The Victorian Undergarments class is working on Victorian drawers this week. I decided to pass, since I already have one pair of Victorian drawers I made, 2 pair of antique drawers that I wear, 1 pair of antique drawers I just bought for $5 (they have 2 holes that need mending, otherwise perfect) and the pair of Edwardian drawers I just finished for the Historical Sew Fortnightly.
However, HSF Challenge #4 is Under It All:
- Make the foundations of your outfit: the things that go under it to provide the right shape and support, and to protect your fancy outer garments from sweat and grime
I don’t have my Regency wardrobe together yet, but when I do I will indeed be wanting something under it all, so I’m whipping up a pair of Regency pantalettes.
I’m using The Mantua Maker’s pattern – easy to make and excellent instructions. For fabric I went into my embroidered sheet stash and chose a high-quality 100% cotton sheet with a wide, pre-applied band of cotton-thread eyelet embroidery that – if you squint – could almost plausibly pass for crude broiderie-anglaise. Not 100% accurate, but for a whopping $3 from Goodwill the price can’t be beat. Plus, I’m dog- and house-sitting for a friend, which leaves me relegated to hand sewing for the weekend and that’s what I had on hand for a quick grab-and-go project.
The pattern is a historically-accurate two-leg pair of pantalettes. Each leg is independent of the other. A ribbon threads through the top and the legs tie on at the waist separately.
This is what made it possible for a lady to loose one leg – if the tie came undone the leg would simply slip to the ground. The poor, unhappy wearer would then be faced with one of two humiliating options: stop and bend over to retrieve the fallen leg (no true gentleman would ever touch a woman’s undergarments) or keep on walking and simply leave the fallen leg behind.
You can also see a seam at the upper portion of each leg. This piecing allows the “business” upper par of the leg to be made of a sturdy fabric, while the lower part of the leg can be of a more delicate fabric, such as lace or dimity.
I don’t want to sit on a seam or have a seam running around my thigh – no added bulk needed there, thank you very much – so I cut each leg as a single piece.
And I don’t want two pieces of ribbon tied around my waist, so I’ve decided to place the legs on a single length of grosgrain ribbon and let the chips – or pantalettes – fall where they may.