Wednesday, May 8, 2013

1910s/Downton Abbey Outfit -- Part 1: The Undergarments

Remember when I mentioned that I was working on a big sewing project in my March Tag of the Period Drama Challenge? Well, I'm finally posting pictures of it!

So, to take a break from the classes that are going towards my degree (I'm majoring in both Computer Science and Accounting), I decided to take an apparel class: a history of dress class, to be precise. It was a really fun class; I got to learn more about the historical eras I'm interested in, I got to work with conserving a 1910s dress, and I never had so much fun reading a text book before. For my final project (which I presented a couple of weeks ago), I opted to sew a outfit from Downton Abbey (provided that I proved that it was accurate); and since my professor is a fan of Downton Abbey, she was interested in seeing what I came up with.

I'm separating this post into two parts: one for the undergarments and another for the outer wear, so for today, I'll show pictures of the undergarments.

Here are pictures of the camisole and drawers together. Usually, most women wore combination underwear that was both garments in one, but I didn't have a pattern for combination underwear, so I made it into two parts. The camisole I drafted myself with the help of a 1910s brassiere pattern. The drawers I made from a free pattern from The Ladies Treasury (I didn't understand the pattern at first, but then once I understood that it's supposed to be read like a graph, I got it). They are supposed to be more decorated, but in the interests of time, I left them plain.

Here is a closeup of the lace on the camisole.

Then I made the corset. The pattern I used was a free pattern from Festive Attyre with some changes, and it actually took me only a couple of days to make. During the 1910s, corsets weren't made to give women a tiny waist (Empire/Regency fashions were coming back, so there was no need for a small waist), but were made to smooth out the silhouette. There are about 24 steel bones in the corset (spaced out, of course) to keep it straight and a busk in the middle.

Here is some of the detailing of the lace on the top of the corset and of the busk. The busk is kind of tricky to close at times: it's like you have to close each one at the right moment.

And here's a closeup of the lacing.

That was all I made for the undergarments. I could have made a petticoat, but in the interests of time, I didn't. The whole thing still works without the petticoat, though.

Stay tuned for Part 2: The Outer Garments!

 God Bless,
God Bless, Miss Elizabeth Bennet


  1. Oooooo! Wonderful! So excited to see the rest!

  2. Ooooh! How beautiful! That is, if undergarmets can be considered beautiful. :) How talented you are, Miss Elizabeth Bennet! I am quite looking forward to seeing the outergarmets!

    ~Emma Jane

  3. You are so talented! The undergarments are so pretty and they look professional :-)

  4. Thank you, everyone! Part two will be posted today, so keep an eye out for it!


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