Saturday, April 23, 2016

Truly Victorian Edwardian Underwear TVE02, awkward undergarment photos and the TMI restroom zone

I previously had made the TVE02 combinations in white batiste with the evening neckline. I really, really like combinations. Far more than the traditional drawers and chemise. Why wear two separate garments when you can just wear one! I will pretty much wear combinations under any Victorian era. Sorry, not historically accurate but much more convenient.

The evening bodice is the faster of the two to make. Great for low/wide necklines. After making the evening version I decided to make my next pair with the regular bodice. I found this gorgeous floral batiste online and it was pure love!! Once again not historically accurate, but who cares.

Really what takes the longest on the undergarments are all the facings. Once you pass that point they go together quickly. I recommend using a fusible interfacing or sew in for all the facings. I make my combinations to wear under my corset. So I use my non corseted measurements. I made no alterations. For reference I am 5ft 4in tall. If you are taller you may want to lengthen them, or not. This is a really great pattern and not difficult to use at all. I highly recommend it.

Awkward undergarment photos:

So, something I struggle with, besides body image is reviewing undergarments. I don't know why I feel so self conscious. Because certainly I am wearing MORE damn clothing than I would be at the beach!!!! It probably has to do with the fetishizing of corsets and underwear in general. I guess stockings, bras and garter belts fall into that category. So pretty much anything women wear under their clothing is fair game. Knowing this makes me feel a bit awkward about posting pictures and reviewing. I do recognize that this is my personal hangup. I am making an effort to move beyond it.

You will notice that I only take one picture, unless it is petticoats or a corset. There are two reasons for this. Number one, I am lazy. Number two, Victorian drawers are split down the crotch. Yes, Victorian women used the bathroom. SHOCKING! I know. You are not going to be pulling down your drawers to do this. Not in all those petticoats and skirts plus a corset. It was done for convenience. When you see a pair at an antique store they are not "whore's drawers". Well, maybe they were....who knows. Needless to say I am wrestling with this whole open crotch thing when taking pictures. But I manage to get a couple good shots in. I suppose I could just pin them shut for photos....then lazy happens. ;-)

TVE02 regular bodice, no ruffles.

The TMI zone AKA using the ladies room while in costume:

While we are here lets head into the TMI zone! I had someone ask me once how I used the restroom when I am in costume. Well first you hope for normal restrooms VS a porta potty. Then you also hope they are somewhat clean. When you get down to it, it is quite simple. You sit facing the back of the toilet. Pretty much any bridal Q&A website will spill the beans on this technique. I haven't yet been in a situation with only porta potties. Hopefully I never will. I hate those things even when I am not in costume. Also I was recently reading about the 18th century Bourdaloue. Looks like a porcelain gravy boat but in fact was a small chamber pot ergonomically designed for the female form. Here is the Bourdaloue in action.

Painting by Francois Boucher

Also worth noting women did not wear drawers until the 19th century. They wore a chemise, stays (like a corset but a different shape) stockings, garters (ribbons tied around the leg above the knee to hold up stockings) and a petticoat or two. The 18th century lady in the above painting would not have been wearing drawers.

I do not have a Bourdaloue but I could certainly see the need of one for people doing historical reenactment. Especially in a camp situation. 

I also recently read about this nifty invention called the bridal buddy. It is a sheer drawstring skirt you wear under your dress and petticoats. When you have to hit the loo you just lift up the Bridal Buddy and pull the drawstring. It encloses all your skirts and petticoats. Keeps everything off the floor. Well, you can file all this under "the more you know". ;-)


  1. LOL -- I love your sense of humor and you are spot on with the details -- I have known women at Ren Faires and the like where port-a-potties are the only choice to use large plastic cups in place of the bourdaloue and just dump the contents into the porta... but that was only for liquid waste as far as I know... I did not ask beyond that.

    1. Thanks! I was wondering about port a potties options. I could go the cup route. They actually make portable urinals for women. Lol. I just found this device called "go girl". It gives you the ability to pee standing up, like a guy. It's a disposable product. Hahaha! I would totally try that!

  2. First thing- I LOVE YOUR COMBO'S FABRIC!! You wild thing, you! You look gorgeous! I must remember that when I make my next pair instead of boring white. I'm becoming an all-combos girl since I started wearing them instead of the chemise and drawers.
    Second- I hear you on the porta-potty thing. Bathrooms are hard enough but there's all kinds of ick going on in those big blue boxes. The last time I used one I stepped into it already pulling up the front of my skirt. I've gotten used to using toilets in the normal position but I'm kind of afraid I'll miss the edge when I sit down backwards so I try not to. Also there's really nothing to sit on in a porta-potty. And again when I used the porta-potty I still had my skirts up when I opened the door since no way would I let them down in that place. I gave the local traffic cop outside quite the show.

    1. :-) Thank you! I am a sucker for floral on black fabric. I have been pretty lucky regarding the bathroom situation. But those things make me cringe in my soul. One time I was using a port a potty and thought I had locked the door. Nope. This guy pulls it wide open and there I am in all my glory. He screamed, I screamed. It was fun! Poor man was so embarrassed.