Thursday, January 30, 2014

Matlasse, Marseilles and Corded Quilting

Since the Snow Queen and Jack Frost refuse to stop tag-teaming most of the U.S. with their particular idea of "fun", I've been staying inside and hibernating. How on earth did people deal with it in the past? Well, one way was by dressing warmly, even inside, and one of these ways for women was to wear quilted skirts or petticoats.

Most of the extant ones that I have found were made from silk satin.

I wanted to make one of these, but since my silk budget had to be sacrificed for a new gas furnace, and since I've really never done any quilting, I opted for a "cheat" to get the look. 

Matelasse (mat-la-say) is a cotton fabric that is often used for upholstery or bedspreads and is readily available at my local JoAnn fabrics. This fabric was originally made to imitate Broderie de Marseille, which is a form of three-dimensional textile sculpture using plain white cloth and white cotton cording that originated in Marseille, France in the 17th century. 

This is what Matlasse fabric looks like...kind of an embossed, quilted effect...

Real Broderie de Marseille looks like this -

I used the quilted petticoat diagram on page 36 of Costume Close-Up and cut six rectangular panels. The waistband is made of cotton Osnaburg with side ties of linen tape. It's probably not 100% historically accurate, but I did use natural fibers and it is all hand-sewn using cotton thread.

I will probably dye it, although the natural color resembles this petticoat...

Or this one...


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