I'm pleased to announce I've released a new eBook.
Victorian Bathing and Bathing Suits: The Culture of the Two-Piece Bathing Dress from 1837 – 1901
When I decided to create a new bathing suit pattern, I searched for a modern book documenting Victorian bathing suits. To my surprise, I couldn't find one. Yet I had quite a few period magazines with engravings of bathing dresses in my collection. While I was doing more research, I fell in love with the traditions and ethics surrounding American, English, and French bathing.
This book focuses on the culture of swimming and sea bathing across the decades, and on women's bathing suits, noting their styles, variations, and evolution, all quoted from the original writers of that time. For your enjoyment, I've included descriptions and engravings of men's and children's suits when I could find them, but their clothing was not as well documented as the ladies' dresses.
The culture and proper dress of bathing changed radically during Queen Victoria's reign, led, of course, by the French. The accepted ladies' one-piece bathing gown gave way to the two-piece bathing suit, and bathing went from a medical treatment to a social event.
Even the French bathing dress was not admired in its early days. It was plain, usually black, and, at best, boring. But once fashion got hold of the bathing suit, the dress evolved rapidly. By 1870, many bathing suits were downright gorgeous. Fashion magazines began to include descriptions and engravings on a regular basis, vying to provide the most up-to-date styles. Bathing went from a quick, unpleasant dip in the ocean to true enjoyment, and even swimming became popular.
This eBook is 127 pages long (including the bibliography), and contains over 125 black and white period illustrations. It's in an 8" x 11.5" format. The PDF file is about 6.3 MB in size.
Actually, this one is a Swimming Dress, and was intended for serious swimmers.
Based on an engraving in Harper's Bazar, July 9, 1887, the "Lady's Swimming Dress" consists of only the waist
and drawers, without a skirt. It's simple to make!
unlined and bound at the edges. It opens at the shoulders only, and you
step in and out of it. The trousers can be made in knee or mid-calf
lengths – or in the very short French length, which English ladies
complained looked like a circus-rider's outfit. I've also included a
pattern for a simple bathing cap.
This pattern includes 6 pages of
instructions with historical tips, and 3 pattern sheets. It is printed
on bond paper, and enclosed in a reclosable plastic bag.
All sizes Petite – Full (bust: 26" – 61") are included.
After a long hiatus,
I'm back with a new pattern – a Grecian-Style Bathing Suit for 1870 to 1890.
Around 1850, the Bathing
Dress for ladies came into existence – before that time women wore a long shirt-like
garment. The earliest reference to a
suit with drawers I've found was in 1852. But once fashion got hold of the
bathing suit, the dress evolved rapidly.Some bathing suits were downright gorgeous. Like, in my opinion, this
The August 1870 issue of Peterson's
Magazine shows a lovely outfit: "Fig.
X. – Bathing-Costume of White Flannel. – Trousers fastened at the knee
by a cross strip braided with a Grecian pattern in black wool. Peplum blouse, with short sleeves, with a
braided Grecian pattern, buttoned on each side and on the shoulders."This is the outfit featured in my pattern.
The bathing dress
opens at the shoulders and both sides. The blouse can be made with or without sleeves.The drawers can be made in calf or ankle
lengths, and can be gathered into cuffs. You can make it with or without the
came out a couple of inches too short – I forgot she's a good six inches taller
than I am. LOL!
Can't you see
yourself lounging beside the pool in this outfit?