Colonial Williamsburg: Dimity Petticoat

I’m sorry I’ve neglected this dress diary for so long! I finished my internship for The Tudor Tailor, finished my second year at university, flew back home for two weeks and then started my summer internship at The Margaret Hunter Millinery Shop in Colonial Williamsburg (CW for short).

I was assigned a uniform on my first day made by one of the interns last year until I could make my own. Here is my blue fitted back gown courtesy of The Margaret Hunter Millinery Shop:

Once I had myself organized I started to work on a new petticoat because unfortunately I kept tripping over my blue one. It’s ridiculously long and at 5’7 it’s not very good to keep tripping into random AI’s (CW slang for the actor-intepreters) arms.

My first place to start was to buy the fabric!  I bought a beautiful cream dimity  that is 100% Irish Linen and 60 inches wide.

The petticoat was ridiculously straightforward. I used a space backstitch for the side seams.

After that I turned the edges for my pocket slits and then began pleating the skirt down to size.

Considering that in my interpretation (that speech I do for about an hour a day five days a week) I talk about how stays add 1.5- 2″ onto your waistline and then I went and forgot that fact. I pleated my petticoat so that it would fit a 24.5″ waist. Then I tried it on and face palmed so hard I had a red mark on my face for a good five minutes.

So after I let out two pleats on the back I was able to then hem my petticoat. Unhappily I was initiated into the shop when I caught the slit of my pocket on a doorknob and ripped it. Hurrah!! Here is how my lovely new petticoat turned out:

And because I totally felt like sharing, I went on a carriage ride to help update the CW Horse and Livestock photos. As a hired seamstress (in the 18th century this means one who sews seams) at the Millinery shop I did not have access to the proper attire suitable for a carriage ride among the Gentry.  Thankfully some very lovely ladies were able to loan me a dress and bergère at the last minute.

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4 thoughts on “Colonial Williamsburg: Dimity Petticoat

  1. What a beautiful costume, though I’m not sure it’s a bad thing to bump into an AI, at least if he’s debonaire 😉

  2. Precisely what genuinely inspired u to post “Colonial Williamsburg:
    Dimity Petticoat the mended soul”? Ireally liked the post!

    Thank you ,Grover

    • The Ornamented Being says:

      Hello Grover,
      I’m glad you enjoyed the post. I’m afraid I don’t quite understand your question? I interned at the Margaret Hunter Milliner Shop in CW last summer. The dimity petticoat was one of the outfits I made to wear in the shop! I hope that answers your question ;D

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