Note: This post is for Ginny! I know you are reading this and you inspired me to try it!
I have to admit that I was being a little eccentric when I started on this experiment :) We were leaving for an event the next day and I needed my petticoats to be starched but I also wanted to try my hand at what the original cast might have done. Per a friend's suggestion I used this recipe that was found over on the Sewing Academy Forum.
"Heavy Starch: In large saucepot, mix 1/2 c. starch (laundry or corn) and 1 cup cold water. Gradually stir in 2 quarts water. Stirring constantly, bring to boil over medium heat and boil 1 minute. (Note: 1 minute of boiling, no more or less produces the best starch solution.) Use warm.
Medium Starch: Dilute Heavy starch solution with 2 quarts water.
Light starch: Dilute Heavy starch solution with 4 quarts water.
For best results:
Fabric should be clean, wet, and unfolded before dipping into starch solution.
Use starch solution while warm.
Iron fabric while damp."
The starch solution was so hot that I had to use gloves and a wooden spoon. Becca and I were giggling about something when she took this picture :)
Wringing the solution out of a petticoat......
The finished product the next morning! The petticoats are so stiff that they rustle and the corded bonnets turned out great! I only starched the brim of course but it was so easy that I think I like it better than my slat bonnet. I am looking forward to seeing how long the petticoats stay stiff and if the starch truly acts like "scotch guard" like it is praised to do :)
I didn't starch anything on those drawers but I finished them that same day and I thought adding them to the line was more pleasing to the eye than just having four things in the picture. :)
I forgot to take pictures of what the starch looks like but it just looks like white-ish water and is very slimy to the touch. It feels not so pleasant but is great after it dries :) Now all I have to do is the rest of my petticoats and about 8 others that my mom and sister have. I think this would be a great educational project to do at an event as it is so hands on and yet practical.