Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Petticoat Bits

Since I was working on a few updates anyway for the ACC, I'll go ahead and explain some of my documentation for the petticoat, as well as a few detail shots that I took today.

In my prowl looking for extant garments, I was elated when I found this beautiful painted cotton petticoat in my search of "1500-1600" in the V&A collections, but I'm convinced that 1570 as the starting year is incorrect or possibly even transposed (as in, it should read 1750).  The East India Company stamp indicates 17th century at the absolute earliest, and the design bears something of an 18th century aesthetic.  Nevertheless, Laura Mellin's instructions on making a 16th century petticoat produced a remarkably similar garment, so I'm willing to think that the basic nature of this item (hopefully) indicates some common lines of construction through time.  It's made in four panels and totals 4x my waist measurement along the width.

My cartridge pleating has no gathering stitches -- don't ask me why, but I was just too paranoid about lining them up well to even try that technique.  Instead, I marked a small hash mark every inch on the skirt and every 1/4 inch on the waistband, and used that as a guide as I whipstitched it together.

The seams and hem were all done by machine, with the gold silk guard covering up the line of stitching at the hem.  I was paranoid about having an overly wobbly line on the guard, so I pulled a thread in the fabric of the skirt for the top edge.  It was kind of a nightmare to follow, but it did end up nice and straight as a result.

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