I have finished my 1870-90 swim suit. Originally, I intended to have the whole thing done for the By the Sea Challenge-I got the shoes done. Then I hoped to finish it for the Flora and Fauna because the fabric is cotton-I got the skirt done. Honestly, I can’t find any references to swimming in stories based in Victorian times but I NEEDED to finish that suit last week. Surely someone went swimming in some book somewhere!
The largest size of the pattern was not wide enough to fit me so I added a wide button-hole panel to the front. That means the buttons are off to one side which looks bad. I intend to add a second column of buttons to the other side of the panel to make it look more balanced. I had to order the buttons from the store and they wont come in until after the challenge dead line. Except for that one detail the suit is done.
The Challenge: Challenge 10: Literature
Fabric: 100% Cotton
Pattern: 253 Folkwear
Notions: Buttons, thread, elastic
How historically accurate is it? 70-90%. I used cotton and I’m not sure if they did that or if they stuck to wool. I have no idea about the weave of the fabric and if it is correct. I’m also not sure if my “fix” for the size was something a Victorian woman would have done. I believe the pattern, color, silhouette and notions are pretty accurate. I believe that it and its accessories are appropriate for beach wear and I believe that a middle to upper middle class woman would have made her own suit. Would a 40+ year old woman go swimming? Why not? It was machine sewn with some hand sewing which is possible for the 1890s.
Hours to complete: @25
First worn: Today for the photo
Total cost: $50?