Sonntag, 16. Juli 2017

Duck Down Mess

I think I´ve kept you waiting long enough now...

Back in September last year I wrote about my Faullenzer Corset on the very day I finished todays Project.
A Down filled Petticoat in preparation for winter.

These petticoats were very popular in the midth of the 19th century since they provided the required bulk under the skirts while beeing quite lightweight (and super warm, of course).

Moste original examples survive from the 1860s and 70s and couriously most of them are red. Colourful underwear was in fashion after all...
V&A ca. 1860
The Met ca. 1865-1870
The John Bright Collection ca. 1870
The Quilter's Guild Collection ca. 1865-1880

This last one has also been featured in Nancy Bradfields "Costume in Detail" p. 200.

Needless to say that I urgently needed one of those!
My supplies were at hand as well: an old down filled duvet and bedlinen I have not used well over five years.
My plan: 
cut rectanles, triangles and a yoke, sew together, pipe the hem for extra support, fill it with the feathers, quilt it, sew on the yoke, stitch eyelets and add hooks, done! 

My supplies

Costume in Detail said that the petticoats are machine sewn and since my modern machine is having the hiccups I pulled out my old hand crank machine to do the work. It took a while to adjust all tensions (with help of the original instructions) before I could start. It turned out that my desk wasn't big enough so I moved everything to the floor.

What can I say. Feathers everywhere!!!
I inhaled half a duck! If any of you is ever going to cut open a duvet, please cover your face with a mask so you will still be able to breathe during your stuffing-and-sewing.
I still had feathers flying around weeks later, but the result was absolutely worth it.

inside out

The closure is a hook and eyelet at the front. Also a tie-string runs through the yoke, crosses in the back and comes to the front again. This makes the petticoat multi sized and super easy to adjust.

I also made a little bonus project

This petticoat is awesome! It rustles like a duvet, it touches like a duvet and if you sit on the couch wearing it for whatever TV show it warms like a duvet! I instanly felt like a 7 year old playing princess with the duvet. Only I didn't have to old it with my hands this time!

And the really satisfying part: it holds the shape really well!

Step 1: Bustle pad and petticoat

Step 2: Another petticoat

Step 3: A recently made, rather heavy skirt on top
Since I didn't use the entire duvet fillings I am developing more and more ideas on what to do with the leftovers.
What about a muff? Or sleeve supports?

Wee will see...


  1. Historical sewing is usually all but practical, but this petticoat is extremely practical! We are experiencing long cold times right now and your petticoat would be in heavy use in my somewhat coldish home! And I admire your frugality, no need to spend lots of money and buy new stuff. You just take what you have and make it work. Lovely.

  2. Aaw, thank you! Nowadays it is rather a blanket than a petticoat. Still I just love the resulting shape. And the noise it makes during movement.


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