Part of our second year historical costuming unit was creating a whole set of victorian underwear. We started with creating the so called “combinations”, an item which for the first time ever combined chemises and drawers into one piece. Combinations were mainly worn to protect the next layer, the corset, from sweat and in turn the skin from being chafed by this very close fitting piece of clothing. I decided to add some contrasting stitching as decoration and a belt like element to emphasise the waist even more.
To achieve the period appropriate silhouette, the next layer is the bustle, topped by a ruffled pettycoat to smoothen out the silhouette.
Cotton lawn and satin ribbon for the combinations; coutil, steel busk, plastic boning and polyester satin used for the corset. Bustle made from mattress ticking, spring steel and cotton tape; black calico pettycoat with satin ribbon trimming.