We love all members of the fiber arts community at OMG Yarn (Balls), that means, occasionally I’ll feature some other crafts like spinning, sewing, and more on the blog here.
This guest post is one of three parts and is all about how to make a petticoat, probably one of my favorite accessories when it comes to dressing on the fancier side.
I’ve actually sewn my own petticoat in the past as part of a handmade Moulin Rouge inspired costume. I spent a ton of money on lace to make it authentic. Unfortunately, my pictures of me in the full outfit are buried in basement storage right now.
Anyway, let’s welcome Shirley Will of Faery Craft who’s going to tell you a little bit about her process of making petticoats. In this first post, you’ll learn all about her inspiration. Enjoy.
Petticoats Are Sew Awesome, Let’s Learn How to Make One! (Part 1)
Hi there! Shirley from Faery Craft and design here. I got into sewing because, like a lot of people, I couldn’t find anything in the stores that fit. Back in the 70’s models were getting thinner and thinner, and my “Barbie doll” build just wasn’t en vogue. Or in Vogue!
There were several small charity thrift stores nearby, and I found out that older styles, like 50’s stuff, fit perfectly. So I started getting all the old sewing patterns I could find at yard sales, and started making my own! Two years of middle school Home EC classes hadn’t prepared me for the vast array of mistakes I would make, but I did learn. Eventually!
Now, thank goodness, we have the internet! Especially since my hour-glass figure is more like an hour and a half; I don’t have to guess on how to adjust measurements, there are blogs and videos out there to help. I’m more than happy to pass on what I’ve learned to others now.
So, on to today’s subject! All at once most of my friends were into swing dancing. First thing I noticed from their dance-night social media posts was a distressing lack of petticoats! Even among the teachers. I couldn’t let such a sad state of affairs continue!
After asking Mr. Google, I found out that TV Guide had posted directions in 1956. We had always watched “The Lawrence Welk Show” when I was growing up, so I was very familiar with the dancers and their fabulous dresses. I never knew that one in particular was well known for her petticoats and that her mother made them, but I’m happy about it now! And grateful to people who love to catch a “pettiglimpse” enough to maintain a website on them.
Most petticoats you can buy have a gathered waist, which adds bulk right where you don’t want any. These lovely pettis are made with the top “layer” being basically a circle skirt, with two layers of ruffles.
The bottom hem is trimmed with ribbon (you don’t have to hem netting or tulle). It doesn’t say to make a waistband or to add a hook or snap, though. These things were probably something that “everybody knows”, because everyone was wearing them at the time!
For the custom pettis I make in my store, I ask for the customer’s measurements, so I can fit not only the length that they want, but also their waist. I use double-sided wide satin ribbon (or blanket binding) for the waistband, and sew on a couple of large snaps.
These petticoats will literally stand up on their own, by the way.
Here are a couple of customers who sent me photos for my blog:
The bride is wearing her grandmother’s ivory-colored wedding dress, and was looking for a petticoat to match, because she wanted it to peek out of the bottom. I think it was a great idea, she looks stunning.
Stay tuned for the instructions on how to make them!
Photos belong to Shirley Will of Faery Craft.
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