Saturday, January 14, 2012


Long day- we've been looking at new places to live and my brain is fried. So, here's more of the ACC bits from my documentation folder:

My new petticoat is quite a bit shorter than the first. The gold tended to droop considerably in front from where I started it in the morning and eventually peeked out from under the dress, and I found myself tripping over it. By making the salmon colored linen one shorter (about ankle length) I hoped to fix that problem. I also cut an exaggerated concave curve in the front panel to allow for front drooping due to my body shape. The first petticoat also had pleats padded with wool felt. I chose not to do that with the linen underskirt. The cartridge pleats were much smaller, and the overall hem diameter was considerably smaller than the gold. I did cord both petticoats and very much like this. Italian skirts of the period usually have a padded hem, as evidenced by extant pieces. In the case of the extant pieces, they are padded with a strip of wool felt. In my case, I sewed channels around the skirt and inserted cotton rope for stiffening. The technique is used in other places, but is not documented in Italy at this time. The stiffened hem works wonderfully for supporting skirts and giving them a bit of shape as well as keeping them from tangling closely around the feet.

My gold petticoat was entirely hand sewn and the experience of doing so convinced me that I didn’t really want to do that again with seams that weren’t going to be seen. I machine sewed all the long seams. As the linen petticoat is fully lined and has no exposed seams, I think this was a reasonable choice. It is lined with the same brown linen I used for my first petticoat. I sewed the cording channels by hand, and added a small decorative trim of multiple rows of green ribbon. The cartridge pleats are stitched by hand. Rather than doing handsewn eyelets as I did on the first one, I applied small metal grommets.

After finishing the linen petticoat and trying it on with my dress, I came to the conclusion that it was too short and not full enough to support the silk dress. I therefore swapped it with the gold. The linen petticoat actually works very well with my original red dress because it is shorter and less full. It turns out that the changes I made do work better with the red dress with its stiffer , more narrow velvet skirt but the gold petticoat is needed to support the fuller silk skirt because the fabric has less body.

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