Tuesday, 14 May 2013

Corded Petticoat

Several years ago I began working on a corded petticoat, and almost a year and a half ago, just before little B was born, I finished it. As I didn’t have stays that fit me at the time (first being pregnant and then having a post partum figure), and didn’t want to wear the petticoat without that support, I never hade pictures taken of me wearing the petticoat back then. Now, with my new regency stays looking good enough with it, I finally have some pictures!

The petticoat is completely hand sewn, and has 82 rows of cording sandwiched between two layers of fabric. 

As the 1830’s up to the mid 1850’s, when a petticoat such as this would have been worn, isn’t a period I normally do at this time, I wanted the petticoat to fit a large span of waist measurements, so I won’t have to remake it if I happen to be pregnant (or just gained a lot of weight) when the opportunity to wear it comes. 

To accomplish this I pleated the petticoat to a very long waistband, which gathers up on a drawstring. It’s very flexible, without being too clumsy at the waist. 

When wearing it, I pull the gathers toward the back (which I forgot to take a picture of), as I want most fullness there. If it’s a period practice?  No idea. 

The petticoat is not ironed or starched in the pictures, as I won’t be using it in a foreseeable future. When it is, I think it will work very well in giving the skirts a bit of poof.

Making all the cording took quite a bit of time, but I liked the work. I might make an 1820’s corded petticoat in the future, if I decide to make a dress from that decade. I would also like to try weaving a petticoat, as in the majority of cases the cords were woven in, not stitched. As I have neither the skills, the loom, nor the time for it at the moment, it’ll have to wait for a future date.


  1. It turned out so beautiful! 82 rows of handsewn cording - wow!!!
    Even without being starched the petticoat creates a lovely silhouette.


  2. Wow!

    I remember reading past posts of you working on it and being in awe back then, but now I am completely blown away. Seeing it all finished, it just has the perfect look! I like the flexibly sized waistband - what a great idea!

    I do not like starching my petticoats since it just takes so much time and *so much* starch but yours does have a very nice shape even without it. It's perfect.

  3. That is absolutely gorgeous! Looks like a lot of work. It must have taken you ages to stitch all that.

  4. Really, really, really amazing! May I ask what the bottom circumference is? It looks like you nailed the perfect amount of fabric in the petticoat- not so little that you don't get a good poof, but not so much that the excess starts buckling in on itself.

  5. Can't believe I havent answered you kind comments before now! How rude... Thank you all!

    Laced Angel: It's about 2,5 meters wide, which would be a little over 98". It's a little wider than ideal, but this way I could use the full width of the fabric, and whipstitch the neat selvedges together, which made for a very tidy finish.


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