1760s Robe a la Bon Bon – The Petticoat

Finished sacque petticoat over pocket hoops

I’ve been steadily progressing on my new sacque, using the Simplicity 8578 Robe a la Francaise pattern we released December 2017.

Since I already had pocket hoops from way back, conveniently the same dimensions as those from Simplicity 8579 and The American Duchess Guide, I could set right to work on the petticoat.

I used two panels of 60″ wide taffeta. I marked the top curve from the Simplicity pattern and pleated up the back, finishing the top edge with a tape.

The trim applied to the front panel of the petticoat before pleating the top edge.

I trimmed the front of the petticoat before I pleated the top, which made it loads easier to deal with. The Simplicity pattern has trim placement markings on it, and while I chose my own trim style, I did use the width from the tissue to determine how wide I wanted my trim.

Trimming is the fun part! I used the scalloped trim templates cut out from posterboard, traced onto the silk with a heat-erase pen, and then set to cutting each scallop with my scalloped pinking shears, which makes a wonderful, very Georgian pinked edge. It’s a little tedious, but the trick is to fold up the fabric double or triple, pin it to hold everything secure, and then cut.

The taffeta is folded up and pinned, then the trim template is traced over the part of the stripe that I liked

Cutting scallops with scalloped pinking shears – originally these would have been punched with a scalloped tool, but I can never get mine sharp enough so I use the scissors and that’s just fine.

Whip gathering the edge of the trim pieces

I strategically cut my pinked strips from different parts of the stripe in my fabric, to make different color effects. I whip-gathered the different pieces, working two widths together for the deep ruffle and top trim. The bottom-most trim is a single piece but I did two rows of whip gathers simultaneously.

A whip-gathered double ruffle for the petticoat – I gathered the narrow and wide pieces together,then pressed open with the iron.

Once all the trim was on it was just a matter of pleating the top, binding it, and finishing the petticoat hem. I did run into a little trouble here – I forgot that Simplicity added a deeper hem to the petticoat, so mine has come out a little too long. I could take the trim off the front, raise it all, and then re-hem the petticoat, but what I’m going to try first is actually just rolling over the top edges to raise the entire hem.

The top edge of the petticoat pleated then bound with cotton tape.

So now with the petticoat done (pending raising that hem), I’ve moved on to the gown, but that is another blog post for another day. <3 


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