Research

1860's Day Dress Study

1860's Day Dress Study

Museums are full of elaborate, high-end Victorian gowns, but working-class garb is more elusive. Joy takes an in-depth look at an 1860's day dress.

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Analyzing the Construction of Three Victorian Evening Bodices by Sunny Buchler

Analyzing the Construction of Three Victorian Evening Bodices by Sunny Buchler

I've often been frustrated that there are wonderful Victorian patterns available (published in the period or drafted from extant dresses) but there is very little information on how to put the pieces together or on the other finishing details that go into making historical dress.

Here I'll address this gap by doing a photographic analysis of the construction techniques used in three Victorian evening bodices in my personal collection.

Due to the Single Pattern Project, I'm most interested in the elliptical style. Two of the bodices were either worn with elliptical skirts or with the early bustle style, the third was probably worn with the earlier circular hoop style.

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Analyzing the Construction of Three Victorian Skirts, by Sunny Buchler

Analyzing the Construction of Three Victorian Skirts, by Sunny Buchler

I've often been frustrated that there are wonderful Victorian patterns available, but there is very little information on how to put the pieces together or the other finishing details that go into making a dress.

My goal with this article is to address this gap by doing a photographic analysis of the construction techniques used in three Victorian skirts in my personal collection. Due to the Single Pattern Project, I'm most interested in elliptical skirts, but I only have one in my collection. Therefore, I've chosen a skirt from the preceding Hoop era, and one from the following Early Bustle era to compare to the elliptical skirt.

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

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

Most 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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Analyzing the Construction of Four Victorian Day Bodices by Sunny Buchler

Analyzing the Construction of Four Victorian Day Bodices by Sunny Buchler

While 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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Seaside Jacket, 1873 (part 2)

Seaside Jacket, 1873 (part 2)

 How 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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Seaside Jacket, 1873

Seaside Jacket, 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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Fashion 1868-9

Fashion 1868-9

Marion 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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Fashion 1868-1875

Fashion 1868-1875

1868-1875 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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Excerpt from "What to wear?" (1873)

Excerpt from "What to wear?" (1873)

Mrs. 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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Linen Chemise, 1879

Linen Chemise, 1879

An eye-opening combination of machine sewing and delicate hand stitching.

Bonus article from FR

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And The Layers Are... (2)

And The Layers Are... (2)

Making sense of ladies' underwear 1876-82.

2: What to wear over the corset and under the dress, plus fabrics.

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Fashion 1876-1882

Fashion 1876-1882

Following our introduction to the Natural Form, it's time to choose the details of your outfit. There are many options depending on the year that's taken your fancy.

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Natural Form & the Cuirass Bodice

Natural Form & the Cuirass Bodice

An overview of that very peculiar era of fashion known as the Natural Form, with its Cuirass Bodice, including a summarized look at the socio-economic climate of the era.

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Mrs Romyn Hitchcock's Dress

Mrs Romyn Hitchcock's Dress

Dating an historic dress is an involved process. Morgan shares her study of an impressive C19th dress owned by Mrs R. Hitchcock.

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1880s Tall Hats

1880s Tall Hats

The Victorian tall hat ruled the fashion pages in the 1880s. Chantal teaches us how 19th century ladies made, trimmed and wore this striking style. 

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1880s Directoire Coat Study

1880s Directoire Coat Study

Good examples of 19th century ladies tailoring aren't always easy to find. Chantal walks us through a study of her new treasure, a Directoire coat from the 1880s.

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A Real 1880s Evening Bodice

A Real 1880s Evening Bodice

Discussing authentic Victorian sewing methods, including 50 detail photos inside & outside an antique bodice.

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'How To Be Beautiful', 1889

'How To Be Beautiful', 1889

The best bits from a slightly opinionated book that provides equal measures of enlightening insight and amusing entertainment today!

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Fashionable Mrs Herald Paper Doll

Fashionable Mrs Herald Paper Doll

Introducing the Boston Herald's fashionable paper doll, Mrs. B.S. Herald, and her spectacular wardrobe showcasing the latest styles.

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