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1912 Undies

I’m such a bad blogger! The undergarments and dress for the upcoming Titanic dinner are finished, but I haven’t posted anything here! Sometimes, for me, I have to choose between sewing and blogging/computer time, and invariably sewing always wins. Before I reveal the gown, though, I thought I would share what goes under it first.

I started by making a new chemise. The chemise is made of cotton lawn and trimmed with a cotton broiderie anglaise, and is machine sewn with hand-finishing. I used French seams to finish the sides.

Starting with the diagram in the Edwardian Modiste and my favorite 18th century shift as a guide, I drafted a simple sleeveless chemise with a drawstring at the neckline. Since I wanted something versatile that I could use for multiple eras, I made the neckline rather low and wide so it can be adjusted easily under different styles.

The corset is based on the pattern and tutorial provided by the awesome Jen Thompson of Festive Attyre. I followed her instructions for resizing the pattern and it worked like a dream! I did have to remove about 3 inches from the length, however, because I am very short-waisted. Also, since I scaled down the original so much, I reduced the boning and only boned each seam.

The corset is one layer of pink coutil and was sewn on the machine. Unfortunately, my poor machine couldn’t handle the combination of coutil and bone casings very well so the stitching is rather wonky. Trust me, this wont win any awards for construction, I've learned to accept that every project won't be perfect.  

I barely had enough coutil for the corset and I had to cut several pieces across the grain. I worried this might make the corset stretch more than normal and I think I was right. While the muslin fit beautifully, the final product ended up much too big. In fact, I can lace it closed and still have a little extra room in the hips. Luckily, though, it’s still wearable and serves its purpose of smoothing the hips and belly. Plus, its my first try at making this style of corset, and I’ve found I’m never content with my first try at an era. There is always so much to learn! I’ll probably end up making another corset sometime in the future if I continue to make things from this era, but I’m not worrying about it for the dinner.

After the corset, I made a high-waisted petticoat from cotton lawn. Like the chemise, its sewn with French seams on the machine and has a flounce of broiderie anglaise at the hem. I used the diagram and instructions in the Edwardian Modiste to create a gorged skirt.


Posted: 3/16/2012 4:15:23 PM by Aubry | with comments
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Project Details

Titanic Dinner Gown
1912 Underwear