Daring Display

January 4th, 2011

Callooh! Callay! I finished my drawers tonight, stitching down the inside of the waistband, sewing on three buttons, and making (shudder) three buttonholes.


Shell buttons, made on an antique, though I doubt mid-19th century, press. They are arranged in a slanted fashion to accommodate my curves throughout this very wide (1.5 nails or a little less than 3.5 inches!!) waistband.


Miserable, wretched buttonholes (I abhor buttonholes). Worked according to directions from the Workwoman’s Guide, which suggested that sewing around the edge of the buttonhole adds a nice effect. I am not entirely sure I agree — looks a bit sloppy to me.

In celebration, I am doing something very daring: presenting pictures of myself wearing split leg drawers, and nothing else. Forgive me if I shock the more timid among you with my excessive boldness. Please pardon my messy house and enormous feet.

Side View


And a close up of my Broderie Anglaise frill.

  • Samuel Sobek says:

    Naughty but necessary to show off your amazing skills and attention to detail. The button holes are fine. I must show these images to my fellow gentlemen for strictly educational purposes. I hope you don’t mind.

    Best Regards,

    Samuel Sobek

  • Zoh says:

    I love it!! No worries about the buttonholes, they are gorgeous. I don’t even want to think about how long it took you. 😉

    The thick waistband looks so comfortable.

    Maybe YOU can be the model for the 19th Century Society ladies’ clothing layers demonstration 🙂

  • Marla says:

    Eva you continue to amaze me with your skill,these items you have made are lovely and wonderful,I am in awe of the skill you have displayed in this and other items!:)

  • eva says:

    Call me immodest, but I would be glad to have anyone see my drawers, particularly for educational purposes. Zoh — I see a sister act in our future! And thank you Marla. I will sew while you fix us one of your heavenly lunches, or pies, or cakes, or anything. Yum.

  • Ava Trimble says:

    Your drawers look lovely! It’s interesting that The Workwoman’s Guide wants the waistband to be so wide! I wonder why. Any theories?

    By the way, the stitching-around-the-edges-of-the-buttonholes business in the WWG is almost totally incomprehensible, but once translated is actually really helpful! I interned at Old Sturbridge Village over the summer, and some of the lovely ladies there explained how that buttonhole trick actually works. It has made my buttonholes FAR less miserable ever since!

    Basically, the gist of it is that, after marking but before cutting the slit, you do a teeny tiny row of running stitches just a couple threads away from the marked slit, all the way around. Then you do another row just two threads farther out (a larger ovoid shape, basically), but with the running stitches going opposite one another – so where the inner ring is up, the outer ring is down. If that makes any sense. This way they serve to strengthen and reinforce the outline of the buttonhole evenly. Next, you cut the buttonhole slit, and then work the buttonhole – but you always know exactly where to stitch, because you stitch just to the outside of the outer row of running stitches. In the end, the running stitches should be hidden, stealthily reinforcing your buttonhole and keeping everything even along the way. It sounds really fussy but I find that it actually makes things easier. Maybe resulting in less buttonhole misery in the future? 🙂

    • eva says:

      Well that makes ever so much more sense! I already stitch around my buttonholes before working them (though not twice — that’s a great trick from the Sturbridge ladies). I thought it looked peculiar to stitch around the edge of the completed buttonhole!

      As for the super-wide waistband, I have a suspicion that it will be very comfortable to wear. I haven’t spent much time in them yet though, so can’t say for sure. I also wonder if it has anything to do with their obsession with creating a smooth waistline. Although that came a little later than 1838…

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