Musing and Sewing

While working on my corded petticoat today, I’ve been watching the TV-series “North and South”, based on the novel by Elisabeth Gaskell (who also wrote “Wives and Daughters”, “Cranford” and others), and I think I’ve realised why I usually like to portray an upper working-, or lower middle-class person when I make my period clothes. It’s very simple: I can’t portray a rich woman without the question “where did the money come from?” arising. Did it come from an inheritance, trade or manufacturing? No matter what the answer, the comfort and wealth of the person I portray probably came from the labour and suffering of other (underpaid, malnourished and overworked) people, and I will not appear to be the kind of person to condone that sort of thing. I want to be the kind of person that support myself (or is provided for by father or husband) with honest labour, in this time, and in any other. So most of the time when making historic clothes, I think of myself as a seamstress: I may be working hard, and can not afford the nice fabrics and trims, but I have the skill to make neat and well-fitting clothes all the same.



Anyway, I’ve been working on my corded petticoat. It’s slow work, as I’ve said before. I use a running stitch, with an occasional backstitch for greater security. Eight rows of cording are finished, which make all of 2,3 centimeters, or a little more than 7/8″ at the hem…this will take a while. From what I’ve read, it’s more common for petticoats like this to have the cords woven into the fabric, but since I don’t have a loom at home, I’ll have to sew them in. This was also done, though perhaps not with such thin cords. I’ll wear it under my dress and other petticoats, so no one will see it anyway…



Tomorrow is Sunday, which for me means going to church and no sewing. And on Monday, I’m working! I only got work for that one day, and perhaps another one later this month, but it’s better than nothing. I count my blessings.

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