Category Archives: 1840-60 – Victorian

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

1850s Sheer White Muslin Dress

1850s Muslin Lace Dress Victorian Sheer Cotton Summer Dress Lace Inserts

For summer I made a Victorian sheer cotton day dress. I used sheer white cotton muslin from the UK. Unlike US muslin, UK muslin is a very sheer, lightweight cotton fabric – perfect for summer dresses!

I love how my Victorian muslin dress turned out: It looks so elegant. And at the same time, it’s comfortable and cool to wear in summer despite the tons of underwear! Continue reading 1850s Sheer White Muslin Dress

Comparing Victorian Skirt Supports: Corded, Tucked And Quilted Petticoats

Victorian Petticoats Before After Skirt Supports

In the 1840s and 1850s, dome-shaped or bell-shaped skirts were fashionable. The steel cage crinoline was not yet invented. So Victorian women used different types of petticoats to create the fashionable shape: like plain cotton petticoats, crisply starched petticoats, tucked petticoats, corded petticoats and quilted 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, cage crinolines and corded petticoats, were shorter than over-petticoats in the mid-Victorian era: 1858 painting, ca. 1835 short whalebone crinoline, 1858 cage crinoline and 1857 cage crinoline at the MET museum.
Continue reading Victorian Corded Petticoat

1840s/ 1850s Underwear – Dressing The Victorian Lady

Dressing The Victorian Woman

The right underwear is very important for historical costuming – even more important than the dress – because underwear provides the structure for the dress. Without the correct underwear, the dress looks cheap and shabby.

Victorian women wore many layers of underwear: chemise, drawers, corset, petticoats – to name just a few. Mid-Victorian underwear was usually very plain – unlike late Victorian or Edwardian lingerie with their lace frills and flounces.

Here I’m showing you how a middle or upper class woman would’ve dressed in the 1840s or 1850s. Continue reading 1840s/ 1850s Underwear – Dressing The Victorian Lady