Friday, October 3, 2014

Underpinnings: My Achilles Heel

I have a serious sewing problem: I always magically lose motivation as soon as I have to make undergarments. Which is probably why I'm still wearing the same chemises and drawers I acquired in high school (with a few additions over the years). My corsets are all in dire shape (they're only two years old, but they get a lot of wear), and I need new ones. I'm also embarking on a new period for the "Mother/Daughter Dress Project" and I need the proper undergarments for 1870s so I can fit the clothes over them.

So of course, I haven't actually done any sewing in a week. Because I have to sew bustle pads, corsets, and petticoats...and I just feel so "meh" about the prospect. So in an attempt to motivate myself and get my project momentum back, I've been looking at pretty undergarments. Here are a few to motivate you too!

Does anybody else have a particular costuming thing that you always have trouble with? Please share in the comments!

tiered whitework petticoat, 1870s
striped petticoat, late 19th century (via the Met)
petticoat c.1875 (via the Met)--interesting ruffle arrangement
pink petticoat with lace, 1880 (Met)
corset, 1864 (via the V&A)
corset, 1890 (V&A)
corset c.1880s (V&A)
I was looking for tartan drawers, meaning the kind you wear (or did in the 19th century, anyways)...I found this instead!


  1. Lol at the tartan drawers. I think you need those to keep your historic underclothes in!

  2. I have an Edwardian petticoat on which I've been procrastinating for years. It's too long for me, so I started pintucking the skirt to shorten it. So tedious!

  3. I'm not one of those persons who make exquisite under-pinnings. I like a short cut! Unfortunately, corsets must be made, no getting around it, but I get thrift-store blouses in a light cotton and cut off the sleeves (if any) and cut down the neck add a little lace beading and a little ribbon, presto serviceable chemise. BTW my short cut to plaid matching is to cut the side back pieces on the bias, the fashion fabric only, not the lining. It makes the back/waist look smaller and you don't end up pulling out your hair.