Posted in Sewing on April 17, 2012|
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A piece of calico came my way and I thought it would make an excellent petticoat. I made one when I was 18, and the smell of calico also reminded me of sewing projects when I was twelve when I was obsessed with the Little House books and would ask for things like ‘a bolt of calico’ for my birthday. What a weird kid.
This piece of calico was mysteriously sewn into a loop and hemmed along the bottom edge. This is how the fabric for this dress came to me, and honestly, I have no idea what compels people to make such an object. What on earth is it for? Well it was kind of useful this time. I wanted side seams and a hem anyhow, I just needed to fit it to my waist. With… one thousand darts… oh yes.
The above diagram was me trying to work out how to get the width of the fabric to equal my waist measurement. I didn’t do very well. (You’ll notice I always do diagrams in felt pen now, since they’re the only pens I can ever find around the house these days). Although I (think I) worked out that I need a dart every 6 cm, things were still way too big once I’d done all those darts.
I even got out my ruler.
It did look nice and neat….
And it still did look neat once I’d finished it, except for the fact that I’d snuck in as many tiny darts in between the bigger ones as I could. And then a few more.
Rata helped me to choose a button this time (instead of the ghost). Today she pointed at a pink drawing pin in the wall and said to me ‘Why do I like pink?” I told her I didn’t know why, but that there were a lot of colours I liked better than pink. She replied, “Like blue!” I feel like this is a start.
I made the opening by slashing the petticoat at the centre back, opening the raw edge out straight and stitching binding on. I then finished the raw edge at the waist with bias binding, and made a loop for the button. It still sits below my natural waist, but I think if I need it higher for any reason I can just add another button.
Once that was all done and darted, I folded the hem a few times in decorative but probably frowned upon manner. It does help to give it a bit of stiffness, or fullness, also known as POOF! without the addition of layers of tulle or organza or things I would need to buy. Whether that stiffness lasts several washes is another matter, but I can add things later if required.
I’m happy. I won’t share with you the sorry sight of my old op-shopped petticoat of above-the-knee length except to say that it was that length simply because I had cut off the lace trim after putting my foot through a hole, and the fabric was slowly coming away from the elastic waistband in an extremely unsavoury manner.
Now I won’t have to worry about the state of my undergarments should a train wreck befall me.
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