Saturday, May 4, 2013

A Look at an Original 19th C. Petticoat

Happy weekend all! 

Today, I wanted to share with you an original petticoat. My educated assessment is that it is in the late 70's, natural form style. It is narrow and flat-fronted, with the telltale tie-back. It is walking length. A similar, modern pattern in the same style would be the Truly Victorian Fantail Skirt (TV225), sans train. The same pattern I have been working with for a skirt and petticoat this week. 

When I start a project, in an era I'm unfamiliar with, I love to hunt for an original item or two to study. This was a great find, since I rarely have seen this style of petticoat up for sale. An interesting thing about this piece, which I haven't seen a whole lot of in later Victorian petticoats, is it is entirely hand stitched.

And now, pictures. Lots and lots.


Close up, you can see the waist yoke,
a buttonhole mid-waist and a tuck,
usually used to adjust the length.


Note how the drawstring keeps the skirt slim around
the legs, while the excess fabric in the back
allows for ease of walking.

Back view.

Take note of the interesting drawstring treatment at the waist.
The string runs through a channel, passes over it's self across the back
and exits the channel. When the wearer pulls on the cord,
the back gathers up and the cord is tied in the front.

The drawstring channel at the back of the knees.

Below the channel is a stitching line that runs the circumference
of the skirt.  Perhaps there was once a ruffle attached here.
If it had been a tuck, there would be two rows of stitching.

Here you can see the inside seams (french) and the hem turned up.
A small trim of lace is hand stitched to the hem.

Front view.

Detail of the tuck.

At the center front, there is a button hole. 

Inside view of darning on the skirt front.
Exterior view.

Detail of the back waist channel.

At the side. Left is front yoke, back is channel.

Detail of what is presumably the wearer's initials,
"JJ" in pink thread, in a very, very small cross stitch.

Detail of stitching on the back panel.

Detail of stitching on tuck and panel.
Back side of skirt.

The drawstring used is a 1/2" herringbone weave cotton,
similar to a modern shoelace, but much finer and thinner.

Detail of lace and stitching.