Apr 16, 2013

Project Petticoat: Stage One

In making an 1860s outfit the secret to getting the skirt 'poofing' nicely is a Cage Crinoline. As the name implies it was just that - a cage - made of graduating hoops which were strapped on with the under garments. A revolution in its day this contraction held aloft a lady's skirts, maintaining the fashionable dome-shape, while also reducing the weight and freeing the legs from being entangled in multiple layers of cloth petticoats.

Dresses in the 1850s were supported by a round hoop system but by the 1860s the fashionable silhouette had become elliptical, flatter at the front with the skirts swooping out behind.

There are plenty of great companies out there that still make crinolines/patterns today, like Truly Victorian.
But they're way over in America, and as I'm not too concerned about this being historically accurate construction-wise, I figure why not try and make my own?

My starting plan is to make a hybrid Petticoat Crinoline - basically a boned petticoat. I've been experimenting with mocking one up using a striped sheet that I sewed in channels for boning. 

Project Petticoat - First Mock-up

I think if I pad the hips with my bustle pad the shape will be OK, but I can see from this test run I'm going to have to make it much, much bigger. The bottom hoop has a 2 metre diameter. I think I need to make about 3 metres. Epp! SO MUCH FABRIC!

Good thing I bought a huge calico curtain from Toffs for only $2 - as pictured on the washing line. Have to wait and see how it turns out...
Project Petticoat - stage 2: Build it Bigger

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