Monday, January 19, 2015

HSM'15: #1: Foundations: A Corded Petticoat

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

Front, over the 18th century bum roll.

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, and I was completely inspired by Gina's lovely example, and it served as the basis of my "pattern".

Back, over the bum roll.

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.

Front, with bum roll, 1880s petticoat, and 1870s underskirt.

Back, with bum roll, 1880s petticoat, and 1870s underskirt.

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
Year: mid-1800s
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

1 comment:

  1. Gorgeous, Crystal. :) And it gives just the right stand for the skirt, too.


Road to Costume College 2018

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