Friday, 27 July 2018

An 1870's bathing suit

Last weekend I attended a Victorian sea holiday, and had a spledid time. And for that, among other things, I needed a bathing suit. I really liked The Mantua Maker's Grecian style bathing suit 1870-1890, and made it up in dark green wool crepe. Strictly speaking this is not period as bathing suits seems to have been made in wool flanell or cotton, and in black, dark blue or pale grey. But I happened to have dark green wool crepe, and deemed it good enough.

I was quite pleased with it, but the pattern run a bit large, so I could have made it one size smaller and it would probably have looked better. As the pattern pieces are all more or less straight pieces I think I will unpick it and size it down. The bathing suit was not difficult to sew, but surprisingly time consuming. I also found the instructions rather confusing, as the instruction for lined versus unlined versions were mixed together, so you had to read very carefully to make sure you were following the right instructions. And some pattern pieces was called the same thing without the added information if it was meant for the front and the back. You had to look at the drawings and draw your conclusions from that.

Lithia and I in the same bathing suit but obviously in different colours and decorations.

Feeling peckish... The hat is true vintage and once belonged to my great-grandmother.

Before and after. It was actually very nice to wear after the bath as the wool kept you nicely warm, if wet. I didn't have time to make a matching bathing cap, but I plan to for next summer.

A gaggle of bathing Victorians

My husband opted out of the bathing.
The photos were taken by Lithis and Myra Lea. You can see more on their Instagram accounts; @lithiablack and @litenkrubba. You should also check out @efridis, and in case you didn't know, I have one as well; @isiswardrobe.

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