Category Archives: 1840-60 – Victorian

Here you’ll find costumes and accessories I’ve created suitable for the 1840s, 1850s & 1860s – the Victorian era – as well as other Victorian topics.

Victorian Cotton Pinner Apron

Victorian Cotton Pinner Apron

I’ve sewn a Victorian pinner apron as part of my Victorian working woman outfit.

‘If for common use, aprons are made of white, brown, blue, black, or checked linen, of black stuff, calico, Holland, leather, nankeen, print, or long cloth; if for better purposes, of cambric muslin, clear, mulled, or jaconet muslin, silk, satinette, satin, &c. The length of the apron is, of course, generally determined by the height of the wearer, and the width, by that of the material, and by the purpose for which it is intended. For working aprons, the width is generally one breadth of a yard wide; for dress aprons, two breadths, one of which is cut in half, and these halfs put one on each side of the whole breadths. If the material should be wide enough, on breadth, of from fourteen to twenty nails will answer very well.’ (The Workwoman’s Guide, 1840, p. 76) Continue reading Victorian Cotton Pinner Apron

Comparing Victorian Skirt Supports: Corded, Tucked And Quilted Petticoats

Comparing Victorian Skirt Supports: Corded, Tucked And Quilted Petticoats

In the 1840s and 1850s prior to the invention of the crinoline, dome-shaped or bell-shaped skirts were fashionable. So I thought it’d be fun to make a comparison of the different Victorian petticoats, which I’ve sewn over the years, to see which underskirts would produce the best dome-shape.

I’m comparing my four unstarched cotton petticoats, a starched and tucked petticoat, a quilted and a corded petticoat. I’m always wearing the same blue skirt over the underskirts so the shape is easier to see. I’m also wearing the same typical mid-Victorian underwear under the petticoats. Continue reading Comparing Victorian Skirt Supports: Corded, Tucked And Quilted Petticoats

Victorian Corded Petticoat

Victorian Corded Petticoat

This is my Victorian corded petticoat. It’s just a short petticoat – about knee-length. Usually, stiffened underskirts, such as (horsehair) crinolines and corded petticoats, were shorter than over-petticoats in the mid-Victorian era: 1858 painting, ca. 1835 short whalebone crinoline, and mid-19th century crinoline. This 1840s short corded linen crinoline has about the same length as my corded petticoat. Continue reading Victorian Corded Petticoat

Victorian Blouse Makeover

Victorian Blouse Makeover

Some years ago, I turned a modern cotton blouse into a Victorian-style blouse. It resembles this 1860s cotton blouse with pintucks. As it’s a modern blouse cut, it hasn’t the sloped shoulder seams – typical of Victorian bodices – but this isn’t seen if the blouse is worn with a zouave jacket. Continue reading Victorian Blouse Makeover