Jan 13, 2014

HSF '14 - Challenge # 1: Make Do & Mend - An 18th century petticoat

Although my posts are getting behind, in real life I am speeding along in completing a Marie Antoinette dress for my niece's birthday - due second weekend of Feb.

And thankfully I've finally timed it right so I can enter this step as part of the 'Historical Sew Fortnightly' which I have been following on Facebook since last year.

Part of making the MA dress meant sewing a petticoat or underskirt and thanks to the tutorial "An Easy, Authentic Eighteenth Century Petticoat" by Koshka the Cat I was able to make one - two in fact. I made an adult-sized one for myself, which I'm sharing today for the HSF challenge, and I made a child-sized one for my niece, photos of her one to be posted soon.

To construct the petticoat: basically take a huge rectangle of fabric, pleat it down to 70% of total waist, add an apron style waistband and ties. Repeat so you have a front and back. Stitch together at the sides but leave the top 9 inches open. The only thing I altered from Koshka's instructions is I doubled the thickness, pleating down two sheets to give the petticoat extra poof. You can see in the photos, top side and under side, show the two layers of pleating.

bib openings makes it great for sizing!
The Challenge: Historical Sew Fortnightly 2014 - Challenge # 1: Make Do & Mend

Fabric: 1 x stripey polycotton valance, 1 x white polycotton flat bedsheet

Pattern: no pattern required

Year: 1700s

Notions: just thread

How historically accurate is it? Not sure. The shape is accurate, but the materials, let's say...50% and I did sew it on a machine, not by hand...

Hours to complete: 6 at least. Not complicated but bulky!

First worn: not worn yet

Total cost: $3 for valance from Toffs Dunedin, already had the white sheet.

Completed 18th century petticoat


  1. Looks great! Can't wait to see the completed outfit!

  2. How exciting! I would love a Marie Antoinette dress one day! I love the material!

    1. I'm making the MA dress for my niece, but I'll probably give in and make one for myself too ;p

  3. I see yours has the pretty pleat; mine doesn't but then I didn't have the right fabric for that; old sari's don't work so well for pleats, but I love the embroidery.

    1. I love pleating - box pleats are my fav, but knife pleats, so simple and so effective!