Monday, March 20, 2017

When the weather gets cold . . .

After 2 weeks of spring weather, I found myself faced with a major snow storm and extremely cold weather.  So as any seamstress would do, I started thinking about winter garments again.  Fortunately a recent trip to the thrift store had yielded great results in finding some nice matelassé bedspreads.

This first picture is of one of a pair of twin size bedspreads which were marked $9.95 each but ended up being discounted 30% that particular day.
This second picture is of a king size bedspread which is thinner than the ones above.  This one was $20.

The twin spreads are the perfect size for petticoats--measuring a little over 60 inches wide and at least 80 inches long.

First I studied some extant pictures of quilted petticoats.  Most appear to be made from silk with some linen and wool examples.

I also found two examples that were listed as being silk matelassé.

For those who would like a quilted petticoat but simply don't have the time or inclination to make one, matelassé is a nice alternative.  The Dreamstress has an excellent post on the history of matelassé if you wish to explore further.  

I had made a plain matelassé petticoat from some simple diamond patterned matelassé fabric.  I use this as an under petticoat in cold weather.  It's heavy and these patterned bedspreads are also quite heavy.  This is something you will want to consider when making one.  You could certainly take some of the fullness out but I like them full.  The fullness also alleviates the need for any skirt supports.

I decided to make a petticoat from one of the twin bedspreads and save the king for a quilted waistcoat and possibly a dyed petticoat.

First, I had to cut the scalloped edge off of all sides of the bedspread.

Then I analyzed the design.  This bedspread had a one way floral design with an obvious repeat.  I measured the length to see if I could line up the design at the side seams which was possible as my finished petticoat length is only 35 - 36 inches.

Next, I sewed the side seams using a backstitch, leaving 9 inches open at the top for pocket slits.  The fabric is heavy sew I whip stitched the seam allowances flat inside and I whip stitched the seam allowance at the pocket openings.

I also went ahead and pressed up the hem about 5/8 of an inch and stitched some 1/2 inch cotton tape to the edge using running stitch.  I then whip stitched the hem in place.

Because the fabric is so thick and densely woven, I decided to use fewer pleats.  I made a 5 inch box pleat in the front and a 5 inch inverted box pleat in the back then made a few 1 - 1 1/2 inch pleats on each side of the box pleats to achieve the appropriate measurement.  I whip stitched the edge to hold the pleats in place and stitched a row of basting about 2 inches from the top.

I typically use 3/4 inch linen tape to bind my petticoats and for the ties but due to the density of this fabric, I decided to go with some 1 inch cotton tape I had in my stash.  I followed my usual method of whip stitching the tape to the outside of the petticoat, folding it over and whip stitching it on the inside.  Both the front and back ties wrap around my waist twice.

I'm happy with the result of this quick project.  You can see it here on my dress form which, unfortunately, isn't shaped quite right.

1 comment:

  1. Looks fantastic! Great research, photos and instruction. Thank you! Betsy