After the marathon of January sewing for the Victorian Valentine Weekend in February and preparing for and hosting the educational and social weekend, I crashed. It was such fun and I will write a blog post about it. Meanwhile I chose something simple for the February Challenge, but something I will need for Costume College in July.
Jennifer of Historical Sewing will be at Costume College with a class of silhouettes from years in history important to the Suffragette Movement. I'm providing the proper underthings for the year 1916. Wearing History Archive Couture Patterns had just released recently an original 1913 Ladies' Bust Supporter pattern originally published by The Butterick Publishing Co., New York, London, Paris.
The pattern was available as an e-pattern. I truly love the e-patterns from Wearing History as they are clearly marked in numerical order with very visible cutting lines and circles at the corners which guide assembly.
I still have in my fabric stash an ivory linen left over from creating these drawers and camisole cover for another Historical Sew Monthly Challenge in 2014.
The linen will be cool for the outer layer of the item, and a sateen cotton will provide modesty and a good place for boning channels as an inner layer. Boning is placed at the mid-bust as well as the sides and center back on the cotton. Boning as well as the front pleating is optional.
All pieces are sewn for both outer and inner layers.
At this point I had to decide how to assemble the layers as well as attach the lace trim as the original instructions did not specify. Many of those original patterns assumed, correctly, that seamstresses had a basic knowledge of garment making.
I decided to sew the layers together with a narrow seam allowance right sides together leaving an opening at the bottom center. Even with the boning I was able to turn the bra inside out and stitch the opening closed.
For the lace trim I hand stitched the satin ribbon in the trim to the linen layer.
The original instructions did not include closure options but Wearing History suggested hooks and eyes. With satin ribbon straps tied into pretty bows, the 1913 bra is ready to wear. With the boning it is perfectly supportive for this era and very very comfortable!
This is a Valentine postcard from February 1913. Perhaps the sender or recipient was wearing a Ladies' Bust Supporter similar to this one I've sewn 106 years later!
Historical Sew Monthly
Challenge 2: Linen/LinensWhat the item is: Ladies' Bust Supporter
How it fits the Challenge: Outer layer of linen/underclothes
Material: Linen outer, cotton lining
Pattern: Wearing History Archive Couture #AC106
Notions: Bone casing, boning, satin ribbon, lace, hooks and eyes
How historically accurate is it: Created from a pattern originally published by The Butterick Publishing Co., New York, London, Paris and republishd recently by Wearing History. The directions for cutting and making were followed from the original pattern.
Hours to complete: 6 hours
First worn: July 2019 at Costume College in a silhouette lecture.
Total cost: $7 for materials, plus e-pattern.