A couple of months ago, I wrote on some common myths about Victorian and Edwardian bathing suits. While doing the research, I fell in love with one of the bathing suits I came across:
Since the theme for this month in the Historical Sew Monthly is travel, I realized that a Victorian Bathing suit would be perfect. After all, even then, if you were traveling to the beach to take in the vapors (or get away from them) you needed your bathing suit.
My first thought for making my own bathing suit was to use white and red wool - as these were popular colors- and then I thought "but what if it really gets wet?" and struck that idea out. White fabrics and water tend to make the white fabrics see through.
Like most first wearings, I do know I need to edit it a bit. I made the front too low cut - it was easy to deal with with a chemise top underneath and I had seen chemises poking through in some later Edwardian photographs.
The skirt isn't quite the right shape and is too long - it's actually a pretty simple recut since all I did is take a rectangle of fabric, line it, and pleat it to a waistband.
Better buttons on the knees - one popped. Whoops!
Still, I'm pretty happy with it and the way it came out.
June – Travel – make a garment for travelling, or inspired by travel.
Lightweight black wool and lightweight pink wool twill
A couple of different ones with some edits of my own. For the bloomers, Butterick B4861. I've used the long version many times for work pants. The short version (View B) looks like Victorian bicycling pants so I used that as is with only a minor addition: on the legs, you have to add an 1" width to the front and back at the inside from the crotch down. They made the pattern without enough in the seat for most people.
Buttons! Hooks and Eyes! Ribbon! I used jet buttons for the vest front and the knees of the bloomers. I used mother of pearl looking buttons for the skirt. Hooks and eyes everywhere else. The ribbon was used to make loops for the buttons on the front of the vest.
They had sewing machines! The ribbon isn't a period material but the rest of the outfit is pretty close to what would have been worn.
About six or seven
June 18, 2016
The pink was left over from my pink wool Italian dress from three years ago. The black I *think* I got at the thrift store but I really do not remember. The buttons were thrift store purchases - I bought a huge bag full for $1. Since it was all either left overs or stash, this probably wasn't more than $5 (I'm trying to remember how much the black wool was! Most of the thrift store fabrics are under $5).
In the end, I'm glad I wore this. It was comfortable (it's capris and a short sleeved top so...yeah. It's a bit too similar to what I normally wear. :-) ) and I loved not worrying about getting it messed up (it's mostly black and wool - it can handle dirt). With some minor changes, I will be wearing it again.