Historical bathing suit
My projects,  Sewing

A Late Victorian or an Edwardian bathing suit for my daughter

I made myself a historical bathing suit last year and this year I wanted to make my daughter one so that we could wear them together. I didn’t have a pattern but I could take some measurements and shapes from my daughter’s existing trousers and her Edwardian bodice.

Materials and drafting as you go as a method of sewing

Historical swimsuits during this period were mostly made out of wool. However, finding such wool nowadays is pretty impossible so once more I turned to cotton. This quilting cotton with bright turquoise stripes suited the purpose well and I found ready bias tape that matched well enough.

I will not spend much time describing the sewing process as I’ve already made a video of it last year. You can find it here.

I made the bodice originally too long and left big seam allowances to have room for fitting. I had only 2 metres of fabric and that should have been plenty as I made my own bathing suit out of a similar amount of fabric. However, my fabric was solid blue and I could cut the pieces in both horizontal and vertical directions whereas here I had to align the stripes. In fact, I had to piece together the waistband of the romper underneath the skirt.

The romper underneath the skirt.

I found just perfect turquoise buttons in my stash. However, when I had to make the buttonholes I couldn’t find my buttonhole foot. Thus, some accidental historical accuracy happened when I was forced to make the buttonholes by hand!

The bathing suit from the front.

The skirt is a simple rectangular gathered skirt. Those seemed to be as popular during the late Victorian and early Edwardian period as they are today – at least what comes to the children’s clothes.

The bathing suit from the back.

We were supposed to try swimming together during a historical sports event at the end of July. However, other activities kept us so busy that we skipped swimming. Well, we still might get a chance to try our historical bathing suits as the waters are still warm!

I have been sewing and crafting a lot during the summer. Unfortunately, I haven’t had much chance of updating this blog or edit videos. So, there will be a lot of summery content coming in the autumn!

Thank you for reading and see you soon! You can subscribe to this blog by typing your email down below! Happy sewing!


I am a mother of two. I sew, knit and create and blog about it.

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