Historical Sew Fortnightly: 10 Literature

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!SAM_1120

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

Year: 1870-90

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?

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