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Tutorial 2. Sewing the First Petticoat.

Tutorial 2. Sewing the First Petticoat.

The first thing we need is the bottom petticoat − it will serve as a base for the entire skirt. You can take any ready-made standard petticoat with three hoops and choose the bottom circumference in accordance with your needs.

As for me, I have chosen a petticoat with a 3-meter long bottom hoop. It is easier to walk in a petticoat like this. I believe it is the best choice for our skirt.

It is quite obvious that no ready-made petticoat will be suitable for a half-scale mock-up. I have to make one myself. You can follow the same steps to sew a full-size petticoat for the actual garment if you don’t have a suitable ready-made petticoat at hand.

I will use medium-density mesh fabric for my petticoat. You can also use organza, nylon mesh, or any similar thin fabric.

The petticoat is cut as an ordinary trapeze-shaped skirt, which does not require any special calculations.

There is a front piece with a fold line and two back pieces.

I will stick with the average standard waist circumference − 66cm. It corresponds with 33cm on my half-scale mock-up. I will make it 40cm to account for seam allowances and gathers along the waistline.

Seam allowances on the mock-up are also half the regular width: 6-7mm.

The bottom circumference of my petticoat will be 150cm.

I divide the waist circumference and the bottom circumference in four. As the result, the trapeze-shaped piece has a width of 10cm at the top and about 38cm at the bottom (seam allowances included).

The length of the actual petticoat is 120cm, which means it should be 60cm on the mock-up.

I even out the bottom edge of the petticoat.

Next, I need to mark hoop positions. The bottom hoop will go along the bottom edge of the petticoat and the other two hoops will be positioned at 20cm intervals (10cm intervals on the mock-up).

I draw guidelines on the back pieces.

I put the front piece over the back piece and copy the guidelines to keep them aligned.

Gores should also be marked in advance.

The front of the petticoat will be divided in five gores and the back – in three.

I mark gore points on the front piece: at 15cm intervals along the bottom edge and 4cm intervals along the top edge.

Then, I connect the points with straight lines from either side of the piece.

I mark points at 15cm intervals along the bottom edge and 5cm intervals along the top edge of the back pieces. And I connect them with straight lines, too.

I will stitch along the guidelines before assembling the petticoat to make them more distinct.

And then I will do the following: sew the side seams and add bias-tape tunnels for the hoops.

I pin the pieces together along the side seam edges.

Here is what I got. I have added a lace trimming along the bottom edge to make it prettier. The ends of the hoop tunnels meet at the central back seam.

I will put a 2cm-wide elastic band along the waistline. It will have a total length of 30cm including a small overlap. The petticoat must sit tightly around the waist. I will not decorate the elastic band on the mock-up but simply heat-seal its ends, make a buttonhole, and stitch it out.

Now I need to insert hoops in the tunnels. Of course, you need steel hoops for the actual petticoat but plain plastic bones will do for the mock-up. Such plastic bones can only be used in mock-up petticoats or in dresses for little girls.

I insert a plastic bone in the bottom tunnel.

I leave a little extra length for overlap, trim the bone, and push the end in the opposite tunnel to secure it properly.

And I insert plastic bones in the second and the third tunnel the same way.

The petticoat looks like this now:

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