I meant to have this post ready a couple of weeks ago, but I’ve been busy sewing and getting ready for Christmas. I have a few projects that are already photographed and some finished and a few in pipeline. I’m not sure how many I will get blogged before the end of the year, but I hope to get at least two more in, otherwise, they’ll be up in January. 🙂
Today, I have for you the underpinnings that I wore with my Late-Victorian Mourning Outfit. I am absolutely in love with these undergarments. So much so that I felt so disappointed that they had to be covered up with clothing. At least I can share them with you here and show off the undergarments that helped me to achieve the period look for my costume.
As this is my first set of underpinnings. I had to make everything. The good thing is that I can wear these pieces with other costumes, so that’s the good thing! I also learned what styles I like and what I don’t, as I plan to sew more historical undergarments next year, spanning from 1840-1925. During my research I found that it helped me so much to see what order that these garments are put on, so I’m going to share each one in that order, along with the patterns I used and any footnotes.
To start off with, I have on my chemise, pantaloons, stockings and shoes. These are historical undergarments, so I don’t have modern underwear on. The chemise and pantaloons were closest to your skin, so you would change them everyday, and therefore have a few sets to wear. They always say “shoes before corset”, so I put my stockings on shoes before I got dressed further.
My chemise is the Wearing History 1917 Combination Underwear and Chemise. This pattern is a bit later than the rest of my underpinnings, but the plain chemise (second one over) is basic enough to work. The pattern is also available in PDF format, so it was easy to print, assemble and cut out my chemise. I have a few chemise patterns, but they are earlier periods and wouldn’t have worked too well. This one was fast and easy to make.
My chemise is made out of muslin and has vintage beading with silk ribbon. I actually made two of these chemises from this pattern. The other one is view 3, but with the open (not combination) slip. It has vintage beading and silk ribbon for the straps, but looks more Edwardian than this one, thus the reason why I sewed another one.
For my pantaloons, I used the Buckaroo Bobbins Frillies pattern. I’ve used a few Buckaroo Bobbins patterns before, so I figured that I’d use them again. I made the shorter pantaloons from this pattern. I used some wonderful heirloom quality cotton lawn from Home Sew, that was perfect for these pantaloons.
The pantaloons have pintucks and insertion lace, using vintage lace from my stash. No, I didn’t need to add insertion lace to the pantaloons, but I did. :0 My only issue with this pattern is that these aren’t split pantaloons, which means that you would have a difficult time using the ladies room in these. That doesn’t make these very useful, so I’m probably not going to wear these again for a historical event and will instead sew up a period correct pair of split pantaloons. However, I really like wearing these around the house, so there’s that. 🙂
Next up my corset. I have sewn corsets before, but they were from Big 4 patterns and used hook and eyes and rigilene boning. Not a proper laced corset like this one.
For my corset, used the Truly Victorian 1880 Late Victorian Corset pattern. It’s a good beginner pattern with easy to follow directions.
I used a cotton damask that I had in my stash for both the outer fabric and the lining. I’m not sure that I would do that again as sometimes I had to figure out which was the inside and which was the outside.
I bought the rest of my corset supplies online. The busk and some of the steel boning is from Porcelynne and the grommets, lacing and the rest of the steel boning is from Making It Yourself. The instructions did not note how much boning I would need and I had to order more, thus the reason why I purchased boning from two different shops.
The pattern has instructions for the main boning channels and then suggested adding more for larger sizes, so there are a lot of channels that had to be marked in sewn. I think that process probably took the most time as it didn’t take too long to cut out or sew the corset pieces together.
Putting the grommets in was easy, although it hurt my hand after a while. I have a couple of grommet tools, so I didn’t have to purchase one. I do think that I’ll buy a better grommet setter than the hand held tool as I plan on making at least three more corsets next year.
Making this corset was not as difficult as it looks. I enjoyed the process and I also enjoy wearing it. After I finished it, I wore it for a couple of days before my event to break it in and allow for the boning to shape and fit me. It got even more comfortable as I wore it and it didn’t take long to get the lacing down to tighten it up myself. I can go tighter, but in these photos I have it laced at a comfortable position.
I think it’s a pretty good first attempt at a historical corset. Next time I look forward to adding some embellishments.
Next up was my petticoat. I used the petticoat pattern from Buckaroo Bobbins (same as the pantaloons) and made it out of cotton muslin.
It’s a good lightweight petticoat with a silk ribbon drawstring at the waist and a button placket.
And also a some tucks near the ruffle. I probably should have saved the insertion lace for this petticoat, but by this point I wasn’t feeling like adding any.
Next is my camisole, or corset cover. I used the same Buckaroo Bobbins pattern as my pantaloons and petticoat and it’s made out of the same delicate heirloom quality cotton lawn as my pantaloons. This pattern was a nice one to construct, although I would use smaller buttons next time.
It has pintucks, vintage lace and silk ribbons at the neckline and waist.
The pattern has an embroidery pattern and instructions included and I did intend to embroider it, but I just didn’t have time. I made all of these underpinnings, my outfit and my husbands’ in about 5 weeks, so I was pressed for time. I plan to sew another camisole soon and will definitely add embroidery to that.
And last, we have another petticoat. This petticoat wasn’t on my list, but when I tried on my outfit with the underpinnings, it seemed like I needed a little more under my skirt. I was going to make a taffeta petticoat, but then I remembered that I had made one to go with my wedding dress. This one worked. It has an elastic waist, but vintage scalloped lace on the hem. It’s on my list to make another taffeta petticoat.
And that’s how it looks with clothing on over it.
I have several historical costumes planned for next year and I’ll be making more underpinnings, while also wearing some of these pieces again. For my next corset I’m going to use a different pattern (Laughing Moon Victorian gored corset) and use coutil and spiral steel boning. My next set of underpinnings goes under an 1850’s dress. It does take longer to make all of these than the outer costume, but so worth it and I do enjoy wearing them. They help take you back to the time period of your costume and give you the correct silhouette.
- Chemise: Wearing History 1907 Chemise in cotton muslin, made by me
- Pantaloons: Buckaroo Bobbins Frillies in cotton lawn, made by me
- Corset: Truly Victorian 1880’s Late Victorian corset in cotton damask, made by me
- Petticoat: Buckaroo Bobbins Frillies in cotton muslin, made by me
- Camisole: Buckaroo Bobbins Frillies in cotton lawn, made by me
- Taffeta Petticoat: Simplicity 5006, made by me
- Shoes: Funtasma
- Stockings: Sock Dreams