quilted petticoat


A fine striped robe à la polonaise, French, 1770s 

Cinnamon and ivory satin stripes, with double engageants, English back, the interior with tapes and loops to form polonaise folds; with ivory satin stomacher covered with pinked ribbon rosettes; and a finely quilted ivory satin petticoat with overall lattice design and flowerheads within triangles to the hem; together with a modern choker made to match from Valenciennes lace and ribbon (4) 

Kerry Taylor Auctions


Revenge of the Sith | Behind the Seams | The Peacock Gown

As the ensuing Clone Wars threaten the Republic in the opening of Episode III, Padmé is seen wearing the somber colors of mourning. Constrained by her hidden marriage, her costumes now adopt a Victorian silhouette. She is shrouded in petticoats and crinolines - fashions adopted to conceal her pregnancy - but the design also heralds the oppresion of the dark times on Coruscant, the coming of the Empire. All the costumes in which she is seen in public hang from the shoulders and are supported on what is essentially a simplified crinoline shape unerneath. Using steel rings in the petticoats and quilted petticoats to keep stiffness underneath allowed Trisha Biggar to use soft fabrics on the top, so there would still be a very soft, feminine feel to Padmé’s costumes.

The Peacock Gown consists of a glossy, high-collared underdress woven from a tightly pleated material which Biggar called “peacock fabric” because of the way it shifted colours according to different lighting conditions and Natalie Portman’s movement. In different lights, it looks both blue and rusty brown. The puff sleeves are drawn at the lower arm and have beads dangling from the cuff. Over this dress Padmé wears a long, brown, layered coat that is somewhat triangular from the front and has a cape that goes over her arms. Small tassels hung off each ending of the coat, which is decorated in its entirety in scrollwork done in ribbon.

Padmé’s headdress is an unique design, shaped like a rectangle with an in-facing scalloped front. The sides are done in a decorative yet simple style in a grayish metal with Padmé’s hair done in myriad tight ringlets resembling strings of beads. In order to create the thin, tight ringlets of the hairstyle which was heavily influenced by Ancient Egyptian female fashion, the hairdressing department had to carefully match swatches of real Russian hair to the actress’s hair color. The matches needed to be made under sunlight, as fluorescent lights don’t accurately reflect true color. What’s more, different colors of hair were mixed together to create realistic ringlets that looked natural. For the headpiece itself, Trisha Biggar had a pin she liked reproduced a dozen times. The reproductions were placed on hand-bent piano wire, then plated, and finally lined with leather.

Robe a la Française

Argh! I forgot to post my latest completed project before starting the next one! silly nut!

I wanted to try to make a robe a la Française, or Watteau dress, with paniers…Interesting challenge!

So, the materials:

I had enough of the powder blue lining fabric to make the underskirt, and found the printed cotton quite cheap… As luck would have it, it is in fact a reproduction from the fabric museum in Mulhouse.

But first, the panier:

Okay, not “grand paniers”, more like “medium paniers”, lol. I was ready to make some, when a friend gave me her wedding crinoline who’d been gathering dust behind her cupboard.

A little bit of daring do later (and some stragically placed ribbons), I had my skirt structure.

Quilted petticoat on top (a must)… And then here goes the underskirt!

And then the mantua:

With sleeves is deffo better!

You may have noticed one lace bit went away…I removed it because it was a bit too much, one far better with only a single flounce.

In fact, I’m not too happy with the underskirt, and I’ll probably make another one for this dress… Probably in cream cotton when I can get my hands on some (so it can be used with other gowns, because I’m thrifty that way!

I’m quite happy with the overdress, though. Managed those pleats at the back:

Sorry for nasty pic!

Quite proud of the work I did on the sleeves and stomacher, on the other hand.

And that floral print made for a nice spring dress!

Next time, a “Second Empire” visiting gown. Splurged on the fabrics for that one, so the results should be interesting!


Embroidered petticoats.

Maybe we don’t need fully printed petticoats or quilted ones for a super fashionable and striking look: a nice fabric and a beautiful embroidery are a match made in heaven. I wish I knew how to embroider XD

  1. Silk petticoat embroidered with silk and metallic thread, and bobbin lace, ca. 1760, Portugal, LACMA.
  2. Cotton petticoat embroidered with copper and zinc sequins and gilded silver thread, late 18th Century, New Spain, National Museum of History, Mexico (bad photo obviously by me).

I finished it yay! I tried it on and realized I couldn’t zip myself into on my own, so the shoulders fit funny since it wasn’t closed all the way in the back. Also the petticoat is way too small. I kind of thought I could get away with it but I can’t, so tonight I’ll make a quilted petticoat.

I also made a day cap out of left over materials. It’s based off of a design from the 1850’s when the dress is from the late 30’s, but that can be our secret.

Made from five yards of printed linen, the bodice is fully lined with muslin, and it zips up the back for convenience. The garment was sewn and drafted by me.

Total time: 28 hours, four days from start to finish. Total Cost: $36

Most of the time was spend hand sewing, and gathering. Dress fabric was $35, trims on the cap and muslin were a gift, and the zipper was $1.


Step One — A lady’s stockings reached just above the knee, and were black for day-time wear, and white or colored for evening. Stockings were held in place by garters. Over the stockings went a pair of drawers (which were two leg flaps sewn together at the waist and crotchless to make going to the bathroom easier). Layer one was finished with the addition of a knee-length chemise.

Step Two — A corset (or stays) strengthened with steel or whalebone served a dual purpose: it supported a woman’s breasts while pulling in her waist enough to keep it defined even after adding up to to five or six petticoats to give her skirt the mid-century bell-shape (the cage crinoline would later replace these petticoats). 

Step Three — A camisole went over the corset to protect the dress from sweat and oils. A final petticoat, a quilted or decorative petticoat went over the top of the other 4-5 petticoats.


Progress! Both sleeves are finished, and the bodice is now lined. I just have to sew it all together and add a zipper. 

I still need to make a quilted petticoat to go underneath it, that should lift the hem and make the whole thing look nicer.


Gahh this looks like a puckery mess - it isn’t, I swear! It just needs to be ironed. But I can’t be bothered to do that when It will get crumpled again.

I’m hoping to finish the front panel tonight, then tomorrow I can start on (and maybe finish?) the other four. Luckily the others should be much easier!  Hopefully we have some wood laying around that I can file into a busk.

I also have some old curtains and peachskin that I might just turn into a matching quilted petticoat. It’s so weird making something entirely out of my stash!


Made a few work in progress pictures of Dagmars outfit for bjdday! :D I only have one more panel to embroider on her coat, but this is half of the quilted petticoat she’s going to wear under her skirt. As in, you won’t even see it, eventually *cough* But I just love quilted petticoats, and I thought it would be a nice touch of femininity in the outfit, even if it is hidden.

Anyway, this is only half, obviously XD I just pinned it to her bloomers for some pictures. It’s made of cream cotton with a thin layer of wadding inbetween, and then the motives stitched in split stitch, using floche thread, and then some lattice embroidery and quilting in cotton quilting thread, and the flower in needlelace. There will be two more panels, and then a row of lace around the hem.