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
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