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Sewing that's Retro, Geek, and Chic

Historic Dresses Undressed

I’m sorting through photos for a couple more Christmas costuming posts, which I’m hoping to have up before New Year’s, but in the meantime, I have to share this wonderful video!

The same friend & coworker who sent me the link to the amazing Dior video also sent me this one a few weeks ago. (Thank you, Matt!)

The undergarments required for a proper period silhouette are often a bit unfamiliar to us in modern times. So many layers! And if you’ve ever wondered what pregnancy fashions looked like in the 1800s, there are a couple examples.

I hope you enjoy this beautifully simple film about historic dresses and all the layers beneath!



9 responses to “Historic Dresses Undressed

  1. Barbara December 26, 2014 at 4:16 pm

    Beautiful dresses–but I’m glad that I live now!

  2. seweverythingblog December 26, 2014 at 7:10 pm

    Thanks for sharing this beautiful depiction. I’m mesmerized.

  3. Linda of Nice dress! Thanks, I made it!! December 27, 2014 at 1:20 am

    Thank you for this! I was always curious how they kept the “bump” on the back of their skirts, but it looks like they attached a padded long pillow underneath! I shall have to watch it again. So many details! If I had to put on 5 layers in the morning before work I would never make it to work!

    • Brooke December 27, 2014 at 1:11 pm

      “Bum rolls” and all kinds of pillow-like structures or ruffles were used along with crinolines to get the proper shape of the time. Look for a copy of the book Corsets and Crinolines by Norah Waugh – it contains great illustrations and a few patterns.

      All those crazy layers are why women needed a maid to help them dress. So glad we don’t have to deal with that today!

  4. O! Jolly! December 29, 2014 at 9:51 pm

    It’s amazing to see all the layers and a great way to present them too. So glad you posted this!

  5. Chuleenan - C Sews January 17, 2015 at 10:29 pm

    I’ve been meaning to watch this and finally did see it today. It’s fascinating to see what lies beneath the layers. So glad we don’t have to dress like that today or have to walk around wearing hoops or corsets or trains!

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