Monday, December 5, 2011

1840's Undergarments and ~ New Dishes ~ !

Woo hoo! 1840's undergarments are DONE!
And isn't this cup and saucer adorable? I have always wanted some like this but we have a plain brown stoneware set that works perfectly well for our humble living. However, we went to Goodwill yesterday (I was looking for a slinky 30's-ish looking evening gown) and David came across these lovely dishes while I desperately tried to wiggle into a sea-foam green stretchy slinky dress with a draped front and huge rhinestone brooch. We came home with the dishes, but not the dress. (it revealed every bump and wrinkle. Definitely not for the post-baby, jiggly flesh type of body). Only $8 for 8 cups and saucers, a large serving bowl and a divided bowl. I just love them. So pretty.
I finished my corded petticoat over the weekend and whipped up a new bum pad last night. This bum pad is made from the pattern included with the 1850's dress in Simplicity 3727. It's bigger than my last bum pad, since the shape of it goes around the hips so you get side fullness as well as back fullness. It's made from a cut down cotton sheet and I DID get to sew this sheet material on the machine. ; )
I found it fascinating how the layers interact with each other to give the final shape, so here are probably more pictures than you want to see, but it shows how each item is necessary for the final look and how the corded petticoat REALLY helps give the right shape while eliminating all but one plain petticoat.
As you remember, I decided to wear my regency long stays for this dress instead of my 1860's corset. The 1860's corset gives a curvier shape with a curvy, lower bustline. The stays give more of a straight, upright look to the torso and I loosened the laces holding the straps so the bust can sit a *tad* lower than it does for my regency gowns. I know it's not perfect for the 40's, but it works and it saves me the time and trouble of making a new corset for a dress I will probably only wear a few times. I'm also using my regency shift as I think it is more accurate for the early 40's than my Civil War era chemises. Here is the look with just one plain petticoat. As you can see it is pretty limp and straight looking, even though the petticoat by itself has a lot of body and is fairly stiff.
Next we add the bum pad. Poof! Instant Big Butt.
Nice hip fullness from the front. There is a definite "spring" of the skirts from the waist, instead of a droopy look.
Here is the corded petticoat! (excuse the fact I look like some sort of female Mr. Tumnus with my ear sticking out of my hair). I cannot say how happy I am with how this came out. The size is just right for me and I am so pleased with the shape and support it gives. And this is with no starch; nothing. This is just how it came out after the cord was sewn in. I'm glad because I hate starching things and it takes sooooo long to do.
Here is the final shape with the bum pad, the corded petticoat and the plain petticoat. From the back.
From the side.
And from the front. I think we're ready to move on to the dress now!


  1. *sigh* Blue willow. Those match my china set, and are surprisingly hard to find replacement bits for. I was thrilled when I found a sugar bowl and creamer last year.

    Lovely silhouette! I've not done anything 1800's. I've been tempted but can't justify it without an reason to make them.

  2. Beautiful! I just love the look of crisp, white period undergarments. All that lovely cotton. I think you did a fantastic job, and I can't wait to see the dress over it all!

  3. It look so pretty, all put together! Lovely silhouette! I think you're right to wear your regency stays rather than the 1860's corset with this.

  4. The undergarments look perfect! That bum pad really makes a difference :) And your waist still looks tiny! I love the dishes, too :)

  5. It is amazing how the undergarments create the perfect look! Very beautifully done.
    I love to follow this, as I'm planning to venture to the 1820s,1830s and 1840s one day soon to see how the change of styles feels. Your posts are a valuable source! Thank you for sharing,

    P.S. Lovely "new" dish!

  6. Wonderful silhouette with your underwear. I've been wanting to make 1830s and 1840s clothing and you're inspiring me to actually do it in 2012

  7. Petticoats and random a combination. lol!

    Looks like you are making rapid progress with your outfit.

    I on the other hand am finding I've stumbled to a halt on the regency dress. All my 'workspace' for sewing has been taken up by my sisters stuff, as she's decided to decorate her room. Its been *five* days. The clutter is driving me mental.

  8. Sarah, this is breathtaking! I'm so inspired! Can't *wait* to see the dress!

  9. Undergarments are so awesome. It's so fun to see how they make the whole shape. . .the foundation upon which the final dress is just a finishing detail. ;) Darn, I love historic underwear.

    Crystal, I don't really have a reason to make this dress either. So I invent reasons. Since it happens to be close to December 25th, my reason for making this dress is so it can be my "Christmas dress". :) I don't feel too bad about making things I don't really need if all the materials come from my stash. No expense, and just a little (fun!) time making the things.

  10. Just lovely!!!This era really suits you. The shape is just perfect! I also adore your dishes. Very Spode-esque :D

  11. Lauren, thanks. :) So far I am super in love with this era. I think it may indeed be a new favorite era for me. I can't wait to see your 1912 dress. Everything you've made so far looks gorgeous and the style is so elegant.

    Mary, thank you. Really, the corded petti was very easy. It is all plain sewing with only a bit of gathering for the waistline. The hard part was hand sewing through a sheet. :P Sore fingers!

    The slinky 30's style dress was meant to be for a Vivian Murphy impression, but since I couldn't find one (and I don't have her figure!) I will just go as she was in Gone With the Wind. I will wear a short sleeve blouse and my swiss waist and gray silk skirt and do my best to look spoiled and bratty. ;) It's for an adult Christmas party at church and we are supposed to dress as our favorite movie star. Since I can't really dress like Patrick Stewart, Alan Rickman or John Wayne, I thought of Vivian Murphy, even though she is NOT my favorite actress and her character in GWTW is not my favorite either. ;) But at least I already have costume for that!

  12. Your new undergarments look fabulous, Sarah!

    I was able to get that knitting book from S&S sutler. Just google it and they have all sorts of knitting books you can order from their website. They're located in Gettysburg. I have a link on my blog post about the collar too.


  13. Your undergarments look fabulous, and the shape is SO right !
    A clear friend has the exact same plates, I always found them stunning, great find !

  14. Thanks! I am wading through the bodice now. The corded petticoat was easier. The bodice seems to want to stall me at every point. (or perhaps my three children screaming and yelling and trying to yank fabric and pin and clip things with shears while I am painstakingly trying to match and pin the bias cut striped front is what is stalling me at every point!)

    Bethany, thanks for the lead! I need to get that book and get back in knitting again. It is a great activity to do over the winter and I have missed knitting a lot lately. There is something so meditative and relaxing about it.

  15. Thank you SO much for showing those many photos - it's something we who search for all things costuming online need. :-)
    And those dishes - wow!


Thank you for your lovely thoughts!