I thought it would be a quick throw-together. I've made lots of petticoats before, and based on the patterns in Janet Arnold's Patterns of Fashion 1 and Costume Close-Up , I anticipated a nice, easy, weekend 18th century fix.
|Patterns of Fashion 1 - petticoat diagram, for a Robe a la Francaise, 1770-75, a bit later than my inspiration dress|
I wrestled with it, added bits, took away bits, pleated this way, pleated that way. In hindsight, I know that the problem was that my panier was just too big. WAY too big.
To make a stupidly long story short, I shrunk my panier down to something far more 1760s, and stuck to the diagrams in the books.
|From Costume Close-Up : petticoat diagram showing the top curves and the straight hem|
...but then I decided I hated the color of this fabric. On the site I purchased it from, it looked far closer to the yummy steely blue the LACMA gown features. That blue is the reason I fell in love with the dress in the first place...but what I got in the mail wasn't that blue....it was crazy mermaid turquoise 1980s neon explosion.
I used one package of royal blue RIT and one package of grey RIT - powders - dissolved prior in a bit of hot water. About a cup of vinegar went in there too. The fabric was wet before I tossed it in, and I put the cycle on the longest and hottest I could, with two rinse cycles.
Here are the results:
|Before and After: that is a BIG difference, and I love it!|
I still have a lot of work to do on the petticoat. I don't like the bubble shape, and I'm not sure how to correct it - petticoats, ruffles, or is the panier still too big? Anyone have suggestions?
|Help me, hive mind! What can I do about this shape? I want it to flair more at the hem.|