Avant Garbe

Eliza Schuyler Petticoat

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Way back in March ahem I told you about my grand plans for my Elizabeth Schuyler dress.

I found the most perfect fabric match ever from The Lady Detalle – an aqua silk taffeta. It is shot with ivory, which just gives it a really luminous glow in certain lighting.

I started off with the petticoat, because petticoats are pretty straightforward. Cut rectangle for front and back, the back being longer to fit over the bumroll. Hem the bottom. Sew the sides together, stopping before you hit the top to leave room for pocket slits (all by hand! This was back in March, I was still feeling ambitious about the amount of time I had to finish, and in March that made sense.) Fold down the top edge (angling where necessary to shape over the bumroll).

Pleat. Realize halfway through the pleats that you are going to end up too long. Undo pleats and pleat again. Hold up to dress form. Realize it’s about an inch too long. Take out all the pleats, make the top fold an inch bigger and put all the pleats back in.

A visual representation of what it takes to eyeball pleating

I really hate knife pleating by the way.

Do the same to the front. Sew linen ties to the front and back.

For the skirt trim, I copied a petticoat ruffle from Janet Arnold. It has scallops on the top edge and triangles on the bottom.

I made a template made of cardboard. Then traced the scallops and triangles onto 4 widths of fabric (2 for the front and 2 for the back). I cut these out with pinking shears to try and get the 18th century look of scallops-on-scallops – my wrist was not thrilled with me afterwards.

Now these were perfectly pleasant box pleats (compared to knife pleats), because it was easy to divide and conquer! Pin at halves, pin at quarters, keep pinning in the middle of whatever is left until you have a small enough bit that you can make a box pleat. These are sewn on with a running stitch.

Of course I realized afterwards that I had the seam of the trim dead center where it would be the most noticeable. But I was *not* about to take this off and redo it. And hey, noone commented on my bad seam placement when I wore this so *thbbbt*

Trying it on out my rather capacious bumroll

Next up, the most difficult part by far, getting a fitting bodice pattern.

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