Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Making a Regency Petticoat

The petticoat bodice combines the petticoat with a sort of short stays; but for use with my long stays and chemise, I need an actual petticoat.

Period Petticoats:
Early 1820s petticoat from the Museum of Fine Arts Boston.
 Petticoat, c. 1820-1825, MFA
Early 19th century petticoat, from The Met.
Petticoat, early 19th century
from The Met.

Early 19th century petticoat, front and back view, from janeausten.co.uk.
Petticoat, early 19th century, janeausten.co.uk,
also featured on 
The Oregon Regency Society,
but an original post with context has not been found.

The petticoat is basically a skirt.  Given that the stylish "waist" of the period falls at the underbust, the petticoat may have shoulder straps to hold it in place, or even an abbreviated sort of bodice.  The two (admittedly not closely-dated) examples with back views show significantly more gathering at the back of the petticoat than at the front, with what may be a drawstring or tie fastening the center back.  The description of the MFA (bodiced) petticoat mentions waist and neckline drawstrings and a tie closure at the back.

For my petticoat, I cut a rectangle of white cotton 45" x 90"; sewed it into a tube, leaving a 12" opening at the top back; and hemmed the bottom (1.5" doubled).  I then gathered upper edge by hand, prepared a waistband to my underbust measurement (measured over the corset), and enclosed the raw edge of skirt in the waistband.  While doing so, I concentrated the gathers towards the back, as with the bodiced petticoat--ie, half of the skirt gathered to the back quarter of the waistband.  Twill tape ties fasten the center back; this seemed easier than a button closure for dressing oneself.  Shoulder straps of twill tape are attached to the waistband.
Reproduction Regency petticoat with shoulder straps.

Reproduction Regency petticoat, full gathered back with tape closure.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for commenting!