Monday, July 8, 2013

Civil War Maternity Corsets and Wrappers

Ive been told that women in the middle Victorian-era would coop themselves up at home when they where VERY pregnant, but says otherwise. I have also seen CDVs (victorian photographs) of women, fully dressed, hoop and all, with a bump!

Whether women did or not, their belly's grew! I plan to make a nursing corset before I get too big, but I will not really know how BIG Ill get. Its a tough situation to be in because I have the need to cut into my post-birth dress wool!

I have Past Patterns #705 which has 1820 and 1860 soft stays as well as 1860-90's nursing corset. This pattern has the option of flaps for nursing such as this original:

I will most likely be making this for longer use.
Sarah made hers as soft stays
Maternity wrappers are a great alternative to fitted dresses.
Wrappers, in general, were loose fitting dresses, and were used such as a robe today. Some had draw strings placed in them to be fitted with a corset. They are great for going to the restroom at night, cooking/ eating breakfast in the morning, getting ready for the ball, or when youre sick with heat stroke or need a good cool down. 

Those who wore a wrapper had the choice to wear as much or as little underpinnings as they wanted! Some could fit over a hoop and some were open all the way down to "show off" the eyelet laced petticoat.

Here are some original maternity wrappers from Google, Pinterest and such:

I believe this is the back of a wrapper. Notice the seam line in the center.

I was given a lovely silk dress a few years back. I didnt know what to do with it. It was a good size, yet it was a little too short. I wouldnt give it away because it was silk! My first silk dress! I was happy to find a purpose for it.

I sewn the front opening together, made hand sewn eyes, and moved the hooks accordingly.

I then added a drawstring, like the originals above, to the waistline. I used scrap fabric, 1 1/2" wide X 12" long. Then I added 1/2" cotton tape to the end of the casing. The most difficult part was figuring out how to turn the casing inside out with the tape in the casing. -.-

I placed the end of the casing at the side seams, which makes the gathers look great. I have to adjust the gathers, but the function looks great!
I see a belly, but the babe is not that big. I just put on some weight! :)
Updated sewing list
  1. Fix Dinner dress belt
  2. Stephanie's travel bag
  3. Sophia's Travel bag
  4. Finish Susie's bonnet
  5. Margaret's wool dress
  6. My travel bag
  7. Michelle's corset
  8. Finish my bonnet
  9. Baby clothes

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for your great information, the contents are quiet interesting.I will be waiting for your next post.



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