Sunday, November 4, 2012

Quilted Petticoat in an afternoon

Planning for an event this spring, I wanted to have something warm.  We were going to a rendezvous near Mount Shasta in California and I knew some days could be chilly.  I have long wanted a quilted petticoat and plan to make one the old-fashioned way some day.  I actually love quilting.  I find it restful.  Naturally I didn't have time for that this spring, so I decided to cheat.  I found a pretty twin size quilt in pale yellow at TJ Max for about $29.  I bought some bias binding in yellow and tootled on home from town to get started.  The quilting was acceptable for the period, tulip shapes and leaves.  I cut off the border from all sides as I didn't like the way that would look in the petticoat, it really would have screamed bed spread.  That still left a goodly portion and I liked the way there was cording in the edge at the top and bottom after the border was cut off, I felt it would weight the hem nicely.  So I cut a section out of the middle and then used the two remaining rectangles.  I flipped one piece around so that their patterns were running in the same direction and joined their sides together leaving an 8" section unsewn at the top for pocket slits.  After joining both sides, I flat felled the seams with twill tape so that no raw edges would be exposed with batting spilling out.  I bound the edge of the pocket slit with narrow double fold bias tape and the hem with wide double fold.  I wanted to control the bulk somewhat so I pleated down the waist leaving the center front flat for about 8".  To get the pleats to lie well, I topstitched them down about 3".  Then I bound the waist with wide double fold bias leaving it open at the ends for a casing.  I can then run a tape through the casing to tie the skirt on.  I prefer to run it through the front half of the waist and then bring each side through the back casing and around again to the front so I only have to tie once.  I find that is the best for me and feels comfortable and stays snug all day.  I find the tie twice skirts not so comfortable.  Either way is correct to period so I guess it is a personal choice and I am sure there were many other ways as well.  Here are photos showing some of the construction:

Here is a close view of some of the quilting design
 I was quite pleased with the resultant petticoat.  I was a little nervous that I might look like a walking bed.  When one is generously proportioned, one must be careful not to resemble furniture! 
I had some lovely fabric in my stash that I had picked up a while back in Portland.  I do most of my fabric shopping there.  We have nothing here locally but that store that starts with a J and there isn't much selection there.  My family have learned to plan a day without me when we are in Portland so that I can fabric shop in peace.  Some times my girls enjoy a fabric day, but even they don't have the longevity required for serious fabric shopping.  Only my little Amy understands, she is as much a fabraholic as I.  Amy is my oldest daughter's best friend, they have been together since grasshopper days.  We sewed all together when they were younger and I taught her some, she went on to be a design major at Oregon State and I am very proud of her.  Which is not to say I am not proud of my own two girls, I will brag endlessly about them I am sure in days to come.  Sufficient unto the day, as they say, is the brag thereof. 
Well, enough of this digression.  In my stash I had a lovely Indienne print in yellows, rusts and such that would compliment the pale yellow nicely.  I had recently purchased Period Impressions 1760-1770 Jacket patten and was dying to try it.  I cut size 28 which put it in the 3X size range.  I did find a flaw in the drafting of my pattern where the jacket front does not properly meet the jacket back at the neckline.  This was easily corrected by adding a slight curve out and extending the shoulder area somewhat.  I found this when I made my muslin, at first I thought you should ease the two together, however, they cannot do so and the neckline ends up wrong.  The pattern needed to be corrected.  If someone knows who makes these maybe you can let them know that the Queen pattern is not right.  I could only find vendors who sell the patterns, not who designs them on line.  I wish at the price you pay for these patterns they could be more careful.  The jacket went together easily, however, you need to correct the bottom edge after assembly, the pieces do lay properly when they are trimmed to an even curve.  I fastened the front with hooks and eyes, but wanted to add more for security's sake and interest.  I find that busty gals seem to have hooks and eyes part ways easily in the wearing.  If you have some tips for avoiding this problem, I'd love to hear them.  I have tried several, reversing the direction every other hook and such, nothing seems to work unless you have an additional fastening.  So I use the hooks and eyes now to take the main stress of closing and a light addition on top to help the hooks stay fastened, such as ties or lacing.  I did a decorative cross lacing on the front of this jacket, using a jewelry bail for pendants, to lace through-
I have been pleased over all with the results from this pattern and would make the jacket again.  They do have a couple of their other patterns in this size, I hope they will extend the range on more of their patterns.  In a couple afternoons, I had a comfortable and pretty new outfit.



 So what does a girl do with all the free time she ends up having by making things so easily?  Why add a hat to the ensemble, ofcourse!  I reworked a cheap hat from the dollar store to have a low crown and used the braid I took out to cover a wire in the brim so I could get a nice shape and put on some ribbon trim.

So go forth my children and quilt (kinda) yourself a petticoat in an afternoon!

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