Friday, April 10, 2015

1890's Sewing Plans

Typically, when you think 1890's undergarments, you think this:

Taken from Vintage Ads
Or something similar.  The good ole Victorian corset.  However, there are examples of "reform" corsets and early bras being worn instead of the tight waist corsets we are used to thinking about.   For example:

This terminates above the natural waistline.   I also love the button front.  

This one is higher up and more "bra" like.   It has adjustable straps, made out of linen, and another fabulous button front.  (Busks and I do not get along.  Ever.)

Lest anyone think that the above are just anomolies and weren't really worn, here is a graphic from the Feb 1893 issue of the Delineartor. 

Pattern 4936 is of "short stays".  The article says this about them:
Wholly practical substitutes for the ordinary long-waisted corsets, which cannot be worn with Empire gowns, are the Empire short stays, that are shaped according to pattern No. 4936, which costs 10d. or 20 cents.

So, no only was a fashion magazine making a pattern for them at the time, they were also suggesting against wearing an ordinary corset with the Empire waist fashions.   Woohoo!  (Although the run on sentence structure makes my eye all twitchy.)

I love the idea of short stays for a couple of reasons.  One, I love Empire waist fashions.  Two, I can drive in short stays for a long period of time.  A corset?   Not so much.  

My plan, right now, is to make a pair of Victorian short stays and then make an 1890's Empire waisted dress.  

For the dress, I have a few inspirational images. 

1892 Wedding Dress

Feb 1893

1892 Afternoon Dress

I'm trying to decide on fabrics right now and only use stash fabric.  I have some lightweight gray wool and some bright pink wool that look really neat together.  However, most of the time it looks like the contrast with 1890's dresses were out of a different material - typically either silk or velvet.  I have a few different silks - red, pink, orange, blue, turquoise- and a few different wools I can play with.   Once I get the short stays done, I'll figure out the dress. 


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