Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wedding Trousseau Checklist

As I have been able to make time in the past month, I've been excitedly working on my 1860s wedding 'trousseau'. Not only am I planning the dress, but a whole new set of dainty underpinnings as well. (One can't get married in old mud-stained petticoats, can one? lol)

From an 1860 edition of 'The Ladies' Book of Etiquette, Fashion and Manual of Politeness', the author recommends: "In Preparing a bridal outfit, it is best to furnish the wardrobe for at least two years, in under-clothes, and one year in dresses...If you are going to travel, have a neat dress and cloak of some plain color, and a close bonnet and veil."
( I wonder how many dresses this would constitute? Perhaps it would just depend on the financial cirumcstances of the bride's family....)

The author also makes notes about the wedding and bridesmaids dresses:
"The bride's dress must be of white entirely. If she is married in the morning, a plain white silk, white mantle, and white bonnet, full trimmed with orange flowers, with a plain veil, is the most suitable dress, and she may wear a richer one at her recpetion, when she returns from her bridal tour"

"The bridesmaids may wear white, or some thin, light colored material over white, a head-dress of flowers, and  carry boquets of mixed flowers".

This very helpful and interesting 1860s etiquette book was purchased from Amazon Drygoods.

French fashion doll's trousseau and its trunk, 1865

My trousseau will only include what I will be wearing at the wedding ceremony. It would be such fun to make an extensive 1860s wardrobe as a 'trousseau', but not very practical! :)

On my list:
Chemise, drawers, and two petticoats of fine cotton batiste,
    all fancy trimmed in lace and/or tucks.
White (silk?) stockings
Corset of sateen and coutil
Cage crinoline
 Dress - silk and cotton

Of the nine items, I have three completed so far - the chemise and petticoats.
 It's been such fun working on them! Here are a few in progress pictures:

China buttons and lace on the chemise.
The fabric I am using is a beautifully soft and lightweight white cotton batiste from Wholesale Fabrics.

Gauging on the over petticoat

Sewing in 1/4" tucks

I'm including several types of white heirloom laces given to me by friends - so special! :)

Lots and lots of tucks....

So, now you know I am making progress, however slowly! :)


Sarah said...

How absolutely beautiful!! Your sewing is exquisite.: ) I love the lace and tucks.

Samantha said...

so, so pretty!! and i can only imagine how fun it must be!

Elizabeth K. said...

Oh, Atlanta! What a terrific project, and a demanding one too, I know!
Too bad we didn't live closer... than we could come over and help sew and chat at the same time; wouldn't that be the fun-est thing! ;-)
I imagine that happened quite a lot in the old days... such a glad time of coming together to work on a project with such meaning and deep wishes for a beautiful future.
Well, consider me there in spirit!
Thanks for the pics, and be sure to keep us updated!

PrincessR said...

How fun! Are you getting excited? Nervous at all??

Make sure you leave plenty of room for changes in your clothing...those babies can come later or sooner than you think!! It would be an awful thing to make tons of pretty underthings only to not be able to use them at all!!!!!

I love the photos, just the fabric showing. They really turned out lovely! I have just been so excited for you, my Friend, as you reach this point in your life!!!

I owe you a phone call. Hope you are doing well!

SisterlyLove said...

How lovely! The lace and tucks are just beautiful!

I wanted to thank you for sharing your journey on your blog. It's been so fun to see all of your preparations for your house and your wedding. I'm loving every post.
Thank you again!


Hana - Marmota said...

If it depended on how well-off the bride's family was, I love that the book leaves the details to them!

And wow, such exquisite sewing! I love those heirloom laces... the perfect way to use them!

Rebecca said...

Whatever you do, get a good photographer to capture all of your hard and stunningly gorgeous work!! blessings as you plan your wedding!!!


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