Finally, the matching underwear for the last two dress patterns I published recently is finished. Two corsets, a chemise and a quilted petticoat (quilting won’t be my passion in the future either) later I´m happy to present my new sewing pattern for 1840´s to 1860´s underwear.
Beside the sewing instructions, coming with the pattern, I´ll show some additional information and pictures here in my blog.
Let´s start with the chemise, all pattern pieces prepared for sewing.
Before I made up the sleeves, I decided to sew the yoke and embroidered it with a decorative stitch of my sewing machine. Instead of polyester thread I used a cotton thread for all seams and the embroidery.
After doing all the gathering on front, back and the sleeves, I lined up the bottom edge of the sleeve with the sleeve cuff and clipped the sleeve at the corner to sew more easily.
The first time I stumbled over this corset was some years ago, when I made the young Queen Victoria cosplay for my daughter. I was looking for an easy to sew, period accurate and comfortable corset for a 16 years old and found a four gored corset dated to 1844 in Norah Waughs “Corset and Crinolines”. Further research leaded me to the original publication of the pattern, “Vollständiges Lehrbuch der modernen Bekleidungskunst für Damen“ from C. Kawitsch and H. Klemm, Dresden 1852. The 3rd edition from 1856 is downloadable via the digital collections of the University of Dresden: https://digital.slub-dresden.de/werkansicht/dlf/29313/5/0/
The original pattern served well for a very slender young girl, just when I mad my first mock-up, I noticed, that it is cut very deep at the armpit and will work better with shoulder straps. At this point I decided to make two corsets, one with shoulder straps and another without. The patterns are similar, just the top edge is raised at the armpit to give the support needed at the sides without straps.
Let´s start sewing the corset! Inserting gussets to a corset is not as difficult as it seams to be in the first moment. I cut the slits and turned in a narrow seam allowance, lined up the edges with the marked line on the gussets and pined in place. After edgestitching the gussets to the corset, I made a decorative bar with a contrasting (silk) thread to avoid fraying. On the lining, I omitted that step, but a bar tack, made with the sewing machine will serve was well.
19th century welt pockets where made different from modern welt pockets. In this tutorial I´ll show you the period correct method.
Baste a piece of linen or cotton to the wrong side of the left front, covering the pocket opening. Mark the pocket opening with a basting thread, clearly visible on the right side of the fabric. Cut your welt from fabric, matching the pattern of your fabric, with a 1/4” (6mm) seam allowance added to top and bottom and a 5/8″ (1,5cm) seam allowance added to the sides.
Fold the welt in half lengthwise, wrong sides together, press the edge and reopen. Attach a cotton tape along the fold to the inner half of the welt with a catch stitch. Sew the outer pocket bag to the inner half of the welt using, right sides together, stitch exactly between the marks of the pocket opening and press open the seam allowances.
Another illustrated tutorial for my newest sewing pattern #0120, showing some steps a bit different than I explained in the sewing instruction´s, just because you can make things different.
A bit about the jacket: It is a typical double breasted jacket from around 1890, with puffed sleeves and large lapels and cut narrow at the waist to emphasize the 1890´s hourglass shape. As this jacket is mentioned to be made from a lightweight fabric like silk taffeta (shame over me, I used polyester taffeta – but it served well for the event I made it for) I flatlined the entire jacket with a midweight cotton fabric. The fabric was quite hard to take good pictures from, especially with artificial light. I do not have a picture of every step described in the sewing instructions, but from all more complicated ones. Let´s start!
Here you can see the back, flatlined and sewn together, with the self-made piping from my fashion fabric lined up with the bottom edge until reaching the mark (5). I did not make pics from the piping making process, as there are so many great video tutorials on the internet. Just search for PIPING and choose your favorite one.
It´s time to finish the dress and to close the center front. But first, mark all lines for flounces and appliques along the hemline on the right fabric side, mark half, quarter and eighth to match the marks on the flounce.
To close the center front below the button tab, place the left side on top, overlapping the right side. Baste along the left front edge from the right fabric side through all layers (pins), starting at the end of the button tab, ending at the hem. Turn the dress to the wrong side.