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A Corded or Tucked Petticoat

June 6, 2012

First, I made a Regency-style dress.  This was for the 2009 Jane Austen Festival’s Grand Regency Promenade…without the use of a pattern, as I had no idea then that so many were available.  (Check out my Links page for addresses, as these do get added to from time to time). 

Anyway, after wearing that dress for three promenades, without a petticoat, and having it cling to my legs or stick out at strange angles, I have decided that I very definitely need to make a petticoat! 

My first promenade dress – 2009

Even during the period when flimsy muslin was the fashion, petticoats were an important garment for any self-respecting lady of fashion.  Not only did they add another layer to preserve one’s modesty, but they also gave the gown the correct shape.  There is an excellent article on petticoats in Your Wardrobe Unlock’d http://yourwardrobeunlockd.com/historicalperiods/georgianregency/532-the-regency-petticoat-1790-to-1820 for those who are subscribers.

Back to my first attempt…I used the Sense and Sensibility Regency Gown pattern as a basis after reading their tutorial  http://sensibility.com/tips/how-to-make-a-regency-bodiced-petticoat-from-the-regency-gown-pattern/

S&S Regency Gown Pattern

S&S Regency Gown Pattern

Then I discovered this brilliant blog that explains the making of the bodiced petticoat in more detail http://zipzipinkspot.blogspot.com/2009/12/tutorial-sense-and-sensibility-bodiced.html

I then had a better idea of what I wanted to achieve, but I did not follow these instructions to the T…I did not line or bone the bodice, but have gathered the front onto the waistband, and have used a front-fastening with drawstings.

It took me several weeks to get the bodice done, because I had to think about each step and how to get the pattern right so that it fits my awkward shape!  As I have narrow, sloping shoulders, I have always had big problems when it comes to straps of any kind, so the back must be high enough to prevent them falling down.

The taking of photos as I make something did not happen this time, as I was trying hard to concentrate on getting costumes made for the first Horncastle Regency Festival.  Sorry.  As it was, I still did not get any new dresses made for myself, as I was making Robert a new shirt, neckcloth and waistcoat.

As for the hem, I decided to go with tucks, rather than cording, which I believe came a bit later as dress hems began to flare again.

I will add a photo when I have one, to show the finished garment.

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4 Comments leave one →
  1. LadyD permalink
    August 1, 2012 10:00 am

    I totally feel your pain. With the whole awkward shape thing. Its why I ended up drafting my own bodice from scratch. I’m just not made for standard patterns.

    • August 1, 2012 11:20 am

      I finally managed to get it done to my satisfaction, and it has made the world of difference to how the dress looks and feels. No longer am I constantly pulling the skirt from round my legs!! 🙂

      Photos still need to be taken though! :-0

      • LadyD permalink
        August 1, 2012 11:33 am

        Because I raised my waistline on my petticoat, its coming up rather short. I don’t know if I should sew another strip of fabric along the hem to make it longer or start from scratch and recut the skirts.

        I look forward to seeing the photo’s. How short/long is your petticoat?

  2. August 1, 2012 11:40 am

    My petticoat is about ankle length. It was shorter, but I made a tucked hem separately, which I then sewed on when the petticoat was almost finished. I couldn’t make up my mind whether to add lace or tucks, but went with tucks.

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