1880s Under Dress
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Petticoat 1881


from Peterson's February 1881, pg.110

A good model for a tournure. It is made on a muslin foundation, which is boned. On this, are five plaited ruffles, of crinoline or mohair. The lower one is box-plaited, and all the others are knife-plaited.

from Peterson's August 1881, pg.153

While dresses continue flat and close clinging in front, they are fuller behind, and most fashionable ladies add a ruffled tonoure to the back of the dress to get the required fullness. These tonoures at present consist of a long narrow piece, five inches wide at the top, and widening to nine inches at the bottom, with a series of small flounces. Some are made of crinoline, with whalebone put in casings. It is possible that this small affair may only be the precursor of the large hoop that deformed the human figure eighteen or twenty years ago.

From Petersonís 1881 April pg.327


Tournures, or as they used to be called, "bustles," are again worn, quite small, to be sure; sometimes, consisting only of a small piece of gathered muslin, placed only in the middle of the back of the skirt, just below the waist. The very flat appearance, that was considered so desirable at the back of the dress, a few years ago, is now looked upon as quite old style, and the small panniers, that are now so popular, all show that dresses are destined to be worn fuller at the back and on the hips, than formerly, however flat they may fall in front. The tournure and panniers have the advantage of making the waist look smaller than the old style. Many new French dresses, now have the bodices cut entirely bias, as was the fashion twenty-five years ago. When these bodices do fit, they fit beautifully; but, at first, that is difficult to achieve.

From Petersonís August 1881 page 163


Petticoat 1884


The upper part is made of muslin, to which a horsehair tournure is attached; this is kept in place by lacings on the under side. The bottom, which is kilted in front, and which is much trimmed with lace, should be made to button on, so that it may be easily washed. In the place of horsehair, some use stiff-starched muslin or crinoline; but both of these materials soon lose their shape.


From Petersonís April 1884 pg.371
But there are some few facts which must be borne in mind by those having dresses made up now: The skirt should fall straight and flat in front; either a small tournure must be worn, or the back-drapery should be sufficiently puffed, to give the skirt below the waist a bouffant appearance; all sleeves should be put in high up on the shoulders, making the shoulder-seams quite short, and many persons think that there is no style if the sleeve is not put in full on the top, to stand up above the shoulder Ė this certainly gives a narrower appearance to a broad-chested woman, but is not so becoming to a very thin one; dresses are made quite high about the neck, at the back, to accommodate the hair, which is now worn so generally high. These few hints followed, dresses may be made as fancy dictates: much or little trimmed, in straight falling or in curved lines, of large or small figured material or of plain goods, of one or two colors, or of one or two materials, open or closed at the neck.

From Petersonís April 1884 page 371

Tournures are now indispensable Ė without the back breadths of the skirt are very much puffed: and even then, small tournures are generally worn.

From Petersonís July 1884 page 891


The Lining of the Underskirt is still made narrow, but there are so many plaited ruffles or folds or draperies on it that it has a much wider look than those worn a year ago. The overdresses are also made fuller, with much draping at the back, to give it the full look now fashionable. But great care should be taken not to exaggerate these back puffings, and to keep them from having a common look.

From Petersonís June 1884 page 545


Petticoat 1887

           This petticoat is made of muslin, and its shape is planned with the utmost regard to comfort and practicality. The petticoat proper comprises a gore for the front, one for each side and two back sections. The upper back section has a placket opening at its center and is wide enough to permit of gathering it at each side of this opening. Most of the fullness is, however, kept in the lower section, which is gathered at its top to within a short distance of its side edges and sewed to the lower edge of the upper section. The gores are curved out at their tops to adapt them to the shape of a yoke, which is composed of four sections. Two of these sections are seamed together along their tops, and their ends are sewed to the corresponding ends of the straight sections. The yoke is then sewed to the skirt. The final adjustment is perfected by making a row of stitching near the top of the straight yoke-section at each side and fastening a tape at the front end of the casing thus formed, the tapes being tied at the back. A flounce of wide embroidery trims the bottom of the petticoat, and above it are three narrow tucks.

            If tucks be desired in the petticoat, they should be allowed for in cutting it out, as allowance for them is not made in the pattern. Cambric flounces edged with embroidery are often applied to skirts of muslin. Any material in use for such garments will make up satisfactorily in this way, and the pattern is one that is sure to be appreciated by ladies who sensibly prefer to have such garments made up at home.

            We have pattern No. 1600 in nine sizes for ladies from twenty to thirty-six inches, waist measure. To make the garment for a lady of medium size, will require four yards and an-eighth of material twenty-seven inches wide, or three yards and three-eighths thirty-six inches wide. Price of pattern, 1s. or 25 cents.

from Delineator August 1887, pg. 80

from Delineator February 1887, inside cover