In this blog post I’m going to be talking about a new petticoat I’ve made. Since I want to make a Sleeping Beauty dress more true to the cartoon I decided to make a petticoat to go underneath it, just to give it a bit of shape and movement. I based it off a basic petticoat pattern from Simplicity but added all of the netting myself. It’s not perfect, and to be honest, I’m not sure how it will sit under the dress, or if I will even use it, but its nice to have.
To start I overlocked all of the panels except from the back seam together so that I had a nearly finished skirt. This one was actually one that I had used before so I’m cheating a bit. Along the width of the skirt I drew the lines for the ruffles, these guidelines just helped me to keep everything straight. They were spaced 5 inches apart, except from the one on the bottom, where there wasn’t enough fabric. Then there is an extra line 3.5 inches from the top for an extra ruffle. This is to be added later, it’s going to be a full length piece of fabric to go over the net to protect the dress when it’s sitting on top of the petticoat. At the moment I just haven’t decided what to make it from.
I used a really stiff net to make the ruffles. For projects like this it’s definitely worth having an overlocker as it makes the gathering project so much easier. Make sure that your tension is really tight, my overlocker has a wheel at the side which you adjust to tighten the stitch especially for things like this. Then I also changed the needle tensions. As with any project using a bit of scrap and just testing your stitch first can help to get things right.
Once I had the ruffles made I lined them up along the petticoat, a lot of them were a little bit short but it’s easy enough to just cut some more net and add it on. Always buy a little more than you need for projects like this!
Once that was done, I had the challenge of sewing the ruffles on! So much fabric, I’m half dreading, half looking forward to Cinderella. When I pined the ruffles on I had left the back seam open, so I continued with the skirt like that as it made it a bit easier to handle. Then once I had finished it was a simple matter of closing the back seam and pulling the extra ruffles over to cover the gap. I knew that this was how I was going to finish the skirt so I had left extra on the net just for this.
That done I gathered all of the skirt into the waistband. For this I went back to the pattern and simply cut a strip of fabric instead of using ribbon. This petticoat isn’t going to be seen and it isn’t going to be sold so I wasn’t too careful with it. That’s why the topstitching it pretty ugly. Normally to close your waistband up you would sew with the front facing up on the machine and do a ‘stitch-in-the-ditch’ however I did the opposite and sewed it with the wrong side facing up. This way I could follow the overlocking stitch and make sure I had all of the gathering straight and caught in. After that I simply threaded some woven ribbon through. It’s cut long enough to give me some good ties but I haven’t spent any time straightening it out or securing it as I might swap it out for some nice ribbon later.
As you’ll notice this skirt also doesn’t have a finished hem, it’s simply been overlocked. Since it’s just to add a bit of extra flare to the skirt and won’t be seen I really didn’t spent too much time on it. Overall it took me about a day and a half, the most of this was spent cutting netting.