1873 Underwear

Chemise, drawers, corset, and bustle made to wear underneath the Spotty Dress.


Inspiration & Resources

Useful Books & Links Bradfield, Nancy. Costume In Detail: Women's Dress 1730-1930. Plays, Inc., 1985.

Hunnisett, Jean. Period Costume for Stage & Screen: Patterns for Women's Dress 1800-1909. Players Press, Inc., 1991.

Lynn, Eleri. Underwear Fashion In Detail. V&A Publishing, 2010.

Salen, Jill. Corsets Historical Patterns & Techniques. Costume & Fashion Press, 2008.

Takeda, Sharon Sadako and Kaye Durland Spilker. Fashioning Fashion European Dress in Detail 1700-1915. Delmonico Books, 2010.


Laughing Moon Mercantile #112 - Hoops and Bustles, veiw D

Construction Details




The chemise is made from cotton lawn. I drafted the pattern using my measurement and previous chemises I had made as a guide. The side seams are shaped and the sleeve gusset is cut in one with the sleeve. The neckline and sleeves are finished with a narrow band broidery anglaise, as seen on the chemise on page 96-97 of Fashioning Fashion. The neckline closes with a placket and one vintage glass button. The main seams of the chemise were machine sewn, while the placket, neckband, and parts of the sleeves were finished by hand.



The drawers are also made of cotton lawn and were machine sewn and hand finished. They are based off the 1870’s – 80’s drawers on page 249 of Costume in Detail. I used the instructions on the Elizabeth Stewart Clark website to draft a pair using my measurements (http://www.thesewingacademy.com/the-compendium/pat/). The cuffs are decorated with the same broidery anglaise as the chemise.


The corset is made of silk twill flat lined with coutil for strength, and is boned with spiral steel.  The pattern is taken from Period Costume for Stage & Screen: Patterns for Women’s Dress 1800-1909 (pg. 27). This pattern is based off an 1878 corset; however, corsets with shaped seams instead of gussets were used much earlier. There is a similar corset with shaped seams in Corsets: Historical Patterns & Techniques that is dated 1860. The corset is finished with vintage cream lace.



The bustle was made using the Laughing Moon Mercantile Hoops and Bustles pattern, view D. It is made from a striped cotton shirting and boned with hoop steel. The scalloped edges and ruffle are based on several examples – page 164 and 176 of Underwear in Detail, page 99 of Fashioning Fashion, and page 239 of Costume in Detail. The scallops are edged with vintage seam binding. The waistband closes with ties for adjustability.