Saturday, January 3, 2015

Vernet 1814: Preparation - Petticoat

My first post of the new year, and for the Vernet 1814 project, will be about a very important foundational garment....the petticoat.  I already have a long line set of stays that I made a few years ago.  I've since altered the straps on the stays...they used to slide easily off of my shoulders, but moving the back seam in toward the lacing solved that problem.  I have also made several Regency era petticoats in the past...examples here and here to highlight a couple...but most of my foundational garments have been made with long, floor-length or further, trained, early Grecian inspired gowns from circa 1798-1805.  The Vernet gown I will be creating is nearly a decade later, and requires a petticoat that barely reaches beyond mid calf, and is much more streamlined along the waist.  I suppose I could have gotten away with wearing my laced bodice petticoat, but the shaping of my Vernet gown is very important to me, and the  laced bodice petticoat just wasn't doing it for me, so I decided to start from scratch.  

(original Met petticoat - American, linen, early 19th century)

One petticoat from The Met Museum collection stood out to me as having the shape and fit I was looking for. So, naturally, I decided to reproduce it.  Normally, for the Vernet project, I won't be showing finished garments until December...snippets and construction will be all you will see...but, since this petticoat is not technically one of the fashion plates, I feel it's ok for you to see the whole thing. 
 I used linen fabric, and cotton thread.  And as everything for this project will be, it was hand sewn.  Most of the stitching used in this petticoat were back-stitching or whip-stitching...and of course the blanket-stitch used for the button holes.  These days I rarely use patterns, draping and drafting is almost alway what I do to create my garments, and this petticoat was no exception to that.  Here's a step-by-step picture tutorial of how I made the petticoat.

Part one: Drafting the bodice.





Part two: Sewing together the bodice.








My quality inspector, Owen.  He reserves judgement until the very end.










Part three: The skirt - Pleating and tucks.



Part four: Attaching the skirt to the bodice - finished petticoat.











A simple garment, but now I'm ready to dive into the yummy Vernet 1814 fashion plates!