Flannel Petticoat II: It Came from the Mending Basket

I recently discovered a fabulous way of reducing the pile of things forming archaeological layers – or possibly new civilizations – in the mending basket. Bin? Absolutely not. Forced labour? Also no. The trick, it turns out, is to shift the goal posts.

The mending basket has got a bit out of hand…

For a ridiculously long time, I have had a flannel nightie in my mending basket, waiting for a mend. Button-bereft garments come and go, elastic waistbands stretch and are replaced, tears are darned or patched, but this was beyond me. The worn-through yoke needed replacing. Did I know how to replace a yoke? No. So I left the nightie in the basket until such time as enlightenment descended.

Some of you may remember the first time I wrote in praise of the old technology of flannel petticoats. (Indeed, it was only some half dozen posts past, albeit as many months ago.) It was in the month following that enlightenment arrived, taking a rather unexpected form. It appeared as a small voice in my head when reviewing the basket strata, which said “you could make a flannel petticoat out of that.”

With alterations, of course. The sleeves wouldn’t really fit under other sleeves, so they had to go, and the unmendable yoke I chopped out in a squarish short of shape.

The armholes then needed hemming – no trouble – and the raw edges of the neckline I bound with some blue bias binding I had on hand which went rather well with the floral pattern.

I put it on backward (buttons at the back), tied it around the waist with a blue ribbon (no idea where that came from), and c’est tout. The second flannel petticoat was complete, and the mending basket that bit emptier.

You can see the finished effect modeled by the exoskeleton below. Whether this counts as a hack or an upcycle or what, I do not know. But what was once useless is now useful, and that’s good enough for me.

Flannel petticoat adapted from a floral nightdress

That was in June. With this to wear under the less long of my dresses, and the original flannel petticoat to wear under my longer ones, I was toasty all winter long. To my great surprise, I ended up hardly wearing my merino leggings, in comparison with former years.

Hand-knitted socks and flannel petticoats. You can’t go past them for winter coziness! As I have increasingly frequent cause to remark, I have seen the future, and it is the past.

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