|Making an 1880s Flounced Petticoat with Whitework Trim.|
"Four Gore Skirt" from the Delineator, 1888 (left); and my reproduction petticoat (right).
|Victorian Petticoat, 1880s, (Item number xa8775)|
Source: 1860-1960, One Hundred Years of Fashion and Accessories
|Delineator magazine, 1888|
"No. 2375. - This skirt is portrayed made of dress goods and plainly finished. Its three dart-fitted gores and full back-breadth are shaped to produce a graceful, even hanging; and across the back-breadth two reeds are adjusted in casings and tied into curves by tapes or elastics. A belt finishes the top of the skirt, and the placket opening is made at the left side-back seam. A small pad bustle is a feature of the skirt; it is shaped in two parts that are narrowest at the top and rounding at the bottom. A filling of moss or curled hair is used, and the parts are caught together in upholstery fashion. The top of the bustle is caught to the belt." - Delineator, 1888
To make my petticoat, I used Truly Victorian's 1885 Four-Gore Underskirt, pattern TV261, for the base. After tracing the pattern pieces in my size onto pattern paper, I adjusted the hem lengths to suit my height, and subtracted an additional inch so it would be shorter than the skirt. I cut the pieces from a lightweight cotton sateen, as well as a 220" long rectangle for the flounce. The scalloped whitework trim is the same used for the detachable lobster tail bustle ruffles, and the petticoat flounce ended up being ~8.5" in height when finished.
I forgot to take pictures of it, but I added a twill tape casing to the back piece and inserted a drawstring, which can be adjusted to fit over various sized bustles. I seamed and pressed each of the darts, and then the side seams, pressing open and finishing each raw edge with zig-zag stitches. Then I pressed and machine-stitched a 1" hem, since it would be covered with the flounce anyways.
To gather and attach such a long flounce, I used a method I had been wanting to try for some time - cord gathering! If you're unfamiliar or need a refresher on the technique, The Dreamstress wrote a wonderful tutorial, here: "How to sew gathers & ruffles with cord gathering (aka the easiest way to gather, ever)"
After dividing the flounce into four equal parts, I zig-zag stitched blue button twist thread a half-inch below the unfinished top edge. Then, pinning quarters again, I pulled the button twist to draw the gathers, and added more pins so I wouldn't have to worry about shifting off the stitch line, or take the time to baste:
|Drawing up the cord gathers and pinning generously!|
|Stitching on the flounce|
|Removing the light blue cord/gathering thread|
|Adding eyelet beading lace, which also covers the raw edges of the flounce|
|Eyelet beading lace attached!|
|A blue satin bow for the finishing touch|
|Side closure with bone button and button-hole|
|The petticoat's fullness is controlled at the back with directional knife pleats and ties in a bias-bound casing. This also allows the wearer to adjust the petticoat to fit a variety of bustle sizes.|
|Decorative flounce mounted on top of skirt, and revealing hemmed petticoat underneath|
Do you like to make your 19th century underclothes pretty, or utilitarian? Next up in the Bustle Era series is either a second petticoat, or onto the skirt and draperies!
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