January 17th, 2011
Here’s another edging, recommended for petticoats, from Peterson’s, 1855.
The pattern was remarkably well written and easy to follow, especially with the clear and accurate illustration. I still haven’t figured out how to gauge sizes on 19th-century cotton, but I’ve found some patterns for very fine tatted lace that call for no. 20 or 30 boar’s-head cotton, and directions for a coverlet calling for no. 10. So I am going to presume that, like today, the higher size numbers indicate finer thread. This pattern bears that out as well, asking no. 10 for a petticoat trim, but 16 or 20 for a child’s drawers.
I used what I had on hand to make up a sample — modern no. 16 cotton and a 1.3 mm hook. I don’t think I’d want to trim a petticoat with anything thicker than a modern no. 16; this is a pretty edging, but a bit on the stiff side already. It does seem strong, which was a frequently stated prerequisite for any undergarment trimming (they boiled their laundry, then it was wrung out, and finally put it through a mangle).
Best of all, even though it is worked over the full required length for the first four rows, it does work up relatively quickly. I wouldn’t mind making 100 or so inches of this to trim a petticoat. Someday.