Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Victorian Bonnet Styles from 1860 to 1864

Our group frequently gets asked about what style of bonnet was appropriate to wear during the 1860's. So we thought that we would feature some of the most common styles that were worn during this time as seen in the Godey's Lady's Book.

We have also included short explanations on materials, colours used and trimmings as well as the overall style in general.

1860 & 1861

Bonnets, Godey's Lady's Book, March 1861




Friday, January 02, 2015

Projects for 2015!

Godey's Lady's Book

Well, it is a New Year which means new projects! Or maybe in some cases finishing off a few things from last year. Which of course is the category we all seem to fall into at one time or another.

Over the past year we have covered lots of topics on VictorianSewing.com and this year will be no different. Tons of new things will be happening over the coming months so make sure to watch for them.

Remember suggestions for future posts are always welcome so feel free to leave a comment below with your ideas. The group is always open to new projects and suggestions.

Some of the things we look forward to covering this year include:

Thursday, August 07, 2014

Pattern Review: Edwardian Bust Improver

Bust Improvers
Victorian Bust Improvers from historicalfashion.tumblr.com

I don't remember where or when I first came across a Victorian bust improver; but I do remember thinking how naive I was in believing that 19th and early 20th century ladies were actually quite blessed in the bust department.

Boy was I wrong!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

To Pipe or Not to Pipe? Piping in Civil War Bodices


Contrasting Piping
1860's Afternoon Dress with Contrasting Piping, Met Museum.

To pipe or not to pipe... that is the question.

And once I decide to add piping, which seams DO I pipe?

Thursday, May 08, 2014

Make-Up and Cosmetics in the 19th Century

Vintage Make-up Compact
Vintage Make-Up Compact
Let me put my face on...

That's what my Grandma always said before she went out. Funny thing was she never wore any make-up that I was aware of so what exactly she was referring to I will never know. Perhaps she was just checking to make sure she was presentable out there, in society...

While my Grandmother may not have worn any make-up I on the other hand wear it religiously. In fact, you will most likely never see me without it. So when I first started as a historical interpreter and got my first look at re-enacting I was in for a rude awakening.

Monday, April 14, 2014

The Dangers of Umbrellas

Lady with Umbrella
Early Victorian Lady with Umbrella

At the last meeting of the SVSE, we were going through some of our reference materials and came across a copy of the Godey's Lady's Book. One of the members skimmed through it and discovered an entertaining article about how ladies carry their umbrellas; which then started a lively discussion on the topic. Apparently ladies have no common sense when it comes to handling such things... we are after all, such 'delicate figures' and yet we do tend to take up a 'great more canvas than men do' while holding one!

Monday, April 07, 2014

The Evolution of 19th Century Paper Sewing Patterns

Today we can buy patterns for almost anything imaginable but in the 19th century this was not always the case. Just like us, ladies wanted to dress in the latest fashions of the day and they took their inspirations from fashion plates pictured in popular ladies magazines such as Godey's and Peterson's. By the late 1860's sewing machines were becoming widely available and affordable and it was quite common to find one in many households; therefore garment making became much faster and easier for the average lady.


Demorest's Mirror of Fashions, 1865
Demorest's Mirror of Fashions, 1865