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Four-Gore Underskirt

This pattern is from Truly Victorian TV261-R

It’s a 1885  Four-Gore Underskirt

Make sure if you are working with a 100% Cotton you wash and dry it before you cut it.  This way it won’t shrink at all and you can make it fit you perfectly.  As always cut out your pattern pieces and serge or use a different stitch to hold the edging from unraveling.

For the front piece make to darts and iron to the inside.


Depending on which style you like to do for this skirt it can be with a bustle or not.  You have an Optional Bouffant if you like.  I will show you how to do this but I’m not going to make mine this way.  Just showing you if you like to.



First sew darts into front and sides on the panels of the skirt shown here. Pinning them in place make sure it hang correctly.  Make sure the darts face toward the back.








Sew back to sides and remember to iron your seams open

On the left side, end seam 8 to 9″ from waist and back-stitch.  to form a packet by turning open edge under 1/2″ and top stitch down.

Now you need to either gather back with a baste stitch or make pleats in the back.  (I will show you later)

You will sewn waistband on skirt and leave a 1″ on both sides at the placket flat.



After doing this you will cut 3 tapes approx. 20″ long.  hand stitch tapes to waistband, one at the center back and one at waist side, half way between center back side seam.



bustleYou will pin back to the tapes were indicated on pattern, so that each mark is lifted 6″ up the tape. Adjust pouf to personal preference.  Hand stitch in desired location.  This step is easiest to do while skirt is hanging or on a dress form.  I changed mine to what ever way to make it look more natural.  Use safety pins when doing this so it will stay on the tape better.





Ok now moving on to the way I decided to make my skirt.  It says to pleat the back panel. (I will show you how to in the overskirt directions.




This is the under side of the pleats.






To make sure my pleats will stay uniform and after washing I sewn about two inches on each placket down on the opening side.





After this its time to put the waistband on the skirt leaving an inch on each side.  Moving on to the hem the skirt.




Finish the hem by folding the bottom edge under 1/2″ and again 1″.  Now stitch in place. When I do this I always iron it first to give it a more crisp line.






For me I wanted to make small pleats for the bottom ruffle.  This is very time-consuming but I really like how it looks and its historical correct for this time period.



Sew all the pieces of ruffles sides together to form a one long piece.








Hem the bottom edge by turning under 1/2″ and again 1/2″ and sew down. For the top turn it down 1/2″ down and iron it in place.





Now for the fun stuff.



This is called a perfect pleater. Depending on what with you would like for your pleats it baste on how man tuck per line.  I decided to do ever two.. It give is a bigger pleat.  It takes a little practice but once you figure it out it really easy to do.  To keep your pleats in you can use water and a small amount of vinegar.  It really keep the pleats in.  Before you remove them to sew.  I used some masking tape to hold them in place.





It’s very tricky to baste them in place as they want to move on you, so hold down your tape and watch the underside to keep the folds uniform.






wow finally done it took me two hours but I really like how they will look on the skirt.

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The other day I got my material in so I hurried and wash it before use. This is a good thing to do especially with cotton, due to it shrinks.  This way once you fit it exactly to your body, it won’t shrink at all.

I started cutting my overlay pattern with all the ruffles.startoverly


I did a overlock from my serger on all the edges.  Looks quite nice.  After I did each piece I sewn the overlay together.








All the ruffles I did to.. it takes time but looks nice.




After doing each piece i had to hem one side of the ruffles.  I decided to iron the hem down first before I sewn it.  It went pretty fast when I did it that way. You should start at the bottom and work your way to the top when you start to sew the ruffles on.  By doing it this way, it will help you to not get the previous ruffle in the way as you sew.



After I gather each ruffle. I made sure the gathers looked right before I sew it down. For doing this I measured each row from the bottom up, and kept them all the same height from one another.measurerows

I wanted the ruffles to be accurate for each row and to look proportioned correctly from another. By doing this, it will make all my ruffles be accurate to each and every row.

It took a lot of time but it does look quite nice now.






It’s finally finish and looking pretty good with the ruffle tiers in place. Now I need to sew each and every row ends to the overlay itself.

This is a really good idea, this will make the material have more of a curve, which will help to support the skirt.  If you would have left it alone, the weight of the skirt would push it down and would make your outer skirt look flat.






You can see here by doing this it give it the material a slight curve to it, which will help support the weight for the skirt.




After making your overlay it needs to be added to the bustle skirt.  This was a chore due to you have your boning already in.


I still made it work, I really didn’t want to sew this by hand.  Once this was on I fitted to my form.  Its kind of heavy it’s pulling on the form.




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Finishing Petticoat with Wire Bustle

For the bustle it’s time to put the boning in.  This was a challenge for me.  I followed the directions but man there has to be a better way.  They tell you to leave an opening to slide it in and then go back and hand sew it.  The first one was a mess. I notice you need to leave a bigger opening and slide it in one side and then slide the other end in… by doing this you will have a bow on the outside of the boning and slide it in carefully without ripping your casting. Then slide it down the channel.









Next you need to sew at each end of the channels some cord.  This is for a collapsible bustle which is quite nice. They are big and this way they won’t take up to much of your closets space.  You can see the ties I used was not cotton it was synthetic so I could burn the ends, this way they wouldn’t fray.







This is what it looks like inside the bustle after you tie them together. Really cool pattern.





Here is the bustle finally done.. I will need to go back andsidebustle determine the length of the hem I will need.  This is a back view and a side view the silhouette is great. Now onto the petticoat.



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Petticoat with Wire Bustle

Today I worked on my Petticoat with Wire Bustle 1870’s and 1880’s which will support those styles of bustle dresses. This pattern is by Truly Victorian.  TV-101

I’m really excited to work on this pattern as its based on an actual garment as seen in Harper’s Bazaar magazine.  This pattern that I’m sewing will be easy for storage because it folds down flat.

These directions were quite easy to follow.  I bought theses from Truly Victorian.  The have a nice collection to choose from.

First I serge all my edges on all of my pattern pieces before i started sewing my seams.


With each seam I made sure I ironed each and everyone.  I thought I would post a picture of one that wasn’t ironed her below so you can see the difference.




What a big difference when you don’t set the seam.




On the bustle part I pinned bias tape to the upper bustle part.  Trying very hard to give them a straight line as possible.












One completed channel sewn






I have two lines done





Now finished sewing all three channels that go across the bustle.





For this channel it’s sewn at a diagonally part way.  You only sew up and back and leave the top open.





At the top of  channel one I sewn another open channel over the first channel. Be very careful not to sew closed the bottom channel.hoopboning



Here is the boning I cut to the correct length from the pattern instructions. Don’t put these in just yet.  I will be making the





Now moving on to the florence. This you will need to sew each of the pieces together.






Remember to iron the seams down.  I bought this little iron and I just love it.  It’s just made for ironing down seams.  Nice not to have to brag out the big iron all the time.







Now I need to baste the top of the florence to fit it to the front and back bustle. Due to all the material and its weight.  I decided to double pin both directions to keep the gathers in the right about all the way around.









Little by little I would sew slowly and take pins out when you come to them. This really helped me keep my gathers more even all the way around.








This is what it looks like sewn on.  Make sure to take out your basting stitches.  It will look a lot better if you do.









Now the material will fall more even by taking out the extra stitches.









Moving on to the top portion of the bustle to add the waistband.  Before sewing it on you need to baste the upper top to fit your waist size.



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