Historical Sewing: Victorian Split Drawers

Flashback Summer - Historical Sewing: Victorian Split Drawers

I know what you're thinking.  "Ooo, a post on Victorian split drawers?  How glamorous! How sexy!"

Okay okay, that's probably not what you were thinking.  When I first started pondering my next step in my historical sewing endeavor, I mostly wondered, "Drawers?  How weird. Split drawers? How do those work?  How do those pattern pieces fit together?  This is all weird."

Flashback Summer - Historical Sewing: Victorian Split Drawers

But after a day of drafting the pattern and putting it together (albeit in a roundabout, redo-things-a-couple-times sort of way), I have a pair of drawers suitable for my future 1880s ensemble.  I'm not shooting for 100% historical accuracy in this project simply because I know I'm still in beginner learning stages.  I'm using patterns from a "Fashions of the Gilded Age" book, and there is very little to no instruction on how to put the pieces together.  Thus, I'm mostly relying on pictures of 1880s garments and blog posts from other historical sewists.

Flashback Summer - Historical Sewing: Victorian Split Drawers

I know I didn't do everything right, and I used a zig-zag stitch on the edges. They could also probably stand to be an inch or two longer. Like I said, my goal with this ensemble is mostly to figure out what the heck I'm doing and how pieces fit together.  I can worry about 100% accuracy on the next round.

Flashback Summer - Historical Sewing: Victorian Split Drawers

These drawers are the second piece in my ensemble, and they go under the chemise I made.  I made some changes to the chemise trim to be thinner and more suited to the sleeveless ball gown bodice I am eventually going to put on it.  Not to mention, I found several yards of this blue antique trim in a flea market, and I'm putting it to good use!

Flashback Summer - Historical Sewing: Victorian Split Drawers and chemise

Flashback Summer - Historical Sewing: Victorian chemise

Other historical sewists, do these even vaguely resemble Victorian drawers?  Am I on the right track?


  1. They look great. Split drawers are very practical and despite what you might think they actually are modest.

    Since you already are on your way to making an 1880s wardrobe, have you considered joining the Historical Sew Monthly Challenge for 2016?


    1. Thanks Theresa! I follow the Historical Sew Monthly Challenge, but I wouldn't be able to keep up the schedule or types of challenges. Right now I'm really only committed to making one ensemble, then I'll reevaluate future historical sewing!

  2. I love the details on each of these pieces Emileigh! Even though I don't know what is 100% accurate I would say that these pieces seem quite accurate to me:)

  3. Wonderful work! They look really comfortable - like (if one so desired) they'd make for awesome sleepwear, especially during the sweltering hot summer months.

    ♥ Jessica