So in all my excitement, I decided that I wanted to make a corded petticoat.  I would like to have my skirts stand out a bit in Victorian work clothes and my understanding after some research is that this should do the trick.  I’ve decided to follow the Recipe for a Corded Petticoat (author Drea Leed copyright 1997-2010) and Lisa’s tips for a corded petticoat.  After all – why blast my own road through the wilderness when someone has gone through all the trouble of paving one for me?

My Kitten – Mal

I am planning on making alterations to the instructions.  My hope is to have a skirt where the cording starts 1/3 of the way down (just below hip level) at approximately 2 or so inches apart.  At around knee level I want to have the cords get closer and at about calf level I want them to be closest.

I am using 45″ wide white pre-washed muslin and 1/4 inch cording.

I’ve started constructing my skirt by sewing up both sides of the skirt leaving approximately 8 inches at the top loose for the gap.  As I’m working I’m merging the two instructions and will make appropriate notes below.

  1. I do not think it advisable to make the skirt with “shaped pieces”.  The rectangles seem to work well because it is easy to put in the cording.  Shaped pieces just seem harder to me. (shrug – it just how I feel)
  2. The two panels seem to make a skirt that is just under 90 inches in circumference.  Lisa wanted hers to be larger and added a panel.
  3. After the first few rows are in (at 1.5″ apart) I feel that I would like to have started adding the cording from the top.
  4. Because I tend to fluctuate in size some and (more importantly) want some leway in how tight I lace I plan on either adding ties or adding lacing holes to the side.
  5. I have determined that (from the bottom up):  The first 10 inches should be 1.5 inches – from 10 to 16 should be 2 inches and from 16 to 24 should be 2.5 or 3?
  6. Important details (especially for those who don’t sew A LOT)
    1. The waistband of your skirt needs to be the same size that you corset down to or slightly smaller.
    2. You will divide the corseted waist measurement in half – half will be the front waist band half will be the back.
    3. Drying in the sun.
    4. DO NOT forget to add ties at the waist.  I used muslin for the waist band and ribbons for the ties.  And for gods sake please make sure they are long enough to tie around your waist.
  7. For length, I had my daughter measure my waist to floor on the front side and back.  I subtracted how high I want the hem to sit and then cut the excess from the waist. I created a waist band out of the excess fabric.
  8. When it was time to add the larger cording to the bottom hem, I realized that since I’m not using the same size cording as the recipe that I “should” have left more room at the bottom hem.  My easy fix (recommended by a costumer friend) is to encase the larger cording in the same fabric and just add it to the bottom.  I’m thinking of using a french seam to add it on to keep in practice.

 Leed, Drea. Recipe for a Corded Petticoat ©2010 Dayton, OH: Author. Retrieved July 27 2011 from the World Wide Web: