Challenge 1: Foundations Regency Underpinnings

Sophia here! So for the first HSM challenge of the year I decided to tackle Regency underpinnings. So I have always been very inspired by post revolutionary France and the dramatic impact that it had on fashion. I needed these foundations to build on for the War and Peace challenge later this year. I shot the photos on my lovely friend Victoria.

2009-03-08 19.31.10 copy

The research:


While I was researching I found such a wide variety from this era. It was a major transition from the hard boned stays of the 1700s to the soft corded stays of the early 1800s. I tried to keep these short stays historically plausible but I also wanted them to fit my body type and have decorative corded elements. I would like to change the stays to fan lacing when I can figure it out. (tips anyone?)

The Process:


To start with I made an inner layer out of a light weight cotton it hold the plastic bones in place to be corded around. Then I stitched it to the upper layer starting from the center and working my way outwards. To cord I used 3 strands of light weight cotton yarn used for crocheting.


The gussets in the lining are machine stitched a big no no considering I hand stitched the rest.


I made the busk out of a paint stir stick.


The eyelets were stitched over metal washers to insure security.

The Results:

2009-03-08 19.31.10 copy

2009-03-08 19.32.16 copy

2009-03-08 19.36.12 copy

2009-03-08 19.38.36 copy


The Details
Fabric: Stays: 100% cotton jean outside, 100% cotton broadcloth lining, 100% cotton interlining Chamise: 100% cotton bleached muslin
Pattern: Both pieces were self drafted.
Year: 1800-1815
Notions: Both pieces were sewn with cotton thread and have cotton draw strings. The stays are corded with cotton cording and have a small amount of plastic boning. The busk was made from a wooden paint stirrer stick. I did use metal washers to reenforce the eyelets.
How historically accurate is it? Stays: 90% all visible stitching is hand done. The design is a combination of several examples from the Met. The metal washers and plastic boning take it down a few points. Chamise: 60% they are machine sewn and too short I want to lengthen them with another panel. The pattern is correct.
Hours to complete: Stays: So many that it makes my head spin. Chamise: One afternoon.
First worn: To shoot photos on my model. I’ll probably wear them for the war and peace challenge.
Total cost:Under 50$ some notions were stash and the yardage was under 10$ yrd.

1920-30’s Lingerie Set

Erin here! I was really excited for the first HSM challenge “Foundations”, as I have been making 1920s and 30s dresses for the past year but never had the correct undergarments to wear with them. I bought the book Vintage Lingerie by Jill Salen on a whim a while back, and wanted to recreate a 1920’s bra that was featured in the book.

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The description in the book says that this particular set was made by nuns in Ceylon, and the detail is extraordinary. It’s made in a similar way to the Kestos bra, straps crossing in the back and wrapping around the front, hooking to front buttons for closure.

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This was my first time sewing lingerie, so I drafted this pattern without all the fussy details of the original (though I would love to recreate this set in full one day!) Using the pattern from Vintage Lingerie as a basis was fine for a trial run, but I wish they had given more specifics. I made mine without elastic in the straps, as the author didn’t mention elastic at all in the description, so it’s slippery and impractical when I move around. I’ll definitely be trying this again – with a few little alterations to the shape and changing the back straps to covered elastic. (I apologize for the grainy photos! I was using a phone camera for this post!)

full bra

bra detail 3

This bra was popular into the 1930’s, so I decided to pair it with the whimsical Circular French Knickers that Jeanne of VeraVenus created a wonderful tutorial for. They were super easy to make with this tutorial, and so pretty.

tap pantspanty detail
And finally, though I am a bit camera shy (especially wearing lingerie, on the internet!) I would like to present the final ensemble, worn here with a vintage chenille bathrobe from the same era!
 lingerie set

The Challenge: #1 Foundations

Fabric: Silk Habotai

Pattern: Bra adapted from Vintage Lingerie by Jill Salen, Circular French Knickers from VeraVenus

Year: late 1920s – early 1930s

Notions: hook and eye, two buttons, thread

How historically accurate is it? About 80%, I’m not sure that the fabric is entirely accurate, and unfortunately I made the bra straps to cross in front when I don’t think they are supposed to!

Hours to complete: 4, including drafting the patterns

First worn: For this photo, this morning

Total cost: $1, I got the fabric for free and only paid for the buttons at a local sewing shop

Historical Sew Monthly January Progress

Sophia here! So I have been making slow but fruitful progress on my regency stays. I also plan on making a chamise and stockings based on The Dreamstress’ wonderful pattern. So here are few pictures of my progress. Look forward to my complete post later this month.


The pattern which has been ever changing since I started sewing.


The bust gussets turned out to be really fun to make.


The start of the body, unfortunately my had sewing precision is lacking but this is my first hand sewn period garment.