The way I started this costume is with the correct under garments. Since I already have a set of stays from 1750 I will use those. No need to make an extra set if I don’t need a different size.
I don’t have an image of my materials for either petticoats. As they were all from my stash. They were all re-washed and ironed before I began to use them. Which ironing nine yards of cotton sateen wasn’t the most fun I’ve had on this project.
I used the same directions for both petticoats. So I will post either sets of pictures next to each other, if it applies to both, or the picture that has the better quality. With the Petticoat I found a cotton lace skirt that I never finished adding the waistband too. It already had the frilly lace on the end of it. It belonged to an unfinished project that will never get done at this point. Lost interest.
Here are my measurements I used as guidelines.
For the under petti, the one that I used cotton sateen for, I wanted to use a circle skirt for the top portion. But in my error of judgement I shouldn’t have used cotton sateen for it. I realized after I cut it out that it would get to heavy with all those yards of ruffles added to it.
The base ruffle was 9 yards, the middle layer was half that. The top layer was just a circle skirt, that I then took a rectangle out of all 4 circle skirts and attached it to another length of rectangle. I’ll show that in a picture a little later.
Where I start in any petticoat is the bottom ruffle. I hemmed the ruffle edge, or if I use lace I don’t hem it. Depending on the thickness of the fabric I used will depend on if I will ruffle or pleat it. With the thickness of the cotton I used for the under petti, I pleated it. If you ruffled this petticoat the ruffles create too much of a poof at the bottom, and that isn’t the look I am going for.
This is how the under petti looked like in this stage. The section that connects to the waistband is on the top. The two smaller rectangles on each are from the circle skirt, but the center pieces are from the leftovers I would have had. I still needed to gather/pleat down to fit the upper tier.
For the petticoat with lace I had the fabric sewn shut already. I laid them flat and marked pins on the edges, then fold in half and mark pins in the center on either side. Sew up the top tier to the kind of waistband closure you will have. Mine will be a drawstring waistband which means I need to leave the top 6 inches open while the rest below the opening is sewn. See below.
When you do this it is easier to pleat or gather. Because of the fragile quality of the cotton lace I pleated that as well as the cotton sateen.
Prepare the waistband before you go any further. Interface the rectangles for both petticoats and then sew them together on one end. Not both since it is a drawstring.
Since my under petticoat had two layers to it, I straight stitched them together before I pleated it down to attach to the waistband.
Attaching both petticoats to the waistband I used the same method. Sew the waistband to the top tier with right sides together. You don’t need to finish the seam at all because we will be folding the other side over encasing all raw edges. Iron down the free edge of the waistband a half inch inward. This will create the finished edge on the inside of the fabric as well.
I folded the ironed edge inward a little below the seam of the waistband that I attached the skirt with. This way I can use a straight stitch from the front of the fabric and stitch in the ditch between the waistband and skirt.
After that was finished I realized I would like to add a little unnecessary stitching to the waistband. I selected a pretty looking stitch on my machine and stitched 2/8″ away from the seam.
The last step that remained was to thread a piece of grosgrain ribbon though the waistband and try them on. Here is the finished look. On my mannequin the ends don’t always touch. On me they do touch and the bottom one overlaps a little which is completely fine with me.
That is all for now. I hope you enjoyed reading about the petticoat process. Albeit it isn’t the most exciting thing you can be sewing. But some petticoats can be so pretty it is a shame that they aren’t seen. These aren’t the best I have made, but I do enjoy them. And hope they are great for the purpose of this costume. Even though Belle is only seen wearing one petticoat, and that is striped, I wasn’t too keen on purchasing fabric for a petticoat that can only be seen when lifted or peeking out of the bottom.
I used two, a full petticoat and the decorative one that you see peeking out of the skirt. Not all bad in a weeks worth of work. The chemise and bloomers will be next.
If you have any questions feel free to ask.