Petticoats on the Cheap
Squinting intensely into the distance
In my corset post, I used my pink 18-whatevers/1930s theater costume dress to show you why a corset is important to get the right shape under your historical costumes. Another important piece under my dress is the petticoats, which fluff the skirt out so it doesn’t get limp and clingy. I don’t have a long petticoat at the moment (I ripped it nearly in half by catching it on my heels), so I had to get crafty. Here is what I was wearing under the pink dress:
Tank top corset liner ($3, Rue 21)
Silk slip skirt ($2, Veteran’s Thrift Shop)
Corset ($59, eBay)
Pleated wool skirt ($4, Goodwill)
Brown button skirt ($3, Goodwill)
Is it historically accurate? Nope! Can anyone tell? Nope! Pragmatic petticoating at it’s finest!
(You’ll still need the corset, though)
Also, in sadder news, there is no hope of patching the larger holes in the Gabby dress, so I’ve drawn up a simple plan to cover the major ones.
The dress is a lovely design on its own and it’s a shame that it’s gotten so chewed up. I wrestled with leaving it in its current state, but I can’t bear to leave it like this. Instead, I wanted to repair it as though it was my dress that I still needed to wear for the rest of the winter. So, I will add a front panel of chocolate velvet to match the ribbon trim, covering the two largest holes in the front and shaped pieces on each elbow to mask the place where the mice chewed away the sleeve. The appliques will go over the existing fabric in order to preserve as much of it as possible. The rest of the plaid will be completely backed with a dark cotton flannel to give it more support. The waistband will be interfaced and recreated more flannel.
Here’s the major hole in the front panel marked by my 5 inch Fiskar scissors for size.
Here’s the cotton rough I made of the applique panel, again with the Fiskars to show the size and placement of the holes.
The biggest challenge is finding 10 matching buttons for the front. The buttons that were originally on the dress were at least 11/16 inch in diameter (about the size of a quarter). It’s so frustrating to find the perfect size and style button…but there are only 8. Or I find a good shape and number, but they are only half an inch across!