I’ve been working hard on my Edwardian petticoat – after all, the deadline is tomorrow. Eek! This is the first time I’ve designed a garment and being faced with innumerable choices slowed me down. In the end I solved my dilemma by conveniently discovering I didn’t have enough fabric left over from the bodice to make a complete skirt. That, and realizing that using a pre-made bed ruffle from Goodwill meant the cotton-poly blend would need a bit more support than the semi-sheer bodice fabric could give.
So, like all inspired types who find themselves painted into a creative corner, I punted and made up the rest as I went. And I think it’s working.
I used the remainder of the bodice fabric for the upper portion of the skirt and the cotton body of the bed skirt for the lower part. That allowed me to leave the ruffle attached and not spend time messing around with it.
But the fabrics are distinctly different, both in texture and in color…the bodice fabric is a much whiter white. I have plenty of the vintage beading lace, so I used a round to create a softer transition from one fabric to the other.
Of course, things being as they sometimes are, I seem to have…um…mis-measured a bit.
Fortunately, this is an easy fix. In the end, very few people will notice it…especially since it’s underwear.
Adding beading lace to the lower ruffle, also to create a nicer look, went smoothly…mostly because I’d learned not to cut anything from the spool before it was all sewn in place.
The end result was two even rounds of lace, ready for the ribbon.
To add a bit for heft to the upper portion of the skirt, I doubled the fabric to create a self-facing. Then I whipped it into place and sewed the center front closed up to the opening, adding a small tack at the top end to guard against any damage from tugging while pulling it on overhead.
At last…time to attach the bodice to the skirt. Hooray!
Now, I’m basically lazy enough to avoid duplicate steps whenever possible. It makes up for the time I lose in silly errors, like cutting the beading lace too short. When I decided to self-face the upper portion of the skirt, I deliberately placed the fold at the top edge. That way I could attach the bodice and create the base of the channel for the front drawstring closure at the same time. It gets a bit “fabric-origami-in-space” at this point, but it works.
On your right is the bodice pinned to the skirt. Looks all wrong, doesn’t it? But on your left you can see what happens when the top edge of the petticoat is turned up. By doing it this way, the raw edge of the bodice will be enclosed in the drawstring casing and it’s all done in just two passes of the machine. I’ve used this trick before and it’s an absolute winner.
To finish, I need to complete the casing, add the last of the beading lace, thread the ribbon into place and finish the armholes. They keep changing shape slightly, and for the better, as more weight gets added to the bodice so I saved them for last. And by tomorrow evening I should have a petticoat of my own design…that actually fits. How fab is that?