Back to the Romantic Era Outfit

Besides knitting away at Taylor’s mitts, I have also been contemplating my planned romantic-era outfit. I finished the stays several months ago, as some of you may remember, but I haven’t done much sewing since then.

However, lately I have felt renewed interest in this project. First, as you can see from the picture, I found a pretty cheap reprint of the Workwoman’s Guide online. Looking through the illustrations and text got me thinking about the romantic era again. Although this book was published in 1838, it describes garments that seem more like late 1820s/early 1830s to me. This is probably because it was meant to be a practical primer (it has sections on ways to organize and run a household, for example) than a guide to cutting-edge fashion. Plus, it has a whole section on knitting! The instructions are expectedly vague, but really fascinating nonetheless.

I totally want one of these caps! They look so silly and ruffle-y.

So then I got out my fabric. It’s a loud, stripey, flowery cotton print. I was thinking it might be too busy, but after looking at some of the fabrics on 1830s garments in the Kyoto Fashion book, maybe not.

In turn, I started digging out photos of extant garments for inspiration. All of the pics below are from the late 1820s. I like the gathered bodices and the somewhat large but not gigantic sleeves. I want sleeves that are only slightly ridiculous, not “I’m smuggling pumpkins in the arms of my dress” ridiculous. Although I sort of like the look of the latter too. Call me crazy! 🙂

1828 from the V and A:

Late 1820s:

1825-1828 from Costume in Detail:

But of course, I need to finish the rest of my undergarments too. I need several petticoats. Maybe after I finish Taylor’s mitts I can get back into gear!

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