The goal of this series, "Taking to the Water" is to construct mid-19th century bathing costumes, and I think it's time to share some images of ladies who have done just that!
I found the photo above online and it's one of my favorites - I think this is a great interpretation, with a definite nautical feeling, but yet feminine with with the ruffles and scalloped hem.
The next several photos were taken at the 2009 Ladies and Gentlemen of the 1860's conference. You'll notice quite a range of trim options and trouser styles:
Some of the ladies did not intend their costumes for bathing, but for gymnastics or other physical pursuits.
Here's another found online, and another great creation, although the short sleeves are not appropriate for an 1860's interpretation.
Here's one created from this year's "conference fabric":
And here's the original used as inspiration:
The original is a short, pleated skirt dress made of wool with trim of wool braid. The trousers have a yoke of cotton, to reduce bulk at the waist and are lined with a polka dot cotton - a detail included on the reproduction trousers!
I have my wool and I'm currently looking for coordinating wool braid (that I can afford!) and I will be sharing my very first costume diary with you throughout the construction phase - so more to come!