I'm not really sure why I decided to make a corded petticoat. Three or four weeks ago, I might have been able to articulate it, but now, I don't remember. I guess I'd seen a few around the internet, and I loved the shape they give, so soft and lovely. And really, easier to store than a set of hoops.
So, after a bunch of research, I pulled out some fabric and random acrylic yarn and got to work. I would have preferred cotton yarn, but I'm still trying to sort my finances out after purchasing the car, and non-essential purchases are pretty much off the table for now (this will also make this session of belly dance classes very interesting since we're doing prop-work :D). But that's exciting in its own way, using only things I have on hand. We'll see how creative I manage to get with what I have :D
At any rate, I had my heart set on a corded petticoat for the first HSM challenge this year. I googled "corded petticoat", which brings up lots of images, a few originals and lots of reproductions. There's a guide on ElizabethanCostuming.net, and I was completely inspired by Gina's lovely example, and it served as the basis of my "pattern".
The petticoat is just two widths of fabric sewn together at the selvedges. I measured it to a finished length of about 30", with the length of the corded panel about 18". Some of the panel length was lost to off-grain fabric and of course the cording itself. The final length of the cording is 14.5", and there are 39 rows.
I debated for a couple of hours about whether to add another panel to keep cording, but then I found a list on Jennifer Rosburgh's old site with a chart of extant petticoats and the various lengths, widths, and rows of cording. I decided that 39 rows in 14.5" was plenty, and I could attach the waistband. I can always add the extra panel and more cording in the future if I decide to.
I'd also decided that I would starch the petticoat if I needed to. It was hard to judge how well the acrylic yarn would work out when the petticoat was a giant flat panel, but once I had the waistband on and could see how it looked, I was both startled and thrilled. It looked AWESOME! The cording providing so much stiffness and floof. I currently only have other time periods for undergarments, so it's shown here over an 18th century bum roll, an 1880s petticoat and an 1870s skirt.
I currently have it on Josephine (the dress mannequin) without the bum roll, but still in the skirts, which have a lovely A-line shape. I am just thrilled that it's done and how wonderful it looks, even without extra floof and no starching. Thrilled!
The Challenge: #1 Foundations
Fabric: poly-cotton broadcloth, acrylic yarn
Pattern: gleaned from the internet
Notions: a looooot of thread (I went through three bobbins-full)
How historically accurate is it?: The shape is wonderful! The materials are not accurate at all.
Hours to complete: SOOOOO MANY. Each row took 10 minutes, x39 rows... probably 8 hours of straight work.
First worn: Not yet.
Total cost: Free-to-me (all stash and also gifted items), but new materials would run in the $25 range
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