anyone. And hey presto, the petticoat is finished!

Now, it may need some altering and its length, but I wont know that until I wear it tomorrow.
Here's a photo of it at the moment:

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