Tuesday, February 16, 2016

HSM # 2: Tucks & Pleating Petticoat

I knew just what I wanted to do for the Tucks and Pleating challenge.  I love pleating and tucks as decorative elements of a garment, but I love them even more when they form the basis for construction.  For example, the back of an 18th century gown:
Not only are the pleats gorgeous, but they allow a seamstress fit of the back of the gown, create the back bodice shape, AND create that lovely full skirt. It's like magic! I love pleats!
I did not have time to make a gown.

But I did have time to make a petticoat, and petticoats are maybe even cooler than gowns in the "pleats made it happen" department, because you know what a petticoat is without pleats?

Yeah, it's just a big rectangle of fabric.

What the item is: A basic wool petticoat.  Also the first piece in my planned riding habit.  (Ta-da! New project! Whee!) 
The Challenge: #2 Tucks & Pleating
Fabric/Materials: About three yards of wool. I happened to have an extremely large stash of this color of wool in my possession because it's the basis of our Continental Marine unit's regimental coat.  However, for some reason we have about three different kinds of it, so I chose the lightest weight, best-handed one--and it happened to be one that has just about the right amount to make the petticoat and jacket.  
I'll be honest--it's heaver wool than I would have liked.  In my ideal world, I'd be buying a lighter-weight melton than this, which is closer to a broadcloth-y feel.  However, free is free.  (The waistcoat will be leftover Hainsworth wool from my husband's officer's kit and nomnomnom it's delicious stuff.)  And that said, in looking at a bazillion images, there are habits that seem to be made of heavier and lighter wool.  (I'll probably post an embarrassing amount about habits in the next few months...)
Pattern: None.  It's two pleated rectangles and two little waistband rectangles.  Done.

Year: 1770-1780
Notions: Silk thread and tape ties.
How historically accurate is it? Pretty good--all handsewn, correct fabric (100% wool, I even burn tested, and that's a fun smell, isn't it?), correct thread, correct methods as far as I can ascertain.  The waistband is thicker than most (not all) extants, but I wanted to be sure the thicker wool would still lie flat under the waistcoat.  I'll give it 90% for my usual "I know I missed something."
Hours to complete: A weekend of off-and-on sewing.  Maybe four hours? I'm terrible at this.

Pleat details:

First worn: Not yet!
Total cost:  $0! This was a 100% stash-sourced project.

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