Male Pattern Boldness is proud to be the world's most popular men's sewing blog!



May 2, 2014

Peter's Edwardian Underwear + New Pattern!



I won this authentic "Edwardian" -- could also be 1920's -- union suit on eBay, new old stock (i.e, unworn).

My intention is to copy and whip up some of my own, not really to wear the original, but I couldn't resist trying it on.



It has one of those buttoned-backsides one usually associates with toddler togs.



I would call this fabric cotton gauze.  It's extremely lightweight and, because of its age, rather fragile.  I'd love to find something similar.  I think a union suit like this one would have been intended for summer wear.





A few more details:

This is an inside view of the knit waistband.





Button placket facing (in a sturdier cotton):



Button:





 

In other news, I swung by Mood briefly today and discovered two additional colorways of the paisley I used for my mint and pale gray shirt.  I think I still like mine best; it's more subdued.







And I have a new pattern: McCall's 5267, a unisex shawl-collared sweater pattern from the 70's!  I think I'll make it up for the spring in terrycloth, if I can find any I like.   To me it doesn't look dated at all.



And that's it.  I'm almost done with my paisley shirt and I hope to be able to show it to you next week.

Any fans of one-piece Edwardian men's underwear out there?  Why were these considered preferable to a separate shirt and shorts?

Have a great day, everybody!

22 comments:

  1. Jeepers man, are you wearing anything under that thing. Otherwise, i agree wholeheartedly with your original paisley choice. It's definitely the best.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Just a flesh-colored body stocking.

      Delete
  2. Wow, looks like a Steampunk version of the Mormon "Garment."

    ReplyDelete
  3. I must admit that I am horrified whenever I see 90+ year old garments being worn. I hope your copy is successful and that you can treat this one with the care befitting a garment of this age.

    ReplyDelete
  4. We've come a long way to Andrew Christian underwear which you could model for comparison!!! (another website?) :). I think the one piece 20's bathing suit for men would look splendid on you with a straw boater. I've always liked the idea of this underwear visually but not practical enough for me. Looking forward to shirt reveal.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Hm why the one piece? Well, I don't see how this fabric could be made into two comfy garments that would not be binding or bulky. The model wore it much looser. It was gauze for hot weather, no air conditioning. It looks absorbent and soft, and probably a dream of comfort on a skinny young man boy. No shorts falling down, and the trap door was probably never buttoned. LOL I seem to remember old family photos of someone in a sleeveless shirt and denim overalls. It may have been one of these get ups, I know the kids preferred just the overalls in the summer, but the denim was a bit rough inside, and these would fix that problem. I'm speaking of my dad in the '30's.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Peter, if I were making this for my husband I would probably use Birdseye cotton. It's incredibly soft and will last for years.
    https://www.fabric.com/buy/du-576/cotton-birdseye-diaper-cloth?&cm_mmc=Google-_-Products-_-Products%20Listings-_-Ads&CAWELAID=172000510000023436&CAGPSPN=pla&catargetid=172000510000043626&cadevice=c&gclid=CL79qebgj74CFbTm7AodUVQAOA

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, Sunshine -- I'm going to check that out!

      Delete
  7. Ooh I love that shawl collar cardigan pattern! Nice find.

    ReplyDelete
  8. Nice cardi pattern. You may want to check the lapels...they look a bit wide and a bit "dated" to me. I would narrow them a bit. jmho

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Good call. And her haircut....how many years did I wear that one, decades.

      Delete
  9. How fun, a union suit! I would love to borrow that cardigan pattern when you're done with it for a trace off :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Ohhhh, I LOVE that coloured paisley pattern MUCH better than the green/gray! (The green is better for your shirt, though). And the union suit? People used to wear linen undergarments under their clothes as a matter of course, because it was MUCH easier to wash those than it was to clean the outer garments (no dry cleaners, remember? And ironing was a MUCH more grueling task back in the days before electricity! This is why underwear is sometimes referred to archaically as "your linens".The "trap door" seat is not there for "comic" relief; it's there to allow you to GO TO THE BATHROOM without removing ALL your clothes!; Imagine having to disrobe COMPLETELY out of Edwardian garments with all their buttons and fastenings when you have to make number two BADLY because your underwear is all of a piece! Obviously you have never worn a leotard or a onesie any time recently!

    ReplyDelete
  11. I'm totally on board for the one piece! Sometimes there is too much tucking and layer malfunction with separates. This would be nice in a Japanese double gauze, too.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I agree with Michael, you would look fab in a 20s swimsuit. I've been looking for a 20's era swimsuit pattern to sew for my DH but never would have thought to look for underwear patterns as a substitute! Thanks for the idea Peter!

    ReplyDelete
  13. ooh, I love the top paisley even more than the mint!

    The union suit is amusing and it's great to see one in such good condition.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Alright! Great Edwardian garment. It is all those details tat make it so special!

    ReplyDelete
  15. This is why I keep coming back here, for a chance to see you in your skivvies. I just wanted to say you're cute!

    ReplyDelete
  16. There doesn't seem to be any other pattern like this. You can't just keep it all for yourself, can you? Perhaps your successful union underwear or swimsuit pattern could be digitized, and spark a foray into selling the PDF pattern on Etsy. Like Adam and Eve, EvaDress becomes AdamDress. Or AdamPants. or PeterDress. PeterPants?

    ReplyDelete
  17. Hello, Peter! Are you still watching this list? I've been looking for a similar pattern. I found mention of an old McCall pattern for a summer union suit that looks very similar (see here: http://www.unsungsewingpatterns.net/2009/05/mcall-3720-mens-and-boys-union-suit.html). I'm looking for a pattern because my brother asked me to make him a summer union-style suit with no waistband and no snaps or zip, etc., up the front. He wants it to be like a loose, cotton-knit tank top that extends down into loose, cotton-knit boxers. I'm having trouble picturing how best to make it, and I'm worried it might ride-up while he's sleeping in it. Did you ever make (or find) a pattern? Thank you!
    Laura

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The best thing I can suggest is purchasing a men's boxer pattern and adding a top, making sure there's enough fabric so that it doesn't ride up. Sorry not to be of more help!

      Delete
  18. LoL, I read the post about a 1920s item you found, and now I realise it might not be baby clothing at all, but men's under wear :- )

    ReplyDelete

Related Posts with Thumbnails