Suitable Material

Sateen, silk, chambray, crepe, seersucker or gingham may be used.

Required Material

For a petticoat with a pleated ruffle as shown in Fig. 41, 2 1/4 or 2 1/2 yards of goods 36" wide are needed. The exact amount is determined by measuring the length of the skirt, subtracting the width of the ruffle and multiplying the results by 2. For example, if the skirt when finished is to be 36" and a ruffle 6" deep is desired, the length of the skirt would be 36" - 6" or 30". This multiplied by 2 would give 60"; that is, you would need 60", or 1 2/3 yards of goods for the main part of the petticoat. To this estimate, the ruffle must be added.

Cutting the Front and the Back Gores

1.  A petticoat made from material either 27" or 36" wide, with a right and a wrong side, may have six gores.

2.  The front and the back gores are cut the same as in the previous petticoat. (See Fig. 38 I, II.)

3.  Each side consists of two gores, and these four gores are cut from one length of the goods. (See Fig. 38 IV.)

Cutting the Side Gores

Take the length of the material and fold it once lengthwise.


FIG. 41. - Pleated Ruffle Sewed to a Scalloped Petticoat

Lay the goods on the table with the fold at the left.

AB Mark the upper left-hand corner of the goods A and the lower end of the fold B, the upper right corner C, and the lower corner D. (See IV.)

AE From A measure one-third of the distance AC, and locate E.

BM From D measure one-third of the distance BD, and locate M.

EM Connect E and M by a straight line.


1.  Cut through the fold AB.

2.  Cut the goods along EM. There will now be four gores.


1.  To each side of the front gore CD (1), join one of the gores just cut. For example, AB (IV) to CD (I).

2.  To each of the bias sides of these gores pin one of the straight sides of the gores cut according to Fig. 38. (For example, join the side CD to EM of the same figure.) Make sure that the petticoat is even at the top. Do not worry about the unevenness at the bottom. This can be remedied later when the gores are put together.

3. Pin the straight side of the last gore to the bias side of one of the other gores.

4.  Join the last two sides together.

5.  Sew the seam with a flat fell seam. Outing flannel is best felled on the wrong side.

Sateen, silk, or any fancy material is best felled on the right side.

6.  Measure 1" from the top of the center fold of the front gore and mark the point with a pin.

7.  Measure 6" on each side of the top of the center fold and the front gore and put a pin at each end.

8.  Connect the pin at each side with the pin at the center by a straight line.

9.  Cut the goods along these two lines. This will make the front gore fit properly.

10.  Measure the length of the skirt from the top to the bottom at the center of the back gore.

11.  Measure each side seam from the top and put in a pin to mark the same distance as the back of the skirt.

12.  Trim off the bottom of the skirt so as to make it even. Use pins as a guide.

13.  The bottom may be finished with either a hem or a ruffle.

The Ruffle

1.  The amount needed for a shirred ruffle is one and one-half times the width of the skirt, or a little less.

2.  Join the parts of the ruffle and make it continuous.

3.   The bottom of the ruffle may be finished with tucks, hem, embroidery or scallops.

4.  Divide the ruffle into 4 equal sections and mark these sections with a thread of a contrasting color.

5.   Shir then the top of the ruffle. This may be done in three ways: (a) By using the ruf-fler on the machine; (b) by loosening the tension and making the stitch longer; (c) by gathering by hand.

The second method is the easier and quicker.

Putting on the Ruffle

The ruffles may be put on (a) by means of the receiving tuck, (b) by means of finishing braid, or (c) by means of a French seam.

The first of these is the method most used.

Receiving Tuck

1.  Divide the skirt into four sections and mark each with a pin.

2.  Divide the ruffle into four sections and mark each with a thread of a contrasting color.

3.  Pin each of the points marked by a thread to a point on the petticoat marked by a pin.

4.  Be sure that the wrong side of the petticoat meets the wrong side of the ruffle.

5. Draw up the threads so that the ruffle meets the petticoat at all points between the pins.


Fig. 42. - Ruffle Attached to Garment with a Receiving


A, Ruffle, stitched to the garment; B, seam opened and creased back; C, 3/4" tuck; D, crease of tuck stitched on the ruffle; E, embroidery edge sewed to insertion with a French seam.

6.  Divide the fullness of the ruffle evenly in each section.

7.  Pin or baste the ruffle on to the petticoat.

8.  Stitch the ruffle to the petticoat as close to the edge of the ruffle as is practicable. About 1/4" or 1/8" is usually needed.

9.  Open the seam and then press it back on the skirt.

10.  Straighten out the petticoat so that the right side of the ruffle and the right side of the petticoat are on top.

11.  From the stitching measure 3/4" by means of a gauge. Crease the skirt so as to have a continuous line all around the skirt and 3/4" from the stitching.

12.  Turn this creased line down upon the stitching so as to cover the edge of the ruffle. (See Fig. 42.)

13.  Baste this crease to the ruffle.

14.  Stitch close to the edge of this crease.

15.  Turn the skirt wrong side out and stitch down the pleat at the top of the ruffle.

Ruffle finished by means of a finishing braid. (Fig. 43.)

The putting of the ruffle to the garment and the finishing with a bias binding or braid is shown in Fig. 43.

Pleated Ruffle (See Fig. 41).

For a pleated ruffle ordinarily 3 yards or 3 widths of the material are used.

1. Join the pieces of the ruffle and make a narrow hem. The hemmer may be used.

2.  Divide the ruffle into eight sections and mark the sections by means of contrasting thread.

3.  Draw with tailor's chalk, lines from top to bottom and l 1/2" apart.


Fig. 43. - Ruffle Attached with a Finishing Braid

4.  Fold over each of these lines and press each with a hot iron.

5.  Take each fold that is pressed and make a pleat 3/8" deep.

6.  Pin each pleat in place.

7.  Baste these pleats with a strong thread.

8.  Be careful not to make a back stitch, which would later prevent the adjusting of the ruffle to the petticoat.

9. Press well with a hot iron on the wrong side. Lay a piece of damp cheesecloth over the pleats.

10. Sew the parts of the ruffle together and adjust the sections of the ruffle to the sections of the petticoat according to the directions given for a shirred ruffle.

Scalloped Petticoat With Ruffle

1.  Fold the petticoat down the center of the front.

2.  Divide each half of the bottom into four equal parts and mark each division with a pin.

3.  Find the center of each of the two pins and from this center measure 3" toward the top of the skirt. Put a pin there.

4.  When all the pins are put in, join each lower edge to each pin which is just above it, by means of a straight line drawn with tailor's chalk.

5. Cut the goods on these lines so as to form the scallops. (See Fig. 41.)

Putting the Ruffle on the Petticoat

1.   Take the petticoat and pin the section of the petticoat to the section of the ruffle.

2.  Adjust the ruffle to the petticoat.

3.   Pin the ruffle to the petticoat so that the top of the ruffle comes about a quarter above the tops of the scallops.

4.  Baste the ruffle on the petticoat.

5.   Turn the petticoat on the right side and baste down the scallops onto the ruffle.

6.   Stitch the scallops close to the edge on the right side.

7.   Turn over to the wrong side and cut away the ruffle so that only a 1/4" edge remains. This edge may be pinked or overcast.

8.  If the material is closely woven and does not easily fray, these edges may be left raw. Raw edges are left on many French petticoats.

9.   Turn to the right side and stitch the scallops a second time.

Teacher's Directions To Pupil

1.  Cut off the length of the material.

2.  Cut off the front gore, the back gore and the band, from one length.

3.  Cut the other length into two or four gores, depending on the material.

4.  Pin the side gores to the back gore.

5.   Stitch the seams.

6.  Make the placket.

7.   See that the petticoat is cut out around the front, and run two gathering threads at the top.

8.  Put on the band.

9.  Make the bottom of the petticoat even and finish the bottom.

10.   Make the buttonhole.

11.   Sew on the button.

12.  If the petticoat has a ruffle (a) prepare the ruffle; (b) prepare the bottom of the skirt for the ruffle; (c) stitch the ruffle to the petticoat.

13.  Press the petticoat.

14.  Fold the petticoat.

15.   Compute the cost.

16.   Figure out the time.


1.  Name materials that are suitable for petticoats.

2.   What measurements are required for a petticoat?

3.   What precautions must be observed when making a petticoat?

4.   Name different ways that petticoats may be finished around the bottom. Around the top.

5.   What seams may be used in making petticoats?