Hemming & Hawing

September 23rd, 2011

I’ve just finished hemming a pair of pants for my husband’s new (blond corduroy!) suit. I did it in the nick of time too, so that he can look dashing at our friend’s daughter’s Bat Mitzvah tomorrow morning. As I stitched, I thought about another hem that’s been bothering me. Namely, the incorrect hem I put into my last petticoat, the one to which I attached my first crocheted edging.

Trim Attached

Instead of a wide skirt hem, I did a one inch number, cleverly disguised as the third tuck. Then I whipped on the trim. I had a feeling that this was all wrong while I was doing it, but couldn’t find any actual evidence to support my vague suspicions. And since I had been a little chintzy when cutting my breadths for the petticoat, I was afraid there wouldn’t be sufficient turn-down at the top for balancing and went with the slim hem to be safe.

But earlier this week I found proof that I would have done better to risk a wider hem. More like three or four inches instead of one.



The web site selling both of these petticoats identifies them as late-19th century. But they could easily have been remodeled from earlier petticoats and/or petticoat trim. The first one looks mid-century in construction even, if you ask me. I’m less sure about the second, partly due to its narrow width, and partly for the pin tucks which I’ve never seen on a mid-century petticoat — not that that means anything. Regardless of their vintage, notice how they each have the crochet trim or inserting attached to a nice wide hem. Alas!

I’m far too lazy to make a new petticoat skirt for my finished edging. It will just have to languish in its anachronistic state. As reenactors are fond of saying in defense of their irregular underwear, anyone looking close enough to see the mistakes deserves what they get. But I do intend to do a better job for my current edging. I’m also toying with the idea of attaching it to an embroidered petticoat. Though I’d like to find a precedent for such double decoration first.

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