By this time, the Industrial Revolution caused an increase in the annual output of mills and factories. Sewing machines replaced the laborious task of hand sewing garments after The American Civil War, and were also a huge help in manufacturing military uniforms. Initially the widening of women’s skirts required the use of layers of stiffened petticoats so critics raved the use of the hoop skirt as it added a lighter and more graceful appearance. Charles Worth was credited with the invention of the hoop skirt but there was no evidence to say he originated the style.
The basic silhouette of women’s costume during this period fits closely through the bodice and waist then widens to a circular dome shape at the bottom. Even though the skirt has forms of support, sturdy fabrics are generally used to add to the fullness of the skirt. Women wore a chemise and drawers under a corset and hoop as undergarments, and then placed a petticoat over the hoop. The chemise was a short sleeved, knee length, full undershirt. Drawers were also knee length and usually had some sort of lace or embroidery at the edges and the crotch was un-seamed. Undergarments were made of cotton or linen during this time.
Corsets during this time period were layered as a camisole or corset cover was placed over the corset. The garment was waist length and shaped to the figure with short sleeves and buttons down the front. After the introduction of the crinoline, corsets became shorter because there was no longer a need to confine the hips. Whalebone and steel hoops were sewn into skirts to make a hoop skirt or cage crinoline as the silhouettes varied with changes. Additional layers such as flannel or quilted petticoats were worn in the winter for warmth.
Daytime dresses were either one piece with a bodice and skirt seamed together at the waist, a princess style that had no waistline seam, or a two piece garment that had a separate bodice and skirt but were matching. The bodice was made of silk or wool and was often shaped using curved seams in the back with darts in the front with cotton or fabric lining and occasional whalebone pieces stitched to the seams. Necklines on the bodices were high and did not have attached collars. Sleeve lengths varied and were open at the ends with removable lace or muslin engageants Separate bodices that were worn during the daytime generally ended at the waist and fastened in the front or back with buttons or hooks and eyes. Some had extensions called basques which flared out below the waist. This was initially achieved by cutting the bodice longer, but later they were made by sewing separate pieces to the bodice at the waist. Hairstyles during the crinoline period were usually worn with a center part with smooth or wavy hair, or pulled back into a bun or plaits. For a wider…