Thursday, 19 June 2014

A circular skirt

Once you make a petticoat you better make something to wear with it. I have for long been planning to make a circular skirt with a flounce to my Edwardian ensemble, but of course no did not start on it until the day before the event where I wanted to wear it. Again I turned to the patternmaking book form 1908 to draft the pattern and followed the measurements given to make it as easy as possible. The only change I made from the basic pattern was to add about 10 cm at the center back to make a pleat there.

Pattern diagram
The fabric was from my stash, a grey cotton fabric that looks like a mixture between wool and velvet. Kind of weird, but nice. To keep the pieces from stretching I used my machine and sewed a seam around them all. The fabric does not seem to fray to any great extent so when I sewed the center front and back seams I left the seam allowances raw and pressed them open. Different views of the finished skirt can be seen below. The pattern made for a pretty long skirt so it has a bit of a train. Not very practical, but oh so fabulous.

Before attaching the flounce to the upper part of the skirt I made the placket and the belt. There is quite a lot of fabric in the flounce so it was easier to not have that being in the way. For the placket I once again used the instructions from Cloak & Corset, but this time made the placket in two separate parts. Since the opening is concealed in the pleat I only used one hook and eye and one button halfway down. To strengthen both the placket and the belt they were faced with fusible interfacing. In order to fit the skirt to the waistband two darts were needed in the front.

Skirt placket at center back

Placket concealed in pleat
The flounce was sewn on wrong sides together with the skirt. One of the seam allowances were then folded over and stitched down, making a flat felled seam. The join is barely visible as it is but I might add some kind of decoration in the future that covers it.
Seam joining flounce and skirt
Example of skirt decoration, from here
The hemline is faced with horeshair braid (nylon) to help it keep its shape. Since the bottom edge is very curved I did not simply fold it up, but attached a strip of fabric cut on bias and turned it to the wrong side of the skirt. It was then secured on the inside using the machine to make a blind hem. I would have made it by hand but my body does not care for so much hand sewing.

Finally, a picture of the skirt being worn:

Wednesday, 11 June 2014

1900s Petticoat

We will start of by looking at the first piece I made to go with the 1903 corset, the petticoat. This was the first petticoat I have ever made and it involved a bit of improvisation, but I am overall pleased with the result. My main inspiration was the Edwardian petticoat from Past Patterns:
Past Patterns Edwardian petticoat
Sadly, I did not buy the pattern since it would require shipping from the US to Sweden. Instead I went to a pattern making book published in 1908 that is readily accessible online and that I have been dying to try out. Perhaps I made an over complicated petticoat when I choose to use the pattern for a five-gored skirt that is fitted over the hips. From what I have understood, the patternpieces for an underskirt is often just squares that perhaps taper towards the waist. Anyway, the five-gore pattern is the one that I used and I did not alter the measurements from the books since they appeared to be quite close to my own.
Pattern diagram and description
After I drafted the pattern I cut it about knee-high and tried to add some width to create the flounce. In retrospect, even more width was needed.

I used a plain, cheap cotton fabric from Ikea for the whole petticoat. Construction was pretty straight forward and it is mostly machine finished. The side seams were all french seams, the placket was made in a single strip and I made an ordinary belt. I had never made a placket before, so the eBooklet on plackets from Cloak and Corset was very helpful. The finished petticoat, somewhat dirty after having been dragged across wet grass in the botanical garden, is seen below.
Placket and a few pleats made to fit the skirt to the belt
 For decoration I covered the seam joining the flounce and the body of the skirt with lace beading and inserted a satin ribbon matching the corset.

Lace beading

A bit further down there is a lace insertion for which I followed a tutorial from Wearing History. I also added some 1cm wide tucks for decoration and to reduce the length.

Lace insertion and tucks
I dithered for quite some time on how to finish the bottom edge of the petticoat and just two days before the picnic decided to add a row of gathered lace with a dust ruffle underneath. There was however no suitable lace to be found in the stash so I just put on the dust ruffle and covered the seam with some bias binding laid flat on top of the seam allowances.

Dust ruffle
The dust ruffle is made from the same cotton fabric. I cut loads of 10cm/4 inch wide strips that were hemmed on one side. I used a presser foot that makes the hem automatically, that device is really the best thing ever! The other side was pleated using the automatic ruffler extension to my sewing machine before being sewn to the bottom of the petticoat. At the moment I am not sure if I should look for a suitable lace to put on top of i at all, I rather like the look of it.

Last but not least, a picture of it being worn over the corset!

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Coming up!

It has been a while to say the least. Nothing much has happened in the corseting area, except browsing pictures on the internet and drooling of course.

But the last couple of weeks has actually left some room for sewing and I was in desperate need of completing my Edwardian wardrobe for a picnic that took place this last weekend, a delightful event that me and my sambo have attended one time before. The picnic is held in Gothenburgs botanical garden on the 6th of June every year. The theme is the turn of the century, but everything victorian, edwardian, steampunk or even modern is welcome. It is mostly about eating cake and playing croquet anyway. For most of the day the rain was pouring but we had a nice time anyway.

For the next couple of days I will attempt to dismantle my outfit and write about the pieces I have made myself, mainly the skirt, petticoat and hat. The shirtwaist is a find from Ebay that might be antique, but I am not positive about it. The whole ensemble is composed around my TVE01 corset that i have written about previously. 

Stay tuned!