Carla Burke wrote:I love these! Though I'd not even attempt it, by hand (with my hand problems, it would take months to finish, if it ever even got finished), it might be something I'd eventually, at least try on the treadle.
Jordan Holland wrote:I'm not one for dressing up, but I have to admit they had their moments back then. When I saw the Penny Dreadful series, the costumes really stood out.
r ranson wrote:...
It's also interesting that just about every social class in Victorian England wore corsets, whereas most of Europe, corsets were restricted to the upper classes (but the lower classes still wore boddices or stays or other supportive garments). This has a few reasons - one, the manufacturing techniques in England greatly reduced the cost of the fabric, making it more accessible to the working woman.
Planning the "pieces" to make it look intentional is a bonus. I was given some heavy cotton fabric along with a comforter that needed a new cover. The fabric wasn't wide enough, but rather than just matching the pattern and sewing one seam wherever the first bit of fabric ran out, or having the seam right down the center of the cover which seemed too "in my face", I used a full width of the fabric for the center of the cover, and then added a strip at each side to extend the width with the seams landing right at the edge of the mattress. Because the comforter is "bending over the edge" at the same spot as the two seams are, most people looking at the cover don't even realized it's been made out of 1 wide and two narrow panels.
r ranson wrote:here is a method for piecing together small scraps to be more conservative with cloth.
Jay Angler wrote: But also, don't necessarily piece it "where the fabric runs out" but rather where someone looking at the outfit will assume it was intentional!
Similarly, sometimes the way to hide a flaw is to make it stand out more. Dress it up with a bit of trim or matching fabric, or have it be the edge of a pocket, or a row of decorative buttons etc.
Fabric Suggestions for Undergarments:
Muslin – good starter fabric but be sure to feel the piece before buying. Muslin (known as calico in the UK) is produced rather quickly as a cheap textile. You’ll find the hand (feel) is different on bolts sitting right next to each other in the store. Select the lightest weight you can.
Broadcloth – watch out for poly/cotton blends! They are everywhere and do not deserve to be used for a precious chemise or drawers. One hundred percent cotton broadcloth can be heavy so make sure you can feel the material before purchasing. A wool broadcloth is too heavy – keep that for a petticoat.
Batiste – perfect for undergarments. It can have a slight sheen to it but is thin and opaque – a good choice.
Voile – very sheer cotton that will work well for late Victorian and Edwardian chemise & drawers. Early 19th C. chemises should be made with thicker fabrics. Voile is simply too sheer.
Lawn fabrics are beautiful. Unfortunately for us they are mainly sold as prints today. However, I’ve seen solid colors at a couple online vendors. Lawn is a soft cotton between a voile and batiste that has a stiffer drape like a shirting but sheer. Although mainly used for dresses, the stiff hand shouldn’t be too detrimental to undergarments if you want to use it.
Shirtings – although cotton and can be used for undergarments, shirting fabrics work best for dresses and petticoats. Look for something else if you can.
Kona cottons and other quilting cotton solid basics – although 100% cotton, these textiles are rather heavy and don’t drape well for chemises. But quilting cottons will work for drawers.
Cotton or wool flannel is wonderful for drawers for cold weather if you need something heavy. I wouldn’t recommend flannel for a chemise as it’s just too heavy and with all the other dress layers is not necessary for the chemise. Be cautious though: wool drawers around the legs may be irritating.
Linen – I have fallen in love with my linen undergarments! It’s simply beautiful to wear, breathes well, and is opaque. Stick with a lightweight linen between 3 and 5 ounces.
r ranson wrote: