Plain Petticoat


Long Cloth (Chap. I, Par. 24).

1 piece long cloth or rep-plette, twice the length of the skirt plus twice the width of the hem.

1 piece bias tape the length of waist measure plus 1".

Thread No. 70.

Needle No. 8.

Pattern for 3 piece skirt (commercial or drafted).

Introductory Statement

Whether a petticoat is worn for warmth in winter or for appearance sake in summer, a good fitting petticoat is absolutely necessary to the well dressed woman.

The style of the petticoat varies with the constantly changing styles in dress skirts. When the dress skirts are narrow, the petticoats must necessarily be narrow; as the fashion changes to the full outside skirt, the petticoat must be made wider.

The material used in the under skirt depends upon the purpose for which it is to be used. In the winter when a plain skirt is worn under a wool dress skirt, dark colors in materials like silk, moire, sateen, percaline or similar materials are very desirable, while crepe cloth, nainsook, long cloth and similar materials are used for summer skirts.

The skirt shown in this lesson is designed for every day wear and for this reason is made of repplette, which is easily laundered; it is made without a ruffle, a plain hem at the bottom edge forming the only trimming.


Domestic Art in Woman's Education, Cooley. Scribner's Sons. Text Book on Domestic Art, Ingalls.

Suggestions For Optional Modification

Suggestions For Optional Modification 118

Scalloped Petticoat

No. 1. This petticoat is made of heavy repplette cloth, the same as the one shown in the lesson, except that the bottom is finished with scallops instead of the plain hem. These scallops may be drawn directly on the skirt, in the following manner: Fold the skirt in halves lengthwise, then using a tape measure, divide the bottom edge in thirds marking each division with a pencil or pin. Cut a rounding curve on a piece of cardboard to lay off the scallops on the skirt. Cut out the scallops and face the skirt with a fitted facing about 5" wide.

Skirt With Embroidered Edge

No. 2. This is a plain three-piece skirt made as in No. 1, except that the bottom is finished with scallops embroidered by hand. These scallops may be transferred from a commercial pattern; or they may be laid out on a strip of Manilla paper, using a quarter to outline the lower edge and a dollar to outline the upper edge. (Any circular object corresponding in size to these coins may be used.) The scallops are worked with the loop stitch, with coarse embroidery cotton.

Working Directions For Plain Petticoat

Preparing Material

Shrink the material. To do this, wet it, hang it straight on the line until partially dry, then iron until thoroughly dry (the repplette may be allowed to dry on the line without ironing).

Cutting Out The Skirt

You may use a three-piece skirt drafted according to directions in Chap. IV; or, if desired, you may use a commercial pattern. If a commercial pattern is used, study the guide chart for the pattern and place it on the goods according to the directions given. If you use a drafted pattern, place the center front of the front gore on a lengthwise fold of the material; pin in place. Place the straight edge of the pattern for the back gores on the goods parallel with the warp threads (plan your material as economically as possible). Remember you must make two back gores. Pin all of the parts of the pattern in place before cutting the material; cut out the skirt, allowing seams if necessary. The notches which indicate the places where the seams are to be joined should be made very small, or simply marked with a pencil.

Joining The Seams

Felled seams should be used to join the seams of this skirt. Keeping the gores even at the top, pin together the edges with corresponding notches (put the pins in crosswise); baste the seams together with even basting (Chap. II, Par. 103), making the stitches small at the top of the seam (it is well to hold the gored edge toward you when basting to avoid stretching it). When basting the back gore, leave from 10" to 12" at the top unbasted for the placket opening. After the skirt is basted, remove the pins and fit it carefully, marking the necessary alterations with pins. Be careful that the seams over the hips do not slant forward or backward at the top. See that the skirt hangs straight down the front. If it falls forward at the bottom, raise the skirt at the back waist line. Be careful not to make the skirt too tight across the hips. Sit down and see that it fits easily around the hips when seated. Remove the skirt and baste again along the line of pins. Remove the pins and try it on again to see that your alterations are correct. Make the felled seam (Chap. II, Par. 138). Finish the placket opening with a bound placket (Chap. II, Par. 161).

Finishing The Top

A skirt may be finished with a belt, but as there are no gathers in it and the belt is likely to increase the size of the waist line, this skirt is finished with bias tape. To sew on the bias tape, lay one edge even with the top of the skirt, baste the edges together in a narrow seam turned toward the wrong side; fold the tape over to the wrong side and baste along the turned edge, turn in the other raw edge and the ends of the tape at the back, baste and stitch entirely around the edges of the tape. The tape may also be stitched in the center, to keep it from stretching.

Sew hooks and eyes on the placket about 2" apart, placing one at the top of the placket to fasten the skirt around the waist (Chap. II,

Par. 133).

The Hem

Try on the skirt again and have someone turn up the hem, using a yard stick, or a skirt gauge to make it even. Remove the skirt, baste the hem near the bottom edge, remove the pins and using a gauge (strip of cardboard the desired length) as a guide, make the hem even; turn Under the raw edge, baste the hem in place, laying in small pleats to take up the extra fullness. Stitch the hem on the sewing machine. Remove bastings.

The Hem 119

Review Questions And Problems

1. For what rooms at home are sash curtains particularly suitable?

2. What kind of material would you select for sash curtains? What is the price per yard at your local stores?

3. What is the function of a laundry bag? About what size would you make it?

4. What kind of material is generally used for pillow cases?

5. Describe a simple way of making a pillow case, giving only the points absolutely necessary.

6. Describe a more elaborate way of making a pillow case; name four or five stitches and processes which may be used to ornament it.

7. Design and explain how you would make a fancy table cover.

8. What ornamental stitches are often used on guest towels?

9. Work out an original design for an embroidered guest towel.

10. What is a gored apron?

11. What kind of material is suitable for a boy's baseball suit? About how much material is required?

12. What method may be used to make a name or monogram on a baseball shirt?

13. Find the cost of a ready made baseball suit as given in any catalogue of athletic goods and estimate how much you may save by making it.

14. What kind of material is used for petticoats?

15., What points must be considered in making a petticoat?

16. Name and explain how to make at least four stitches which you have used most.

17. Do you know of any home work upon which you might use some of the processes learned at school? Explain.

Suggestions For Home Application

1. Examine the window shades at home; notice whether any of them have become worn at the bottom, or badly cracked from switching against the window casing. The part which has been rolled most of the time will be less worn, so by turning the shade opposite end up the worn part will be hidden when the shade is rolled. Remove the shade from the roller; trim off the end if necessary and turn a hem wide enough to allow the curtain stick to slip through it easily; cut the hem off at the bottom and tack this end to the roller.

2. The life of muslin window curtains, which have become worn at the lower ends, may be prolonged by cutting off the worn parts and hemming the good portions for sash curtains. These curtains may then be used to replace others that are worn out. See if any of your curtains at home can be used in this way. If they can, ask permission to do the work.

3. Stenciling makes a very pretty decoration for bedroom curtains, as the design may be worked in colors which will harmonize with the wall paper or general color scheme of the room. Make a pair of curtains for your bedroom, or any room at home; decorate them with a stencil design.

4. Find how the soiled clothes in your home are cared for before they go to the laundry. If your room is not already provided with a laundry bag, make one and see that it gets systematic use.


5. Make a set of pillow cases for your room, or embroider an appropriate initial or monogram on a pair which you already have.

6. A very serviceable pillow cover may be made, finished with a ruffle of the same material. Make such a pillow, using the hemmer on the sewing machine in hemming the ruffle.

7. Work out an original design and make a guest towel that would be suitable for a birthday or holiday gift.

8. Sort over the garments left from the wardrobe of previous seasons and see whether there are any wash dresses which have been discarded because they are out of style. The expense of buying new material may be saved by making over some of these dresses into aprons.

NOTE: You should use judgment in making over garments, as it does not pay to spend a lot of time making over a garment which is badly worn or in which the material is not strong.

9. Our grandmothers would utilize all the worn and discarded garments in making carpet rags which were woven into rugs and carpets. While this is not done so commonly now-a-days, you may make a very useful and attractive rug for the bathroom or kitchen by simply braiding carpet rags and sewing the braids together to form circular, oblong or oval rugs. To do this, cut cotton material into strips about 2" wide, or wool material into strips about 1" wide; sew the ends of the strips together and wind them into balls. Braid the strips together in a three-strand braid (the braid should be about 1" wide). Use coarse thread and sew the edges of the braid together shaping the rug as you sew.

Suggestions For Home Application 120