New patterns

My wove not to purchase so much fabric this year, are going according to plan (I’ve only cheated once (or twice if you count Buckram as fabric)).

What I didn’t take into account was the ever growing temptation to splurge on patterns instead…

Since I mostly make my own pattern (draft or drape) I just recently discovered the allure of already tested, well researched beautiful historical patterns. Who can resist them?

And into the rabbit hole we go…

Lynn McMasters 1850-1860s summer hatIMG_6474

Lynn McMasters 1860s BonnetIMG_6475Yep, I got some serious millinery planed.

Past Patterns mid 19th century staysIMG_6476By now you’d probably guest my next big project…

Truly Victorian 1865 Eliptical Cage CrinolineIMG_6477Yes, 1860s costume (followed by at least two crinoline appropiet events) coming this spring/summer.

Laughing Moon Wrapping front Spencer IMG_6478This wil be the year I make one of these (I hope)

Truly Victorian 1880s Hat Frame IMG_6479

Truly Victorian 1887 Alexandra BodiceIMG_6480Hopefully I can squeeze in (out?) an 1880s bustle outfit as well this summer.

Wearing History Edwardian BlouseIMG_6481

Wearing History 1910s suitIMG_6482

Wearing History 1879 Pompadour Dinner BodiceIMG_6483

Wearing History Smooth Sailing Pants and BlouseSmoothSailingPatternCover(Apparently I forgot to take a picture of this one, so here are one I stole from google)

Another of my recent buys are a drawing/Inspiration book which hopefully will keep all my costuming sketches in order – instead of on random scraps of paper and receipt.IMG_6487


Here I can penn down both my sketches/ideas and fabric recommendation, event dates and what I will need to complete the outfit (shoes, glows, petticoats ect. IMG_6484

IMG_6485I even started on a sewing diary for each costume.

Now it’s back to sewing.

1850s & 1880s underwear – photoshoot

Last weekend after finishing all the 19th century underwear for the HSF 12 and 13, I talked my boyfriend into helping me take som photos.

He agreed on condition we waited until there were breaks in the fotball games on Tv.
This turned the photoshoot into 3 hectic periods of shooting and then 45 min of down time in between (where I took the time to change clothes and re-arrange the settings), making the whole process drag out through the evening and not being finished untill midnight.

Anyhow here it is – And a warning: This is a picture heavy post.

I started by arranging some settings in my bedroom.IMG_9418 - kopiaShawl, petticoat and skirt.

And some boxes, juwvelry, glowes nad fans on my drawer.IMG_9418Then we were ready.

Starting with the 19th century chemise.IMG_9449








Then I put on my 19th century corset and the new 1880s bustle.IMG_9476










Then it was time to re-arrange the settings, and time tavel back another 30 years to 1850s. IMG_9593I hung my plaid green 1840s dress combined with a shawl and petticoat on the wardrobe door.

And placed my 1840s velvet bonnet on the table together with a lace fan, some faux flowers and juwvelry. IMG_9603

I keept the basic underwear like chemise and corset, but changed my shoes and stockings. And then I put on my new 1850s cage crinoline.IMG_9561







And lastly I put on my new cotton petticoat. IMG_9555







IMG_9544Bouncy buttom.

IMG_9542So there you have it, 4 HSF items in one photoshoot.
Well actally the corset, brown bonnet, and green plaid dress are HSF items as well.

1880s Evening Layering

If you been reading my blog you would know about the 1880s evening gown I made for the bal at the opera late january. You might also know all about the underwear, corset and petticoat I struggeled to get finished in time for the event.

But I thougt I would show them again in a more structured way.

So today on the “Layering series” (I already done: 1750s, 1810s and 1840s) I will show you all the clothing of a Victorian ladys evening attyre.

So here we go.

IMG_5795 As always we begin fully dressed in gown, cape/cloak and muff.

IMG_5801 Then we remove the outerwear, to find the evening outfit compleat with glowes, juwelery and fan. You might also be carrying an evening bag or some other accessories.

IMG_5813 Removing the accessories we are still fully dressed in our tight fitting gown. The train is almost mandetory for  evening gowns, but not worn on everyday dresses.

IMG_5819 Then we take of the gowns bodice (in this case the bodice are attached to the train, in other gowns the train might be separate and are removed after the bodice), and reveal the compleat apron and some of the corset-cover. The apron was a nice fashion detail used during the late part of the 19th century. Women wore the apron style both to evening, day and sport dresses.

IMG_5827Then we unfasten the apron and get a good wiew of the highly decorated skirt.

IMG_5831 And removing the skirt we find the petticoat with it’s ruffeled backpanel, and the corset-cover – being just a regular tank top at this point (since I haven’t gotten around to make a real one yet). The purpse of both the petticoat and the corset-cover is to smoothen and hide the sharp edges from the foundation wear, and to help give the desired silouett.

IMG_5843Yet another layer is removed and we find the bustle. There are several variations of bustles out there. I wear a relativly smal “Lobster” bustle, but you can just as easerly go bigger or smaler using different styles. (I even know about ladys who use one of there 18th century pocket hoops tied to the back.)

IMG_5851 And finaly, after removing the bustle and the corset-cover we find the un-mentionables – the corset, chemise, bloomers, stockings and shoes. The purpose for the undewear are (of course) to keep the finer clothes free from dirt. The corset was used to both mold the body to fashionable shape and to give the gown a nice ad smoth base on which to be worn.

Many people can get quite upset when it comes to discussing corsets, and admittedly some ladys of the victorian age did tight lace, but they where rare exeptions, and most women wore their corsets as bust and back support, and as mentioned, to get a smooth look on their clothes.

So that was that.

And as you can se it still comes back to the same basic clothing items (underwear, shapewear, gown and accessories) during so manny of the different periods.

1880s Green Bustle Skirt

I’ve been working non stop on my opera gown for the 1880s bal (I know I said this many times before), and once the trained bodice was finished I could finaly start on the skirt.

39.384 0002After some thinking I decided I would need a good and strong foundation to hold all the fabric madnes on this skirt. So I decided to make a straight skirt out of a cotton sheet, which would serve as both lining and interlining for the tucks and pleats.

The next thing was to separate the different elements of the skirt into smaler sections.

39.384 0002The part in the middle seams like it have been boxpleated at the top and bottom and then left lose, giving it a bit of a over-hang. And since I would avoid any extra bulk at the waist, I decided to start the pleating a bit farther down the skirt.

39.384 0002This part looks like gatered stripes attached to a foundation. And this part would also have to start a bit from the waist, and be attached at a diagonal angel.

39.384_side_CP4The boxpleated hem are a no brainer. A decorative hem stiched on beneath the poufines of the middle section.

So I started by making the cotton foundation, using a cheap bed-sheet. Then I brought out my fabric – a dark pistage green cotton sateen with a beautiful sheen to it.IMG_5173

I draped the top of the skirt and basted it to the white cotton, using it as interlining.IMG_5179

Then I cut the skirt lenghts and used the whole widh of the fabric to get some nice looking pleats. I sewed it on to the white cotton in a straight line, and then cut it down to the diagonal drape.IMG_5185

I pinned it to the dressform to get a feel of how it would look.IMG_5186The pleats at the bottom, and the slightly to long fabric makes the skirt drape nicely over the hem.

Then I did the same with the back pieceIMG_5189

Pinning the upper pleats straight on the dressform.IMG_5190

Now it was time for the diagonal ruching. Cutting 15 cm whide stripes.IMG_5170

Then sewing them togheter and attaching a gathering thread at the seam.IMG_5298


Then I pinned and gathered the ruched fabric to the skirt base.IMG_5303

And hand stiched them in place.IMG_5305

Then I sewed the front and back piece togheter and put it on for the first time.IMG_5309

It looks pretty decent.IMG_5315

I really like the look of the front ruching, but I think I should have used a bit more fabric on the back. IMG_5326

Then the last step was to finished the waist and to boxpleat the strip of fabric for the decoration on the hem.IMG_5328

And finished:IMG_5387







The Facts:

What: A 1880s bustle skirt (to be worn with the 1880s evening bodice).

Pattern: None – draped my own.

Fabric: 4m of dark pistage green cotton sateen, and 2m cotton bedsheet for interlining.

Notions: Thread, strong thread for gathering, hook and eye.

Time: 10 hours (the pleating and gathering took forever).

Cost: 300 Sek (45Usd).

Things I would Change: I would have liked the diagonal draping to have started a bit higher and been a bit wider, also for the back draping to be a bit fuller. This was not an option though, since I used up every sckrap of fabric as it was. Perhaps I also should have made the entire skirt a bit slimmer.

Final thoughts: I’m happy with it, but feel it would be difficult to wear combined with a train-les bodice, since the back of the skirt is a bit of a rushjob. But overall the skirt looks nice.

(And finaly (you have all been so patient): I will show you pics from the bal in my next post)

1880s Evening Gown – Sewing & Construction

In my last post I told you about my trouble with the pattern for my opera gown. Now I will tell you about the sewing and construction of it, and also show you the finished gown (bodice and train only).IMG_5007

So after I got the mock-up to fit properly I brought out my fashion fabric. The dress is made in a polyester golden brocade, which both feels and behaves a lot like silk. IMG_5304

I bought 6 m of it on sale before christmas, and now it was time to lay it out on the floor. IMG_4980

I also cut the lining, adjusting the lenght of the train to the 4 m long ivory cotton. IMG_4987

The different layers (lining, fashion fabric, interlining (cotton twill) and paper pattern piece).IMG_4988

Then I marked all the darts (as usual being very bad at marking the notches), and basted al the layers together. IMG_4989

I recently learnt a new trick, on how to sew darts on fabric and interlinning which I wanted to try. You simply baste the layers close to the darts, then sew inside the dart, very close to the original sewing-line.

IMG_5000 IMG_5001

This way you can easy get a nice looking dart without any bulk, and the stiching won’t show once the dart is sewn.

I then sewed the whole bodice together, and dressed in corset and bustle for a try on. IMG_5021

IMG_5032 IMG_5044

Hm, not great. Some changes are needed. Like taking the armhole and shoulder seams in a bit. I also need to re-shape the front a bit, and make the neck opening a bit lower and bigger.

Once all the changes was made, it was time for the buttonholes. I started by practice on a piece of scrap fabric, and it looks pretty decent (if you ignore the green thread).IMG_5070

So, on to the real deal. Marking the spaces and finish covering the buttons.IMG_5076

The buttonholes took about 3 hours (guess I’ve becoming faster), and when finished I sewed on the buttons. I’m really pleased with the way the front bodice looks, and are happy I took the time and money to buy 5 extra buttons. IMG_5079

Then I pinned and sewed on some boning chanels (made from leftover cotton stripes) and put the cable ties in.IMG_5086

Then I once again got dressed to try it on.

IMG_5090 IMG_5106

And even though it fit much better now, it still needed to be reduced a bit at the shoulders.

But the waist and the front clouser looked fantastic (if I may say so myself).IMG_5122

Now it was time to make the piping for the neckline. I used a cotton cord and some leftover fashion fabric (cut on the straight grain).IMG_5125

Pinning those pesky corners, making sure they look neat, and cuting the seam allowence to get the piping laying smoothly.IMG_5124

Then I sewed on the lining. I folded the allowence and sewed it on by hand at the neckline/collar and buttonhole stand.IMG_5127

Then I started on the back pleats. Using the pattern as a guide and treating the two layers (fabric and lining) as one, box-pleating the three back seams.IMG_5128I then attached the pleats to the bodice sewing into the interling by hand.

Next up was the lenght – cuting and heming the train.IMG_5145

After sewing the lining to the train from the inside, I snipped the seam-allowence, IMG_5148

and pressed them flat, making sure the lining was a couple of mm smaler, les it would peek out.IMG_5149

Heming the train would have been an easy step, if I’ve cut the lining long enough. But no, I had to skrimp on the fabric, leaving me no other choise but to piece the train (using scraps) to the desired lengt.IMG_5457

Then I mesured/draped the train to get the right placement on the laces for the “poufines” in the bustle back.IMG_5451

When wearing the dress you simply tie the stings together to get the right lenght on the train. IMG_5454

When the bodice was finished I brought out the fabric I saved for the apron, and got to work draping it on the dressform.

IMG_5138 IMG_5136

I also decided the dress needed some more decoration. And finding this fringe trim the day before the bal caused me to re-visit the sewing machine, and using 8 m of it on the hem of the bodice, train and apron. IMG_5247(And since this was a last minute change, I haven’t got any picture of the trimmed dressed).

Even with the dress finished I’m not totaly happy with the neckline – the fabric is being pulled in some ugly directions at the neck, caused by some fiting trouble.IMG_5363But It is to late to do anything about it now, and the bal room will be faily dark…

So here it is, the finished dress/bodice.IMG_5412



IMG_5152Train un-draped


IMG_5156 IMG_5160

Train draped leaving the sides straight/down, and then with sides tied up.

IMG_5166Train totaly draped (walking lenght).



What: A 1880s trained evening bodice.

Pattern: Truly Victorian 462 (totaly re-modeled)

Fabric: 6 m golden polyester brocade, 4 m ivory cotton lining, 0,5 m ivory cotton twill for interlining.

Notions: Thread, buttonhole thread, 15 buttons (which I covered in fabric), 2 m string for piping, 3 m string for busteling/draping the train, 8 plastic cable ties for boning, 2 m self made cotton bias tape for boning chanels, 8 m brown fringe trim.

Time: 25 hours

Cost: About 800 Sek (120 Usd)

Things I would do Different: I would definitely have draped my own pattern, and taken the time to do multiple mock-ups to get the fit over the shoulders and neck just right. I will also have changed the lines of the side/back piece which curved shape now causes it to pull a bit. And re-placed the straight boning with spiral boning in the curved side/back seam, for the same puporse.

Final Thoughts: I love the dress. I think it is cool yet elegant and I did get lots of compliments on it at the bal. The unusal neckline makes it so interesting and viasualy pleasing.

I would love to wear it again – perhaps at a steampunk convention, paired with brown throusers and some cool accessories.

1880s Evening Gown – Pattern Trouble

I’ve been so busy finishing my opera gown, that there’s been no time to blog about the process – and really, I didn’t want to spoil it and show it of here (in the unlikely case someone at the bal, read this before the big night).

But now the night has past and I can tell you all about my trials and errors in the making of the gown.

As some of you might know I decided to make myself a gow similar to this one, to wear at the “Oskarsbal” late januay.39.384 000239.384_side_CP4

I almost jumped up and down finding the perfect pattern online and decided to buy it, instead of draping/drafting my own, thinking I would save some time and effort.

IMG_4854Truly Victorian 462 had the perfect neck opening, and the train extended from the bodice back piece without a seam. Exactly like my inspiration gown.

So I took my mesurments, and drafted the pattern from the pattern sheets, without any alterantion.

IMG_4851 IMG_4857

I cut and sewed a mock-up, and then I laced myself into the corset, doned the bustle and petticoat and tried it on.

IMG_4859And it was huge!

IMG_4861 IMG_4875

I mean look at that – so increadable large, not even the shoulders fitted, and that sleeve – I could get two arms down that sleeve.

IMG_4862 IMG_4866

What the heck went wrong?

I went back to the pattern, and quickly discovered that I’ve drafted the wrong size (no brainer), following the lines on the wrong side of the intended letter, thous drafting one size to big. And since I’ve wanted to stay true to the pattern, I didn’t think of controling the mesurments before cuting the mock-up (stupid).

But it seems to me there is way to much widht to acomodate only one size. I doubt there is about 30cm in differens between sizes. Ok, I don’t know, but somewhere it went wrong, and the only thing to do is to try to fix it.

Being in a bit of a rush, and not trusting the pattern anymore, I decided not to draft another pattern in the correct size, but to try to adjust the current mock-up to fitt.

I started by pining away 6cm in each side seam, and 4 at center back. I also pinned a 3 cm vertical tuck on the backpiece to acomodate my erect posture.


Then I put it back on. (I’ve been doing all this thinking and pinning still wearing my undergarments).

IMG_4909 IMG_4890


So much better. But still some thing needed to be altered. So I made the front 4cm smaler, took out a bit on the shoulders, and made the neck opening a bit bigger.

I then transfered the alterations to the pattern, moving the mesurments around a bit to get a good spread at the different seams. IMG_4929(Everything outside the lines are to be cut of)

Then I re-cut the mock-up and sewed it up again.


IMG_4937 IMG_4943

Now we talking.

And before I took it of I cut some of the neckline and put on my long opera glowes, just to get a feel for how it would look.IMG_4921

I even tryed to drape the bustle, but I guess it’s easier to do when you’r not wearing it…IMG_4913

All this fiddeling and messing around with the pattern set me back almost a whole day. So with now only 6 days left to the bal it was time to move on to the sewing.

An Innovative Corset

For the HSF nr 3 this year: Innovation, I knew I needed to make something usable for the up-coming bal. And since you can’t make a balgown without the right foundation wear, I decided to use this challenge to make a 1880s corset.

I re-used the 1880s corset pattern from Nora Waughs Corset and Crinolines. (I prevously made a black corset from this pattern for my sister). 1880 waugh

I started by adding some extra widht to the pattern to bring it closer to my measurments.IMG_4330

Then I cut it out in a sturdy cotton bedsheet,IMG_4335

sewed it together and tried it on.

IMG_4338 IMG_4344

It fits suprisengly well. The only thing that needs to be changed is to take out a bit on the top back, to get a more even lacing, and to re-shape the bottom front to make the curve over the stomach nice and smoot.IMG_4359

Then it was time to bring out all the fabric and notions. (here I got: a cream cotton sateen, a cream cotton interlining, a busk, lots of plastic bonning, thread, the pattern, grommets and lacing cord).IMG_4368

Then I cut the fabric, basted on the interlining and marked the space for the piping, and sewed them in.IMG_4364

IMG_4375 IMG_4373

Close-up of the piping, sewn in green button-hole thread.IMG_4377

Then I sewed the pieces together twice – for strengt.IMG_4370

Setting the busk using awls to get the studds through the fabric without ripping it. IMG_4387

And leaving holes while sewing to get the eyes through.IMG_4381

I made lots of self fabric bias trim to use as boning chanels.IMG_4397

Sewing them on from the outside.IMG_4400

And snipping the seam-allowence on the inside.IMG_4403

When the gromets, the busk and the boning chanels (no bonning yet) are done, its time for the lining. I choose a light green cotton lining from my stash.IMG_4411

Corset with lining sewn on – before turning.IMG_4416

The lining sewn in. (One side turned and pressed, and the other one still in-side-out).IMG_4422

Now it’s time for the boning. If you put them in to early you will have big trouble with lining and sewing.

This is what I used for boning. (Left to right: Heavy pliers, methal pipe cleaners, electrical tape (to cower the sharp edges on the metal), plastic cable ties, siccor and plastic whale bone).IMG_4438

As you can se I used all of my three boning options on different parts of the corset. Using the strongest (metal) ones close to the lacing, and the regular cable ties in the boning chanels, and then using the softer syntetic whalebone in between.IMG_4444

Then I grabbed my finishing/decoration kit (green cotton bias tape, white cotton lace, green button hole thread and cord for  piping (which I did in my first few steps).IMG_4436

Cutting the un-even top and bottoms of the corset, IMG_4426

and then attaching the bias tape.IMG_4431

At this point it was time for me to stop working on the corset, and leave it for a couple of weeks.

You see, I started this project begining of december, since I needed to have the corset to be able to start on my opera gown. And since the HSFs rules says that no item should be finished more then 6 weeks before the challenge du date, I needed to paus sewing for a while. And since it was only the decorations left, the corset was fully functional and could still be used to build my gown upon.







IMG_4655 IMG_4667



So, last week (3 days before the grand bal) I finaly had the time to finish it.

By now I had tried it on several times, and had realised the bust needed to be re-shaped to get a smoother look. So I ripped some of the bias tape of, re-cut the top and stiched the bias tape back on.IMG_4716

Then I decorated it with the white lace and some green flossing.

And finaly Finished:IMG_5281








Just the Facts:

Challenge: nr 2 – Innovations

What: A 1880s Corset

Innovation: The 1880s was known for it’s innventions (actually the whole 19th century was). My item can both represent the whole era, or the new style of hourglas figure and bustled skirts made fashionable and  avalaible thue to both the steel manufacturer, and the comercial sewing factories. Some relativly new innventions in the 1880s corset was: The split busk, the metal gromets and the steel boning – all innvented during the 19th century.

Pattern: Nora Waugh “1880s corset” from Corset and Crinolines.

Fabric: 0,5 m ivory cotton sateen, 0,5 m ivory cotton lawn and 0,5 m light green cotton.

Notions: A 33 cm planchett, ivory thread, green buttonhole thread, 30 silver gromets, 4m cotton string for piping, 4 m ivory cotton laces, ca 10 m of boning (2,5 m steel, 8 heavy duty cable ties and 3 m syntetic whalebone), 2 m green biastape and 1 m ivory lace.

How Historical Accurate: Pretty good. The pattern’s correct and the sewing machine was widly used by this time, even though I’m not sure of the right assebly tecniques. The material used are accurate, part from the plastic bonning. So maybe 7/10.

Time: About 10 hours

Cost: 400kr (44Usd) (all those notions make it so expensive).

First worn: On January 25 for a grand bal (Oskarsbalen), and then a few days later for a photoshoot.

Final Thoughts: It tured out great. It’s quite comfortable (even after a couple of dancing hours) and stil gives me the desired hourglas figure. I think this will be my “go to” corset for many costumes.

1880s Evening Hairstyle

The “accessory” for my 1880s evening gown which caused my head to hurt most was the head itself. Who the h-l do you get a lovely opera style hairdo with my short and klingy hair.

This was what I wantedvictorian-hairstyles

I tried a lots of different alternatives. Like faux hair and braids, curling and twisting but nothing got me even close to what I needed to achive. IMG_5244

So I reluctantly pulled out my “new” wig. It is from the same company where I bought a lovely long haired wig for my medieval hairdo, but this one is just horrid.

Promo pic. sjojungfru-rodbrun-peruk-1

And in real life.IMG_5175

IMG_5057It is so plasic looking in both the colour and the shine, it feels realy “costumy”. And besides it is way to big. The only “good” thing about it is the fact that it don’t have bangs. But with two days left to the bal, I needed to give it a try.

So I re-read the chapter on “late victorian hairstyles” in Historical Wigstyling, and got to work, testing the methods on a smal piece of the wig first.

IMG_5198Roling a piece of “hair” to a thread spool (I curently don’t own real hair curlers), then setting it, using steam from my steam-iron.

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The result looked perfect.

Time to move on to the actual wig.

I started by separding and creating some bangs,IMG_5199 which I curled on hairpins and and more spools of thread, and then secured with pins. IMG_5205

Then I covered the rest of the wig with a cotton sheat and steamed the bangs, letting it sett over night.  IMG_5210

Then I just grabed pieces of hair, twisted, pinned and braided until I got a cool looking hairstyle.

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But when I put it on my head it looked ridiculus.IMG_5253Like something from a Tim Burton movie.

No! Lets try again.

Trying to keep the hair a bit more to the back of the head, and not so much upwards proved to be a lot easier. So now I got a nice, elegant hairdo.


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But once again: Nice on the dummy – Stupid on me.

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I feelt like a ginger prostitute in some movie about Sparta. Not good.

Right about now I started to panic.

It was the evening before the bal and I was totaly lost.

Thank good for internet, and lovely helpful people, who told me the hairstyle I was trying to build was not really 1880s (more 1870s) and that this is what I should be trying for instead.hb_jan_16_92So after studing a few more pictures of simular hairstyles, I feelt it would be do-able using my own hair and some false hairpeces.

I also wanted to wear this tiara, since I wouldn’t wear any other juwelery.IMG_5226

So, I grabbed my siccors and cut all the remaining hair of my old (lovey) wig.IMG_5460

Buying some proper haircurlers. IMG_5461

And got to work curling and steaming again.IMG_5459

I then curled my own bangs on smal stripes of fabric, soaked them in wather and sleept on it.IMG_5470

The next morning I removed the curling strips.IMG_5477Then I put a cap on and got on the train to the capital, and the bal.

When arriving at my hotel I emedetly started working.

Begining to make smal tufts, in my own hair, to secure the faux bun onto. Cowering the back of my head with a hair net, to keep all the short flying hairs in place. Then I loosened the faux hair from the curlers and started pinning and winding them into a bun on the back of my head. I then frizzed the bangs some more, and attached the tiara with bobypins. The last step was to attach a few hanging curls on the back of the bun.

And the finished hairdoIMG_5486


And it still looked pretty hours later.IMG_5566I’m so happy with how it turned out, and even got some nice copliments on it. Maybe next time I don’t have to worry so much.

To make-do a 1880s Petticoat

And so we start of the new sewing year with HSF14 Challenge nr 1: Make-do/Mend.

As I stated before, I’m determend to try to fit the challenges this year in to my list of items which needs to be made. So with a bit of bending the rules on this challenge, I got to use it for that 1880s ruffled petticoat I desperetly need for my up-coming balgown.

untitledJGI’m thinking something along these line. (pic from Iza of you should check her out to.)

For this challenge I made a petticoat out of a bedsheet.

I started by ripping the sewn hems of it, and throw it into the washer.IMG_4728

I used no pattern – only some diagrams and pictures for reference. IMG_4736And cut the skirt pieces out of half the sheet.

And the ruffeling pieces from the rest, making them bigger and longer further down the skirt.IMG_4740

I sewed gathering thread on all the ruffels using a strong button-hole thread and sick sack stitch, hemming them at the same time.


This technique makes it very easy to gather the ruffels later on.

Then I hemmed and measured the spacings of all the ruffels.

IMG_4742Then I gathered all the fabric and stiched it down on the back piece of the skirt. And lastly I Sewed the front skirt to the back and stiched on a cotton twill tape as a waistband.

And then I tried it on – and I hated it.


It is way to narrow in the front (making me look huge) and the ruffels need to be at least twice as fluffy.

IMG_4829And I do think something is of in the lenght proportions of the ruffels.

Well here it is on the dressform looking a bit better but still way to slim in the pouf department.









IMG_4927With a night to sleep on it, I do think it will work for my purpose, but I know it will probably go straight into the re-make pile once the present event has past.

Just the Facts:

Challenge: 1 (2014) Re-Make.

What: A ruffeled bustled petticoat made out of a bedsheet.

Year: About 1870 – 1890s.

Pattern: None

Fabric: One white cotton bedsheet – 1,5 x 2 m.

Notions: Thread, strong thread (björntråd) and 2 m of 1 cm wide cotton twill tape.

Historical Accuracy: So so. The style and siluett is about right, but I’m sure the ladies of the day knew not to scrimp on the fabric in this kind of grmnent. Maybe 4/10.

Time: 4 hours.

Cost: 90 Sek (10 Usd).

First worn: Around the house for photos (and testing the toile for the gown…) But it will get a proper outing on january 25, for the gran bal at the opera.

Final Thoughts: I think this petticoat was to much of a rush job to begin with. I wish I had taken the time to make it proper and use enough fabric to get a nice ruffeled bustle. Instead I spread the ruffels to whide and gathered them to losely. It’s a good thing it will be hidden beneath the skirts.