1860s Toddler Underwear + Pattern

{ UPDATE!  My children's clothes and patterns are now available on my other site Thistle & Lilly! }

Howdy folks! Wow, I can't believe it's been a month (2 days shy) since I last posted. I guess things have been busier around here than I thought. I keep thinking of great things to post, but never seem to get around to doing it.

Here is one thing that has been keeping my nose to the grindstone lately. Victoria has long grown out of her infant underthings, and since she is well on the way to the 2-year mark where she will be transitioning to a longer stay and button-on underwear (we'll see how that goes), I needed to make a new set of underthings for her. Even new petticoats, too. I doing broderie anglaise on a petticoat for her -- which I've started -- but I'm not getting very far. :) The funnest part of making these was the embroidery on the inside, which is inspired by Queen Victoria's underwear. Fun stuff.

So here are the underwear and the chemises. I'll work on the stay next. Oh, and I'm providing a pattern for the underwear at the bottom for your delectation and delight.

Above: Embroidery on the underwear a la Queen Victoria. Her underwear bore a similar mark, except it said "VR", included a crown and a number for the laundress, rather than "24" (which for me, indicates the size - 24 months in this case).

One pair of finished underwear (ok, well, except for the buttonholes).

Detail of the hand-stitched tucks.

The chemises (18 mo and 24 mo), based on my original pattern. I made her 24 month one slightly longer, since my darling gal is growing somewhat her mama, no doubt.

Detail on the chemises.

Monogram on the back hem of her chemise.

- - - - -

Here is the pattern for the drawers, files 1-4 (left to right). They're in order like a square grid: Top row 1, 2; bottom row 3, 4. Pretty self explanatory once you get the pages printed out. My "regular" disclaimer stands: I'm not a professional pattern maker -- I draft these to fit my daughter, but I try to keep to original standards in shape and styling wherever I can. If you find something doesn't work out, let me know.


Emily said...

Love 'em! Great work!

Mrs. G said...

Those are some lovely undies! Everything looks neat as a pin, Victoria is a lucky little girl to have such a talented Mommy. :-)

Cynthia said...

They're darling! Love the tucks :D

Rachel said...

oh oh oh so fabulous!
those handstitched pin tucks are true love!
everything looks great. Thanks for sharing the pattern also, what a treat. my little man will need a new pair or 2 come spring time!

Annette Bethke said...

How cute!

Emily said...

I want to make these, but would like to know what you used as the base pattern? Thanks!

Amy said...

Emily, I didn't look at an original in person (because I just don't have access to that, but I did use a photograph of a mid-century (based on style) pair of drawers for a child to start with. (This is the link of one of the ones I found:

The drawers were photographed laid flat at the seams, so tracing it and then mocking it up was fairly easy. The only thing I didn't have was exact measurements of the original. That would have been nice, but since I knew my daughter was probably smaller than the original, I was going to resize it anyway. Besides, taking the waist to hem measurement and then sizing up the pattern based on that wasn't too difficult.

So that's what I did. I used a combination of the photograph, my own intuition as far as what drawers were for young girls (basically miniature versions of ladies' drawers), and used my graphic design program to resize it based on my child's measurements, who is rather average sized. Then I mocked it up several times until I was satisfied it fit the way drawers would have fit back then.

I hope that helps!

Emily said...

Awesome! Thanks! I looked at the old 1840 Workwoman's Guide and your drawers are VERY similar. I've cut them out and done the side seams (by machine). I've almost got the chemise made, too! Thanks so much!

Amy said...

Great Emily! I hope you enjoy them!

Amy said...

Well, I hope your kiddo enjoys them, I mean. :)

Emily said...

Here's what I did! Thanks again!

Anonymous said...

I have been searching for period correct infant patterns for so long with no avail.
Then I find your blog,
and you have patterns for FREE!
Thank you so much for shearing your talents... they are very appreciated!
Sincerely Josie.