Other than finishing the corset, the last piece of my Nana ensemble to assemble was the drawers. The drawers are now done, only well, they are slightly problematic. How so? Well, look at them:
And the back view:
Sexy they are not.
Now, the whole colossal camel toe + super saggy bottom thing is just kinda how most mid-19th century drawers fit, but this pair is taking it a little to the extreme. The problem is the cut. 1870s closed drawers were just open drawers with the centre seam sewn up, and so they have this weird quarter-circle shape with lots of extra fabric in the crotch area.
Looking at Manet’s Nana, the line of her chemise is quite smooth over her front and hips. With such bulky drawers, that simply won’t happen.
So how to achieve Nana’s look?
Well, one possibility is that she isn’t wearing drawers (I mean, she is Nana!). However, the way the lace is falling at her hem makes me think she definitely is.
The other possibility is that she’s wearing divided drawers, which would be a bit less bulky. I’ve gone back and forth on the divided drawers for Nana issue. Divided drawers sound terribly risque to us, but in the 1870s only naughty girls wore closed ones, and Nana was terribly naughty.
I suppose the simplest option is that she is wearing a pair of more elegantly cut drawers, which is what I’ll be attempting next!
Just in case you want you own pair of extra saggy bottomed drawers, I used the free 1889s drawers pattern at Tudorlinks as the basis for these ones. They are designed for the Victorian ideal of tiny waist, very full bottom and hips, so next time I’ll adapt the pattern for my significantly straighter shape!
The Challenge: #12 — Under $10
Fabric: The remainder of the 2m of cotton lawn that I used for Nana’s chemise, and a few extra scraps of cotton from my scrap bag for the waist.
Pattern: The 1889s drawers pattern at Tudorlinks (pretty much exactly, with no alterations)
Notions: Cotton thread, vintage cotton lingerie buttons, vintage lace from Fabric-a-Brac
How historically accurate is it? Reasonably. It’s a period pattern, period construction, period accurate fabric, but the lace is a bit modern. 85%
Hours to complete: 4
First worn: On Friday, to the great amusement of my sewing students who I modeled it for!
Total Cost: $2 for the fabric, $1 for the lace, $1 for buttons and thread = $4
But wait, there’s more!
Notice the stockings I’m wearing with the drawers? Oh yes, mine own!
I’m fine tuning the pattern as I write up the tutorial and turn the pattern into something you can download from the blog and print at home, so I made another pair to test it.
These are made from a merino-nylon blend I found at an op-shop. It’s definitely seconds fabric – there are some weird colour variations (I think it was washed in hot water with bleach), but it doesn’t show as stockings.
The Challenge: #12 — Under $10
Inspiration: Manet’s Nana, 1877
Fabric: 60cm of merino-nylon blend knit (found at an op-shop).
Pattern: My own!
How historically accurate is it? Not really. 19th century stockings would be specifically knit as stockings, either by hand or machine, not cut from flat cloth and sewn. The effect is pretty good though.
Hours to complete: 20 min (well, if you don’t count the 5+ hours I spent on patterning and tutorial writing)
First worn: For today’s photoshoot (courtesy of the lovely Emily of EverSoScrumptious, who stopped by for a visit and happily photographed me for an hour!)
Total cost: Under $2