Saturday, May 22, 2010

Corded Petticoat

It's really odd, I haven't sewn anything in a long time due to time constraints, life getting in the way, and a shocking lack of inspiration. My good friend tells me she can tell when I am depressed - when I am not playing harp and not sewing. I guess I'm not depressed now, because I have been practicing up a storm, and I finally got an inspiration to sew.

My choice was not at all what I expected - a corded petticoat. This is a mid-19th century undergarment; basically a petticoat with rows and rows of cording stitched into it, then starched to an amazing level. It helps make the skirts stand out, but is less poofy than a hoop skirt.

I gleaned all I could off the internet, found some great pictures of what others have done, and I'm off. I wanted the circumference of the bottom to be less than 90", so I used a nice Kona quilter's muslin, 90" wide. That way there will only be one seam since I don't have to join widths. I cut it 52" long to allow for a waistband and a deep facing at the hem in order to encase the cording, sandwiching it inside the facing. I'm using Lily "Sugar'n Cream" as the cording. I turned up an ample hem facing to enclose the two sets of close-together cords I have planned (probably two sets of 16 cords next to each other, with an inch or so of space in between the sets), then will sew single cords going up to about knee level. All I have to do once the cording is done is sew one long seam to make the tube, make the top of the seam into a placket, and turn down a waistband. The time-consuming part is the cording, but it is simple and rather satisfying to see the rows begin to form.

The first seven rows at the hemline; only about 30 or so left to go!

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