Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Mid-19th Century Hooped Petticoat from Costume in Detail, The Skirt

I have been working away at the guys stuff for Shiloh. Three weeks to go before they leave! We are down to the wire, people. Thankfully everything is done except the stewards frock coat for Blake and pleated bosom shirt for David. Three weeks should be plenty of time to get that done. Sewing on their things has made me eager to get started on my new plaid wool dress. But first things first! My hoop from last year was really unusable. The shape was odd and it was just too large - 110" - and bulky. I decided to make a new hoop and chose the one from Costume in Detail, p. 197. It is a basic rectangular construction petticoat that measure 90" at the hem and has five steel bands set in the bottom half of the skirt. It's not the most fashionable of hoops for the 1860's but I think mine will be very practical and last a long time and be perfect for me at this time in my life of being a mother to young children.

I cut out and sewed the petticoat over the last few days, using some super lightweight striped cotton in my stash. Two panels of fabric didn't quite make 90" so the basic skirt is made of 2 full panels of fabric and 1 skinny panel. The hem will be the casing for the bottom steel and I made four more tucks spaced 2" apart for the other steels.

The skirt is cut slightly longer in the back than in the front to allow for a bum pad to be worn beneath it. This will help give the back thrust that one so often sees in period images. The waist is pleated to a fitted waistband  that's all there is to it! A very simple little thing.
I honestly have no idea why I have such a weird look on my face, but hey! Check out the yellow walls.  I painted the room that will be used for a nursery this week and I am totally loving the new color. It's much sunnier and brighter than it looks in this photo :) 

I found I couldn't reuse the steels from my old hoopskirt so I ordered new steels and hopefully they will be in by next week. I can't wait to see what this looks like all finished!



  1. Very pretty, love the stripes and tucks! It'll be fun to see how it looks when finished.

  2. Hi Sarah,
    I'm one of your new followers. I love the skirt pleats and the striped fabric. You look gorgeous wearing it...Oh how I wish I could sew one for myself just like it. Anyway, I love the picture where you are sitting on the chair, lovely pose.


Thank you for your lovely thoughts!