Sunday, April 14, 2019

Edwardian Underpinnings: French drawers and Princess Slip

Time to add to my Edwardian underpinnings collection.  I've been needing drawers so that was the next thing on my list.  I decided on the Truly Victorian TV02 Edwardian Underwear pattern with the hope of making drawers and a corset cover.  I like that this pattern has several designs of corset covers including the ruffled one for the pigeon breast look of the early 1900s.  I opted for the plain ruffled drawers at the bottom right.  Instead of making a ruffle, I decided to purchase a swiss embroidery to use as the flounce.


Instead of a corset cover, I decided to make a full length darted princess slip--this one by Past Patterns which is  reprint of a vintage pattern.  It came in a size 36 so it needed very little in the way of alterations other than adding a little to the hips--which is standard for me.  



I bought some plain cotton lawn from my favorite Ebay vendor and wasn't sure what kind of flounce to put on the petticoat as it's difficult to find wide ready made flounces in the width called for,  I ended up getting an 8 inch wide flounce for the petticoat along with some Swiss insertion to make it longer using some of the fabric.  I also ordered some Swiss Broderie Anglaise for the drawers.  Both were listed as being white.  You can see in the photo below that they look very different!  I ended up having to bleach the one on the left to get it to match the fabric


I started with the drawers.  Truly Victorian patterns are pretty straight forward.  They do use modern construction techniques however.  I had seen a pair of Victorian drawers in an antique shop at Savage Mill and inspected them carefully to find they were pretty much made the same way as these.  Basically drawers are two pants legs with no outer leg seam.  They are not stitched together at the crotch seam--rather that area is open and those edges on each leg have a facing that is stitched down.  Then the legs are sewn to a waist band.  The fullness is in the back and the crotch seam is completely open.  Here's the front:

And the back:

You can see the crotch seam with the facing here.

I covered the flounce seam with beading and ribbon.

Next up is the petticoat or slip.  It was a vintage pattern with 3/8 inch seams--also quite straightforward.  I did lengthen the shoulder straps a little and I added French beading and edging to the neck and edging only on the armhole.  Had I known I would use Swiss embroidery on the flounce I would've used Swiss beading but this works well.


I stitched beading to the bottom of the slip body using heirloom sewing techniques

I then constructed the flounce using the wide Swiss edging, a strip of insertion and a strip of fabric.

I gathered the flounce to the beading.

Then I ran ribbon through the beading.  I finished the slip with buttonholes and antique mother of pearl buttons in the back.

So here's the underwear as worn:   First chemise then corset.

Then the drawers go on top.

Then the slip goes on top.


I was pleased with the way both of these pieces turned out.  I think I'd actually like to make another princess slip in silk.  Wearing a cotton slip under a cotton dress poses some challenges in that the dress didn't slide so easily.  It was comfortable though given that it was a worm day.  I recommend both patterns to anyone looking to make these garments.  I also ordered some Swiss batiste to make a drawers/corset cover combination garment with a lot of inset lace. No rush on that one though!

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