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 Tudor Farthingale

9_23_07  Start of the farthingale.  I'm making a Corded Petticoat for my Farthingale.  The Spanish Farthingales came into use after my time frame, 1550s they were used.  If I don't use this for my Tudor, I can always use it for Elizabethan.

I want this gown to be an in between gown, not Noble and Not Merchant.  A Mere Gentleman's Wife's Gown. (Like the Tudor Tailor Ladies Demo)  Rich enough but not too rich.  Landed with a household of 12 servants.

I have 5 yards of some type of linen fabric.  It was only $4.00 a yard at Fabrics R Us and it was my very first purchase from them.  I've cut out the skirt panels from 3 yards.

Pattern used:  None needed since the it's so simple in design (drawing to follow)

Three panels of 25" each and two gores at 2" top and 17" bottom

Sewed all the panels together except center back:  Must let the bias gores hang for a day or two.

I have upholstery rope to use for the cords. (1/2 in diameter)

I plan to insert the channels using the self-fabric channels.  The skirt as you can see is about 15-20" longer than the finished length.

If there is enough fabric left I'll make a self casing for the top and make it drawstring.

petticoat panelswith natural light tudor petticoatwith flash

a progress photo

I'm using an upholstery piping 100% cotton and I'm pinching the fabric around the piping and pining it for now.  I have a lot at extra fabric at the top unless I want to add more of the cord.



I sewed 6 rows.  The first row is a single cord.  The rest of the rows are a single cord spiraling upward.  I have the above photos to show how I made the channels for the cord to run through.  I used a zipper foot.  The 2nd photo is the first cord, the next photo is the second cord.  The third photo is the same row, but I've flipped the top of the fabric back so you can see the first row side.  The final photo shows the start of the third row.

With a petticoat such as this, you must make up the seams all the way around (so there is a tube of fabric)  Then you do the pinch around the cording.


I'm surprised at how much the hem stands outward with the cord.  I'm adjusting the last row.

BTW, I broke a needle trying to sew over the cord.  I didn't think it was that heavy or thick, but beware.


I'm hoping to finish by tonight, but I have a bike ride to do today. Must make a waistband and sew the final cord on.

Since I hurt my wrist I couldn't sew for a while, its still really sore, but I managed to get a waistband on the petticoat.  Anyway I made the waist way too large to get into a waistband.  I sewed up the back about 20" worth and place pleats around too.  If I make another of these, I'll would forgo a full panel.  Instead I'd do one front panel, 2 back panels half the width of the front and two gores.  

For these photo I have the side hiked up a little, I'll have to fix that.  I has a bit of a bum roll effect going on in the back, which is great.  I put on a skirt and then I put on the skirt with the corded petticoat and you can see a big difference.  The side photo looks good too and you can hardly see the cording underneath.  It is hard to get the cord lines straight, especially when they spiral upwards.  Doesn't make any difference to the skirt though.

Finished measurments:

length:  39"

Circumference:  99"


I'm finishing up the farthingale, since I've decided to wear it to June Crown.  Not too much to finish anyway, just the hook & eye closure.

I'll wear it with the Red linen Kirtle and the White Chemise.  I should stay cool(er) in the hot summer sun.  Coif and Straw Hat.

An apron would be a good idea too, don't know if I have the time though.