Sunday, 15 May 2016

HSM Challenge 4 - April: Gender Bender

This year again the National Railway was organizing a turn of the century fair, even if it wasn't as big as last year's 100 year anniversary. In the winter I had this idea to look at Edwardian sportswear, and I decided to do a pair of bloomers, which would of course fit well with the Gender Bender challenge, since this was the first time in the western world when women started to wear any kind of bifurcated garment.

At first I thought I would be able to create the pattern myself, but then for simplicity I decided to order Laughing Moon #110 Ladies´1890's Sporting Costumes. The bonus is of course that I didn't just get a pattern for the bloomers, but a nice jacket and gaiters as well, and I'm planning o making them in the future.

The bloomers need a lot of fabric, and in my stash I had a brown striped fabric that was just big enough. I'm pretty sure that it's some kind of polyester suiting fabric, but I picked it up years ago in an op shop. I didn't take any photos of the making of the bloomers, I basically just followed the instructions with the pattern. I also opted for using elastic at the kneebands instead of buttons to keep them tight. If I want to change that I can do that some time in the future.

Overall the pattern was really simple and it didn't take me more than 4 hours to make them, including handsewing the waistband and the kneebands.

I wore the bloomers together with my Edwardian shirtwaist and corset cover from last year. I wore one of my TV110 corsets and my smallest 18th century shift instead of a chemise. I finished the outit with wearing a my smallest bergére hat, brown stockings and black shoes. I have a pair of shoes that look more Edwardian, but I have a big blister on one of my feet and couldn't walk in them, these were the most neutral shoes that I could wear for a whole day.

At the National Railway Museum I met up with Johanna, Aggi, Carolina and other people from the Swedish 20th century society. Here are some of the photos that I took while there.

There was a penny-farthing there
Would I be able to get up on it?

Nope, not a chance
The owner of the vehicle showing how it should be done

I wanted to show how agle you are in bloomers though so I climbed up on a statue instead
When I got home I decided to try the bloomers on a bike though, and after all I have what I call an "old ladies' bike", so not too different from old bikes.

A lot easier than the penny-farthing

The bloomers were comfortable and easy to bike in

No problem at all.

Just the facts:

What the item is: A pair of 1890's bicycle bloomers
The Challenge: 4 Gender Bender
Fabric/Materials: 2 m of polyester suiting fabric
Pattern: Laughing Moon Mercantile #110
Year: 1895
Notions: sewing thread, hook and bar, elastic
How historically accurate is it? Polyester fabric and elastic in the kneebands drops this down to around 40%
Hours to complete: 4
First worn: May 15 - the National Railway Museum's 1900 Fair
Total cost: $7, the fabric still had the price tag on

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