Sunday, July 24, 2016

1800 Bathing suit

Ardenwood had a Victorian bathing suit but a few years ago it disappeared.  Ardenwood Foundation Tea is themed "Victorian Sports" is coming up September 24th.  I decided to make a new 1800 Bathing Suit for the event.    

the bathing suits were made of a wool twill, of which I could not find any available in this day and age.  I had to go with a knit that wouldn't have existed then.

In the 1800s, going to the beach was quite different than today.  For modesty sake, a lady would not want anyone to see her walking on the beach in her bathing suit, she would have to use a Bathing Machine.

The bathing machine was a box, similar to an outhouse, on wheels and was pushed down into the water with the lady ready for a dip inside.  She would exit the box from a door on the water side and enter the water by way of steps at the door of the box.

The bathing suits were made of a wool twill which doesn't seem to be made anymore.  Can you imagine going in water wearing wool?  First, wool, when wet stinks, Second, wool when wet is extremely heavy!  And the bathing suits had LOTS of fabric.  Of course, they wouldn't be able to swim.

So, this is Mantua Makers Pattern "1880s Bathing Suit:

The Front

The Back
There is an optional skirt and bathing hat but I haven't started them yet.

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