Sew up four basic garments to create a beautiful Victorian silhouette
New to historical costuming? Begin here!
Even if you're not new, perhaps you've been sewing period clothing for a few years but you've never sat down to make a set of undergarments (yeah... you know who you are!).
I created this 6-lesson online class for YOU who wants to get into historical costuming by not just dreaming of the past but to dress in the fashion too!
It's also for those of us who put undergarments last on the sewing list. Time to get 'em done!
We cover four undergarment projects (chemise, drawers, lobster tail bustle, and petticoat) through 6 1/2 hours of video tutorials, PDF handouts & homework assignments for each lesson.
Beginner to Intermediate level class
You should know how to operate your sewing machine and understand basic sewing techniques such as seams, topstitching, gathering, and basic hand whipstitch. Alternate finishing processes will be touched on but for the most part we'll stick to the patterns.
The priority is to practice simple sewing methods while you are creating beautiful Victorian unmentionables. By practicing the basics more advanced designs in dressmaking will become easier.
This class will focus on sewing specific undergarments suitable for Victorian dress, primarily 1870s to 1900. The objective is to build basic sewing skills and techniques. We'll explore various seams, trims, and good dressmaking habits to successfully complete a full set of undergarments.
- Lesson 1: Discuss fabric selections, patterns, and taking measurements
- Lesson 2: Sewing the chemise
- Lesson 3: Sewing the drawers
- Lesson 4: Making a lobster tail-style bustle support garment
- Lesson 5: Sewing a tiered, late Victorian petticoat, part 1
- Lesson 6: Finishing the late Victorian petticoat, part 2
NOTE: A corset and other dress items are not covered in this class.
Valuable Skills & Techniques You'll Learn:
- Fabrics to use for soft undergarments and sturdy petticoats
- A variety of seam finishes
- Pressing tips - when and how
- Pleating and gathering tips
- Special tools when working with hoop wire for bustles
- Pleating by the Divide & Conquer method
- Easy steps for even gathers
- How to make tucks in a petticoat
- Tips for fitting your skirt over your new bustle & petticoat
Be sure to download & print the handouts too for future projects!
One final note - this class was initially hosted on my blog, HistoricalSewing.com. Any reference to emails, different lesson pages or logins, and even timing between release of lessons should be disregarded. You have access to the entire class lessons here on this site with progression on your own schedule.
"Jennifer - I want to say that... I also have been sewing a long time and my new Victorian underwear looks better than anything I've ever made before. These lessons have un-done eons of self-taught bad habits and helped me become a much better seamstress in a very short time."
~ Constance T.
StartWhat We'll Cover in Lesson 2
StartLesson 2 Handout
StartSewing the Side Seams
StartShoulder Prep and Sleeve Hems
StartSewing the Sleeve to the Chemise
StartFinishing the Neckline
StartApplying Neckline Trim
StartFinishing with Buttonholes & Buttons
StartHemming the Chemise
"Thanks, Jennifer.... I have learned quite a bit and consider myself a more skilled historic dressmaker than I was a few months ago!"
~ Terri A.
"Your videos are wonderful!!! Keep up the great work. I have learned so much from your class - can't wait to take another one!!!"
~ Maureen Larsen
Teacher to hundreds of sewing and costuming students since 2004, Jennifer dreams of the nostalgia of the past and brings it into her modern life through creating costume ensembles from about 1780 to 1920. Dark chocolate, Jane Austen and bustle dress fanatic. Daughter of the King.
Frequently Asked Questions
Get to class and start making that Victorian wardrobe of your dreams!