If you don’t do it right the first time, you’ll have to do it over. I swear this was my mother’s favorite saying while I was growing up (and still is). But like, all mom’s, she was/is right. However, I don’t believe I sewed my petticoats “wrong” the first time, I just sewed them and hemmed them quickly in a pinch, with the intention to fix them later. Well, later has arrived. As I journey more into the “hardcore” side of living history, I strive (as anyone who makes historical clothing should) for accuracy – in all aspects. Unless I’m really pinched for time, I hand sew with linen thread. (I love linen thread now). I don’t measure my pleats on my petticoats because women in the 18th century did not measure. (But I’m also ridiculously good at having them come out equal – similar to my weird ability to hang pictures perfectly straight). And now I will admit that I “ghetto hemmed” two of my petticoats. I didn’t want to cut off a bunch of extra fabric the night before I needed to wear them, so I quickly whip stitched the hem. My weekend was dedicated to cutting off fabric and re-hemming. The brown wool petticoat was finished first because it just got an official 1/2 inch rolled hem. After almost tripping up the stairs while carrying heavy things, clearly the wool petticoat was too long. Now it’s a lovely length of 34 inches.
The second petticoat to get reworked was the brown linen one. This one has a lovely drape to it. As a result, I wear it on top all the time now and have the striped ones underneath. (That way, when people ask me how many petticoats I have on, I can show them my fun stripes! It’s a cute surprise). So anyway, the linen one got the same treatment: cut off a bunch, rolled hem, but it also got linen binding tape. Eventually I think I want all my petticoats bound because I would like the edges to last. I also think it is a nice way to finish the edges.