The Handkerchief Camisole From 1910

edwardian handkerchief camisole

An Edwardian camisole or corset cover is so easy to sew: You’ll just need three handkerchiefs, insertion lace and some ribbon: ‘The handkerchief bodice can be put together […] without the trouble of cutting out a pattern in the ordinary way. […] A dainty and inexpensive piece of lingerie that can be made both easily and quickly’ (Every Woman’s Encyclopaedia, 1910-2).

edwardian corset cover

‘Here is a way in which a dainty and useful little camisole can easily be fashioned from three pretty kerchiefs. […] Before setting to work to make the bodice, the handkerchiefs should be folded from corner to corner, and pressed with a moderately hot iron to ensure a perfectly straight line across the centre. This must be cut through with a pair of scissors so that each handkerchief is divided into two equal triangular portions. […] The whole bodice is joined together with insertion […] An edging of dainty lace will form an effective finish for the top of the Camisole and round the sleeve bands. A pattern should be selected with eyelet-holes for the purpose of threading with bebe ribbon, as this will serve the double end of giving a pretty effect and drawing up the camisole.’ (Every Woman’s Encyclopaedia, 1910-2, with diagram and picture of the finished camisole)

1910 camisole
Ribbon threaded through the lace

My handkerschief camisole is for ‘everyday wear’: I used cambric handkerchiefs and sturdy cotton lace: ‘For everyday wear, good strong muslin, long-cloth, or cambric are the most durable materials. Use only such trimming as will outwear the material. Flimsy laces and ribbons should be worn only on rare occasions.’ (Garments For Girls, 1919)

1900s pouter pigeon

I made the handkerchief camisole without an opening and with an elastic waist: 1910s crepe de chine corset cover with elastic waist.

1910 handkerchief camisole

The 1910s handkerchief camisole makes a pretty pouter pigeon shape or S-curve silhouette – so typical for the 1900s. Here I’m wearing the camisole as part of my Edwardian maid’s costume.

1900s corset cover

2 thoughts on “The Handkerchief Camisole From 1910

    1. Thanks, Lisa! 🙂 I like that the Edwardian reworked handkerchief, old clothes etc. into new garments. And how beautiful the camisole must’ve been when made with real lace handkerchiefs.

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