Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Petticoat Waistbands

This post is for you, lovely Lady Jane!

In a prior post about using elastic on Sven's pants, we discussed using elastic on petticoat and forepart waistbands, as they are hidden beneath over-skirts. As my foreparts tend to be quite heavy with beading and such, this is the method I use for making a painless waistband.

This is an example of a cotton broadcloth petticoat with attached forepart, with a flat front and gathered back. This was important, as it must have the circumference to fit over a farthingale and bumroll, but still be flat in the front so that the forepart lays smoothly. I backed my fashion brocade with cotton canvas so that it would be stiff enough not to sag from beading, as well as to hide farthingale hoop lines. I then beaded it and attached it to the petticoat. I hid the raw seams under strips of grosgrain ribbon, rather than adding bulk beneath the forepart by folding it under. This technique is straight out of Margo Anderson's patterns; I cannot take credit.

The waistband is where I deviate from Margo's instructions. She recommends sandwiching the skirt between two strips of grosgrain ribbon. I have done this in the past, and my seams were too sloppy for this to be satisfactory for me. With practice, perhaps it would work. I chose to take a wide strip of grosgrain about two inches longer than my waist measurement, and fold it in half. I pressed the ribbon to create a crisp line, and then sandwiched the petticoat within the ribbon and sewed it close to the edge. This way, I only had to sew one line rather than two. I finished the petticoat with skirt hooks using the excess ribbon length as an overlap. This is helpful in the event of weight fluctuation as additional hook "eyes" can be added easily.

Navy Blue Velvet Gown