Dressing Girls Sew-Along: Petticoat Evaluation
I do have a small stack of petticoats the girls inherit from one another. Because each was made with period techniques and decent fabric, I have some evaluation to do, to see if I can recycle any of the Inheritance Stack for this season’s use.
Three that came easily to the top of the pile include:
Inheritance Petticoat #1: Waist 26″; length 17″ max (there is a single 1/2″ tuck still in place); circumference 106″. The circumference is great for a small girl, but even with all the tucks dropped out, this petticoat will be 5″ short of the smallest length I need, and I’d need to re-set the waist to be 5″ smaller, too. Too short, too wide. This one is a good candidate for selling off to another family, or donating to the loaner closet at our local historic site.
Inheritance Petticoat #2: Waist 26-27″, depending on moving a button; length 21.5″ max; circumference 86″. Again, the circumference is good. It’s going to be a bit short and wide to work for my youngest, so my time is probably best used making her something she can wear for a few years going forward. This will be another that gets cleaned and pressed to pass along or donate.
Inheritance Petticoat #3: Waist 24″; length 22″ with a single 1″ tuck remaining, for a potential max length of 24″; circumference 84″. This petticoat has one small mend, and one larger mend (2″ long vertical rip) that will need mending.
I can re-set the waist to suit my youngest girl, who needs a 22″ band over her stays. I could also potentially just add a second buttonhole and button position, and save myself the re-setting time, as the waist difference is a meager 2″. The length will drop out to 24″ by simply taking out the remaining growth tuck; she needs skirts of 23.5″to hit her mid-calf, so I will leave the length as-is (it’s 22″ long with the tuck in place).
Just a few minutes measuring and inspecting this petticoat, and with a short 20-minute session to mend the rips, and I’ve saved myself the entire process of making one petticoat for her! I’ve also identified two potential re-sales or donations that can save other families some time and effort.
Taking stock of clothing at the end of each interpretive season, and again a few months before each interpretive season, saves time and effort. What do you have? What do you need? It’s the same process as done in the 19th century: practical, frugal, and functional!