1690s Mantua Ensemble – Part 2: Embellished Petticoat

After sorting out the foundation garments for this project (which you can read about here) I moved onto what became one of my favourite parts of it – the petticoat!

You may think, petticoat? How is that exciting? Oh friends I tell you, petticoats of this period are where it’s at!

Antoine Trouvain

025ac2a5a5198cabee7dbf09b0595d7a.jpg 236×370 pixels

Recueil de modes : Tome 3 : quatre-vingt-dix-huit planches : [estampes] | Gallica

Allegory of Autumn - Nicolas Bonnart

ca. 1695 Marie Thérèse de Bourbon, princesse de Conti, en pied by Henri Bonnart (Bibliothèque nationale de France - Paris France) | Grand Ladies | gogm

Madame la marquise de Grancey by Jean Mariette | Grand Ladies | gogm

Of course, not all  elite women’s petticoats were this heavily adorned but A LOT of the ones depicted were and I think they are so fabulous!

For mine, I kind of amalgamated the look and feel of several of the ones you see above.

I sourced all my trims for this from this great shop on etsy: Shop of Embellishments

I’m not typically a yellow gold person (I prefer silver or white gold) but I really wanted warm richness with this so totally leaned into the gold! Lol

This was my initial set of trims:

My petticoat is made from two 54″ wide panels of the lavender silk. I only stitched up one side seam before applying the trims, It was a lot easier to do this with the petticoat still flat, rather than in the round. Although, I did leave the ends of the trims un-stitched so I finished sewing them down over the other seam and make the join less obvious. Sorry I forgot to take a picture showing this!

I hand sewed all the trims on because a) hand stitches are less visible than machine stitches and (primarily) b) I’m one of those weirdos who actually really enjoys hand sewing.

But I did not always fuss too much about the thread colour, lol.

I quickly decided I needed to double up the fringe to make it full and dense.

This was all very nice but somehow didn’t seem quite enough for me. So I ended up adding a little more:

And a little more:

An important note about the way I constructed this petticoat:

I did it in the manner of a typical 18th century petticoat with pocket/opening slits at the side seams. I really like this style of petticoat for both ease of construction and wearability – not to mention tie pocket access! I have NO IDEA at this point if this is a historically accurate method making late 17th century petticoats. The only pattern for one that I’ve found thus far (for this extant at the MET museum) has a single, centre back opening, with a greater number of smaller pleats around the waist than mine. I have examined 2 mantua gown petticoats from the 1720s-40s and one had a centre back opening while the other had side openings. So, not much help there, lol.

Next up: the Mantua gown itself!

9 thoughts on “1690s Mantua Ensemble – Part 2: Embellished Petticoat

  1. Wow. 1690’s. These are getting old and older in origin! Can’t wait for the caveman one 😉. It’s a beaut. Keep it coming!!!


  2. I found this blog while searching online for images and patterns for a similar gown. I only see part 1 and 2 , though. Have you ever written part 3? If not, can you perhaps tell me more about this stunning ensemble? Did you draft the pattern yourself?

    I’m a music teacher and my students are studying and performing baroque music this year, culminating in a special recital in the spring and I’ve been searching for a pattern exactly like this!

    While I have seen plenty of contemporary clothes for myself and my kiddos, I have never taken on anything of this magnitude, so I’ve been hunting for all the resources I can find.

    Your blog is incredible and I’m thrilled to have found it!


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