HSF #4 – The Bedskirt Petticoat

I finally managed to finish the overdue HSF Project, Under It All. I’ve been slowly building not just my own 1860’s wardrobe, but also those of my sister and mother.

After reading about dresses made out of curtains and petticoats made out of curtains I’ve been keeping my eye out when I go thrifting. Because while curtains are a cheap source of embroidered fabric, thrift stores are an even cheaper source. So far I’ve found several awesome fabrics (which you’ll probably see in upcoming projects), but no curtains or even white sheets that were suitable have turned up. However, about two or three weeks ago I found a bedskirt with a lovely eyelet ruffle. My mom fell in love with the eyelet, so I decided to use it on her petticoat.

I took my inspiration from a combination of the following petticoats.




I didn’t use a pattern. I just measured my mom’s waist, the circumference of her hoop, and her waist to hem.

I unpicked the eyelet from the bedskirt because I wanted to keep all of the embroidery possible. Then I used my shirring foot to gather the bedskirt, sewed it the hem, and added two tucks so the petticoat would be the right length. Then I gathered the waist to fit her measurements and added the waistband.

The finished product:


Here’s a closeup of the eyelet so you can get the full impact.


I admit, it doesn’t look its best not on a person. But my mom wasn’t available for pictures tonight. At some point I’ll have saved up enough to buy a dress form. But for now the petticoat on a hanger will have to do.

The Challenge: Under It All

Fabric: white 100% cotton muslin and a bedskirt of unknown fiber content (but I assume mostly cotton)

Pattern: none

Year: 1860’s

Notions: white thread, eyelet ruffle, and two hooks and eyes

How historically accurate is it? I’d say pretty close. I sewed it on a modern machine and the eyelet is machine made, probably from somewhere in China.

Hours to complete: I’d say about 6 hours?

First worn: Saturday to the Nature Coast Civil War Reenactment

Total cost: $4 for the bedskirt and $18 for the muslin

One thought on “HSF #4 – The Bedskirt Petticoat

  1. kurajane March 10, 2014 at 6:18 am Reply

    great find, I look forward to seeing the other thrifty fabrics

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