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Done at last: the shift. Plus bonus bonnet

Remember that shift I couldn’t finish in time for HSF # 2, UFO? I did get it finished for HSF # 3, and a bonus petticoat as well. They don’t go together, but in honor of the excessive amount of snow we got this weekend, they’re both white. The snow is also how they got done: nothing like snow days and travel bans to keep one home and sewing.

How ‘Bout Them Facts?


  • For the shift, lightweight linen, probably this one.
  • For the petticoat, one of a pair of Ikea curtains found on sale one day. The light-weight cotton appealed to me and suggested filmy late 18th century petticoat better than anything I had seen at a fabric store.

The petticoat, over another petticoat. It’s that sheer.

Back view (again with cat bowl)




  • Shift: 1775-1783
  • Petticoat: 1795-1800

Notions: Both: Just thread. And some left over white cotton twill tape.

How historically accurate is it?

The shift is pretty close. The fabric is, well, not the linen they had, but it’s as fine as I could afford. It is entirely hand-sewn, and the sleeves have bands and tie closed.

The petticoat is also hand sewn, and uses a historic garment for a basis. (I also looked at bodiced petticoats at the Met.) However, it is made from a curtain and while I unpicked all the seams, the machine stitching holes remain. It gets the job done that I wanted it to do, though: fluffy white stuff.

Hours to complete:

Shift: Killer. Started it last August and have worked on it off and on since then. It went to so many events in the basket that it smelled like woodsmoke. Intensively completing it probably took 24 -30 hours, so it could be a 40+ hour shift. After a while I stop paying attention.

Petticoat: Like candy. Started it Saturday morning, finished it Sunday afternoon. Best guess, about 10 hours.

First worn:

Shift, probably April 13.

Petticoat? Probably Dress U.

Total cost:

No good way to know…the fabric was bought so long ago! The petticoat curtains, when not on sale, are $20, so $10, because I only used one. For the shift, it’s harder to say. I piece aggressively when cutting out, so I bought less than the pattern recommends. Remnants were used for the petticoat bodice and various linings, including the Curtain-Along robe currently underway.