Last year, I received some vintage underpinnings that my parents had found in an old clothes chest, stored in the attic of the family farmhouse. Amongst these clothes, there were a corset, drawers and a petticoat. The same summer, I also got a vintage sewing machine, of the same age, but from my husbands family.
I had already sewn a Victorian chemise and drawers, so now I wanted to make something else and decided upon a combination of chemise and drawers (1913). I translated the lovely, expensive versions I had seen at museum pages, into something affordable for a farmer’s daughter. Except for the green ribbon, I solely used inherited materials, from bed sheet and laces removed from pillow cases, down to the thread and buttons.
When I reconstructed the corset, I used coutil and other material from VenaCavaDesign. The lace reminds of the lace on my vintage drawers. The suspender end grips was a gift from a friend.
After having finished the corset and combination, I had no inspiration left for the corset cover and petticoat. Therefore, I made a simple combined corset cover and chemise (1910-12). In the picture, I wear the corset cover under my inherited petticoat.
Combination of corset cover and chemise. To the right, worn together with my vintage petticoat, from the same clothes chest.
Hilda, the owner of the under-pinnings, was born in 1894. At this photo, from 1915, she stands at the left, together with her older sister and mother Matilda.
The income of country teachers was modest. Swedish literature from this time praises the woman who knows how to dress beautifully without following the fashion too anxiously, and who knows how to keep her clothes in a fine condition. Thus, I can confidently argue for combining the differently dated parts of the costume with each other.
This costume (1910) I sew two years ago, but now it was finally complete, with all the right underwear and the beautiful belt, which clasps I also got from a friend.
The blouse is made of cotton, with machine embroideries. In the back, the skirt closes with hooks and sewn eyes.
The fun part was creating the clothes that the teacher would wear for work. She should look neat and respectable, at the same time as the clothes should be practical and at least a bit modern. After some research, I decided to sew a shirtwaist with pin tucks (about 1910) to combine with a modern skirt (1914). Three days ago, I was worried that I had failed completely, as my husband looked sceptically at my half finished costume, but when the costume was finally finished, both he and I were pleased to see it was all I had planned for my costume to be.