Friday, September 4, 2009

Quilted Petticoat

The new "Project" is a hand-quilted petticoat. It was a bit of a toss-up between an 1810 man's embroidered waistcoat, 1820-40 hand corded stays , and a quilted petticoat. I guess with the cool weather coming I wanted something a little warmer to work on, and honestly, I'm tired of embroidery right now. Maybe by spring I'll have it done! (yeah right, more like next year).

I'm using JoAnn's specials for this. I wish I could afford better materials, but at $30/yd, high quality silk is just not possible without an order. The silk is red dupioni. It was $4/yd on Red tag 50% off sale! Fortunately it's a low-texture dupioni.

I've lined it with brown linen ($7/yd on 60% off).

Cotton batting... which is getting harder & harder to find, so I bought many. Two baby blankets ($5 each when 50% off) work great for a quilted petticoat. The blankets tend to be a little too wide, so they have to be cut down after it's quilted. I'm not planning to cut them before it's completely basted and/or quilted... we'll see how dirty it gets.

Red cotton thread (yeah, it should be silk, but I'm cheep).

Materials:
2 1/2 yds 66" wide silk
3 yds 60" wide linen
2 cotton batting baby blanket(s)
pins
quilting needle(s)
machine sewing thread
hand quilting thread (green for basting) (red for quilting).
cotton cording?

Total cost: $50
$10 silk
$18 linen
$10 batting
$10 thread (guessing)

Moon is absolutely crazy about anything RED. And this was possibly the reddest thing she's ever seen. The cat will eat red roses, steal Christmas ornaments, my winter coat gets tackled whenever I leave it within reach. She just fell in love with this length of fabric. She actually fought me when I was laying it out, she didn't want to get off of it, or even let me touch it.
After I got it neatly laid out she raced in & slid into home base!
Then she watched me like a hawk while I was basting it.

I may add a row or 3 of cording at the bottom, but again, not sure yet. In the finished petticoat, the batting will not go all the way to the top, but for now it's basted in all-over... it may end at the bottom of the pocket slits.

I'm doing a lot of guess-work while making this garment, and it should be an interesting experience.

Rather than sewing the two sides separately I've sewn the panels together along one seam, so it'll be more like a full-size blanket while I'm basting it. (overlocked the edges of the silk to prevent fraying).
Aligned the top edge of the linen & silk, with some overlap of the batting. The bottom edge of the silk & batting match up... kinda.

Basting stitches are in rows, approximately 6" apart. This seems to be working well. (Green thread).
After it's basted & the design drawn on, I'll sew the panels together into the pre-petticoat tube. I may not finish the bottom until the quilting is done because I know just how funky that can get... we'll see what happens.
I'll turn over the bottom & stitch it to the lining, rather than binding the hem.
I'll worry about the pocket slits after it's sewn together.

The top will be turned over & sewn under so the length will be adjustable from the waistband rather than the hem. This is very historic & makes my life a lot easier.
The fabric is 44" long right now, so it should be tall enough to accommodate just about any height. There are 3 yds of fabric in the body (the width of 2 panels)... so a total 88" off the bolt.

Made the mistake of ripping the linen, the edges are very warped. I know better than to do this, but at 9:00 last night, my brain took a mini-vacation. So the lining may be a little wrinkly at the edges. Fortunately any distortions will be covered by hem & waistband (I hope).

While looking for directions on how to do this, I learned that I should sew the petticoat into a loop before quilting. http://www.jennylafleur.com/diary/quilt05.htm and http://brocadegoddess.wordpress.com/quilted-petticoat/ were both incredibly helpful. I'll just have to make sure that my pattern repeat will match up along the seam when I draw it on.

The tentative design plan is to make diamonds on the top half with a floral-ish border on the hem, and a rise in the front of the floral motif. Although I love the leaf pattern in Jenny's petticoat, the red screams "flowers!" so flowers it will be.
Like Jenny, I'm rather lazy when it comes to hand quilting, so I will be using the outline design rather than the fill-ins. I also really like the petticoat from mfa.org (see below), the medallions are great, and if I can do them in outline rather than fill-in, that'd be perfect. My friend Randy Cook is an excellent quilter and would sigh at me if he knew how incredibly lazy I'm being about this. (Randy is a former drawing & painting student of mine and he's very driven).

I have made quilted petticoats in the past, but they were all machine quilted and for working-class characters. (see the nice, simple diamond pattern in the blue one? This is lined with plaid flannel and is just about the warmest thing I've ever worn. I wore it winter camping at 5 degrees and it was perfect).

September 3, 2009
Cut & sewed panels together (flat).
1/4 of the length basted.

September 4, 2009
Did preliminary design from mfa.org petticoat. Just the main section, not the whole thing.
Finished basting the flat petticoat.
Cut off the excess batting.
Figured out 103" /9 = 11.5" pattern repeat.
This is my tentative design plan. Let's hear it for mechanical drafting and too many years of Art School! Look Mom, I can draw flowers with coffee cups & a ruler!
I may get rid of the center leaves on the 'ferns' and may make the little doo-hickeys on the top & bottom of the posies bigger. John & I have decided that rabbits, deer & flowers will work well as the center motifs rather than that strange acorn / pineapple thing. With 9 repeats I'll get 3 of each... or go for broke & do a different animal/flower in each space!
I had a killer headache all day, so did no 'real' work. This was therapeutic & I didn't have to deal with ruffles... or shirts... or ripping out loads of stuff.

For images of original quilted petticoats go here:
http://www.vintagetextile.com/new_page_492.htm
http://www.vintagetextile.com/new_page_572.htm
http://www.costumes.org/HISTORY/v&amuseum/1.jpg
http://www.history.org/Foundation/journal/Winter08/stuff.cfm
http://www.mfa.org/collections/search_art.asp?recview=true&id=117000 I like this one a lot.

6 comments:

Clara Florence said...

Can't wait to see how this turns out Gail..

Gail Kellogg Hope said...

Neither can I Clara! :)

Basting more this afternoon, then either heading off to camp or figuring out the quilting design.

Lithia Black said...

Oh, wow this such a cool project!
Good luck!
You have an award to collect:
http://lithiablack18thcentury.blogspot.com/2009/09/and-award-goes-to.html

/L

thefarmingdaughter said...

What a lovely fabric choice! So you quilted the layers together and *then* sewed the petticoat into a "tube"? What do you do with the raw edge that is left on the inside? Thanks!

thefarmingdaughter said...

What a lovely fabric choice! So you quilted the petticoat and then sewed it into the round "tube" shape? What did you do with the raw edge on the inside after you sewed it together? Thanks!

Gail Kellogg Hope said...

The raw edge just gets turned over.
I'm about 18" from finished on the top lattice work. Naturally it's still not done! Hopefully it'll be ready for next year.

Things I would have done differently are:
- put a muslin layer between silk & batting to reduce pull-through./
-hand stitched the first side seam.
- bought silk thread to match vs. doing all that in cotton.