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Regency Shift and Bodiced Petticoat, PHOTOS! edition - Historically Bent Costuming

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September 20th, 2009

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02:47 am - Regency Shift and Bodiced Petticoat, PHOTOS! edition
Here's the shift, front and back:

Shift front

Shift front

Shift back

And flat:

The back's pretty much like the front. I put my initials so I could tell the front from the back. Here it is inside out. The back was cut a little higher than the front (about an inch, I think).

The drawstring just ducks out from under the hem. There's no eyelet or anything.

Where the hem switches from narrow to casing, I just let it sort itself out. You can also see where the end of the drawstring is sewn in. I've had to redo several of these - they weren't done sturdy enough at first.

Here's the inside of the gusset.

The petticoat bodice came from the Tidens Tøj pattern (the bodice lining). I mocked it up very roughly and tried it on over my stays. Then for a lark, I tried it on just itself, and it actually worked out much better than the stays themselves. I pinned it tight and then cut it off through one of the fronts so I could draw on where the pins went and so figure out the new CF and approximate strap length.

Mockup and new CF (drawn in black to the right of the old one):

Final version sewn up in three layers. I wish I had a picture from before the second piece of cording went in (on the outside of the lacing holes). The difference was really dramatic.

And a view of the back. The weird thing in my other hand is a mirror, which I was using to see the view screen of the camera. The odd thing going on at the neckline on the right side is a repaired rip, which I managed while trying to get the binding around the corners. I ended up making a single clip on the seam allowances. This was the photo which finally showed me the back was quite so too narrow, but by then it was too late to do anything about. It worked out well enough in the end, and I will redo them eventually to be about three or four inches wider in the back (and commesurately narrower in the sides and front). This pattern would work alright enough for a dress, but it doesn't hide well enough under clothes to be underwear.

I cut the cording (a lucet braid from DMC purl cotton number 3) to exactly the right lengths for the fronts and stitched it, first the CF, then the eyelets, then the second one. I didn't decide to do the second one until after I'd tried it on and seen how wrinkly the front got.

A bit of the cording I used, about to scale on my monitor:

Lucet braid from DMC Purl #3

And the fronts, with cording sewn in:

The darts were only stitched through to the seam allowance, to allow ease for turning over the edge. I used a sort of double running stitch, where I didn't try to fold up the dart and sew through it, I just started at the end and carefully laddered my way up the dart. Then I pulled the stitching tight, drawing the dart closed, and worked my way back down. It made it much neater than it otherwise would have been. Inside:


The three layers were two sheeting sets with seam allowances all 'round and one hard muslin layer without SAs around the edges. I cut off the seam allowances on the inner sheeting layer, and then just turned under the neck and armscye edges twice and stitched down. The strap is one layer of sheeting.

Before trimming:


And then turned over. It's all pretty much as you'd expect. Because of the extreme thickness, the fronts required a bit of jimmying. Everywhere there was more than one layer, the stitching doesn't go through, which gives it a really lovely finish. This is the inside CF, after finishing.

The SB seams were finished by trimming off all but one layer of fabric quite short and turning the remaining one over the rest so all the edges were finished. Because of a slight miscalculations, the seams ended up getting turned over opposite directions, which looks a little funny on the inside but hardly matters. This was done after the seam allowance trim around the armscye but before the binding was turned over. Something similar was done with the strap seams.

The petticoat skirt is much simpler. I pressed up the hem, tucked in a very long piece of the same kind of cording (lucet braid of DMC Purl #3), and stitched it in with a running stitch. That went quite fast. Then I caught up the hem with a quick backstitch.

Hem outside and inside. Small images link to huuuuugenormous ones so you can see my stitching, if you want:

Hem outside

Hem inside

The center front seam was stitched with a long open gap for the opening. The seam allowances were turned back and caught down with a relatively fine stitch at the top and the same long backstitch as on the hem, below the opening. Then the top of the skirt was folded over to the right height (about an inch on the inside) and pressed down.

The skirt was divided into sections. The CB half was gauged very tightly. The CF quarter was flat, which reached about from underarm to underarm. The remainder was pleated by dividing it and the space to pleat it onto into even sections, matching the markings (pins) and folding down the excesses into pleats. I think there are some eight pleats on each side.

The CB I gathered up onto a fairly strong linen thread (doubled) which turned out not to be strong enough but! it came out all right in the end. As I drew up the gathering, I tugged and worried the pleats to lie flatter. Basically, I just held the tops of the pleats and tried to tug the skirt fabric straighter and more into line. Then (worrying about the strength of the gathering thread) I backstitched the pleats together on either side, sort of the same way one would do smocking.

Half way through neatening the pleats. They lost a little width as this went on, which is why the gathering thread is not fastened at the other side yet.

Backstitching down the gauges. This is another link to a huuuuge image, if you want it:

And then I put the skirt and the bodice together (actually, the pleats were in one with putting it together, but that's ok). If I were attaching them again, I would leave the bodice seam allowances hanging down and stitch through two layers of skirt and the bodice (outer layer of skirt, folded top of skirt, bodice) so that the stitching showed on the outside and inside. That would work much better than what I ended up doing, which was a bit kludged and not very good at all. I was still thinking too much like a machine user.

Front and back, all finished:



[User Picture]
Date:August 18th, 2010 02:49 am (UTC)
Thank you. I still have and plan to use the shift, but the petticoat has been ripped apart for mockup material. Aside from the fitting problems with the bodice back, the skirt was too narrow for my stride (about 60") so I'd either do a 60" hem but only about calf-length skirt, or a larger hem (~100") and a full length skirt. I feel that for something I knocked together in a few days, it came out pretty well.

Out of curiosity, where did you find this journal?
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[User Picture]
Date:August 18th, 2010 09:41 am (UTC)
I am making a petticoat-bodice of my own, researching ways and means, and your post came up on the google search.

Incidentally, do you mind if I borrow that detail on the skirt attachment? The bit where the pleats turn into gathers, I mean. It's pretty nifty. :-)

(You can see some of my work, or at least random sewing natter, at thesewingsleeve LJ community, if you're interested.)
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[User Picture]
Date:August 19th, 2010 11:27 pm (UTC)
Oh, cool. I'm really bad at keeping this journal up to date, because I'm often working very last-minute (my own fault) and don't have time to photograp, but I am going to try to be better.

You can absolutely do the pleats-to-gathers thing. If I were doing this again, I would leave the seam allowance at the bottom of the bodice hanging down, and simply apply the skirt over it. It would make everything just a little easier. Hopefully I'll be doing another of these soon, and I'll document it.

I'll come check you out.
(Replies frozen)(Parent) (Thread)
[User Picture]
Date:August 20th, 2010 01:59 am (UTC)
Thanks. I'll try to get some pictures up, if I can find my camera.
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