Saturday, May 21, 2016

HSM 16 #5: A Plethora of Petticoats

I couldn't resist the alliteration.

I really don't know how to pose with such wide hips yet...
I've managed all but one of the HSM challenges so far this year, but I didn't have good pictures or enough to say to warrant a blog post. But hooray, I do for May! I've been buzzing away on undergarments for my trip to Versailles this month, including two under-petticoats (one an outer-petticoat for a future ensemble). Today I'm adding my visible outer-petticoat to the "complete" list! Hooray!

The outer petticoat is silk on the front and cotton on the back to save my expensive fabric for where it will be visible (as seen on several originals). It is constructed similarly to my two under-petticoats, following Katherine's awesome tutorial. The only difference is that this petticoat is wider (in retrospect, possibly too wide) and is trapezoidal so it narrows towards the top to remove some bulk at the waist.

petticoat under my gown in progress
This week we had a sewing and hair party, and worked on our projects for the trip. It was the first time I tried getting my hair to hilariously tall heights and powdered it. It's not quite there yet, but this was very good practice! The powder (from LBCC Historical) was much easier to use than I'd expected, so that was good. I was able to try everything on with the hair to see the scale, which was also's nice to hit the point of in progress where things can go on my body.

the towel on the floor was my powdering station--it gets everywhere!
I'm entering my petticoats as my Historical Sew Monthly item for May for the theme "holes" because they have holes for pockets formed by the two pocket slits in the side seams. This was my first time making pocket slits/thinking about room for pockets, so they felt like very noticeable holes to me! (Also, as a disclaimer, the outer petticoat isn't finished in these pictures, but it has been finished since then!)

contemplating everything...
Just the facts:

The Challenge: Holes
Material: Silk (for visible front of petti #3) and cotton (for everything else)
Pattern: None, but used Katherine's tutorial (link above)
Year: 1760s
Notions: thread, twill tape for waist ties
How historically accurate is it? Partly sewn on machine (everything not visible), but all the other materials and methods are good. I'll say 80%?
Hours to complete: Many...4 episodes of RuPaul's Drag Race and two or three of Agents of Shield.
First worn: for fittings! Will be worn for an event on the 31st at Versailles
Total cost: we'll say 2 yards or so of silk at $8/yd, plus the cotton for the back and under-pettis...around $40.


  1. That certainly qualifies as a plethora of pettis! Congrats on making such great progress for your Versailles trip! Everything is looking fantastic and I can't wait to see the finished ensemble.

  2. The hair looks great! You just need a model ship or a bird cage... ; )