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LondonLadiesSquareThe Victorian era spans a long period of rapid change and progress during the 19th century.

The articles below comprise the entire contents of all the Victorian era articles we have, 1837-1901. To narrow your search down, go to one of the subcategories by hovering over Articles>Historical Periods>Victorian in the main menu above, OR click one of the following links:

Victorian (general)  ~   Early-Mid Victorian 1837-67  ~  First Bustle 1868-76

Natural Form 1877-82  ~  Second Bustle 1883-90  ~   Gay Nineties 1890s

Analyzing the Construction of Four Victorian Day Bodices by Sunny Buchler

4 Day BodicesWhile there are wonderful Victorian dress patterns available, either published in the period or drafted from extant dresses,  there is very little information around on how to put the pieces together in a historically accurate way or complete the other finishing details that go into making a dress of this style.

If you're going to go for accuracy with your Single Pattern Project, Sunny Buchler redresses the balance for you this month with her photographic analysis and comparison of the construction techniques used in four 1860s bodices in her personal collection.

Nine pages and over a hundred large and detailed clickable images in this article alone will give you every minute detail you could ever want to know about constructing your bodice!

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The Debate Over Women’s Clothing in the Mid-Nineteenth Century, and the Rational Dress Movement by Ginger Breo

Bloomer Club Cigars, 1890Most in the reenacting and historical costuming communities spend countless hours and large amounts of money researching and executing the perfectly period-appropriate hourglass corset or bustle. We feel elegant and oh-so-Victorian with our suddenly-tiny waists and perfect posture.

It may be hard,then, for we, as modern women who don a corset for a few events a year, to understand the many difficulties presented by wearing these garments every day, and why there was a movement right at the start of the Victorian era to do away with them altogether.

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Celestia's Homemade Dress

squarepicWe're not the only ones who curse over our sewing. In the early 1870s, Celestia Freeman made herself a dress - and she struggled too!

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Fashion 1868-1875

Le Folett, 18751868-1875 is commonly known as "The First Bustle" period, but in fact it was one of several bustle periods in the 19th century, and it certainly wasn't the first!

This month we start a fashion review series, looking at the looping, shirring, pleating and draping methods that we now call a "bustle".

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Fashion 1868-9

Petersons, January 1869Marion traces the beginnings of the second bustle era by reviewing fashion illustrations of 1868-1869 from Peterson's, Arthur's and Godey's magazines.

If that isn't enough, also included are all patterns published by Peterson's in 1869!

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Excerpt from "What to wear?" (1873)

Reform_iconMrs. Phelps did not lack for distaste for fashionable styles, considering them utterly impratical and accusing them of hindering women in their advancement towards equality with men.

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Seaside Jacket, 1873

Back of Sea-side jacket, Peterson's magazine, August 1873

How to overcome the challenges of using original magazine patterns (in this case, from Peterson's), and pattern this interesting jacket.

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How To Make A Simple Bustle

icon free smA small boned cage bustle - not totally historically accurate but it's an easy-to-wear support with a lovely period silhouette.


Seaside Jacket, 1873 (part 2)

 sea_side_jacket_back_iconHow to true up the pattern, fit the jacket, draft the sleeves and construct the jacket, plus some key lessons - and a classic mistake to look out for!

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Butterfly Bustle Drape

icon free smFolding and draping the fabric of a Victorian bustle was an art form. Let me show you how to create a simple "Butterfly" bustle drape.


1875 Wedding Dress

Peek at Libby's dressA close look at an authentic Victorian dress, with many photos, construction and sewing details, and fashion plates of the time.

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1875 Wedding Dress (2)

libby_iconI have the honor to own my great-grandmother’s 1875 wedding dress. The more I look closely at this heirloom, the more fascinating it is!

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