There has been a resurgence of Victorian apparel with trends like steampunk leading the way. Victorian clothing was sweet, innocent and slightly flirty. Dresses were often trimmed with lace or satin. While day dresses covered most of the body, evening or party dresses often left the shoulders exposed. Gentlemen and boys typically wore an undershirt, vest, overcoat and slacks with variation on fabric and accessories.
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Check your local thrift store for child-sized vests. Black, white and brown vests were common in the Victorian Era. If you cannot find one, they are simple to make from an old shirt and iron-on interfacing for stiffness. Add Victorianesque details, such as a brass pocket watch and Victorian-style buttons. Create a steampunk style by sewing on small watch parts.
Bloomers were a popular undergarment worn in the Victorian Era. They were trousers hemmed short with an elastic bottom and small ruffle. Bloomers were made of a thin, airy material like cotton. Create a pair of bloomers by cutting short an old pair of pajama trousers. Pull a band of elastic taut and sew it to the inside of the pant bottoms, leaving a little room from the edge. When the elastic is let go, it will create the small ruffle at the bottom of the trousers.
Also known as spats, boot covers were worn for uniform or decorative purpose. Both men and women wore spats. Cut a yard of white cotton or velvet. Iron on an interface to create the stiffness that will hold the boot cover up. Trim the fabric to cover the boot you want to wear. Cut small holes and add simple black buttons to button the spats up around the boot. The key is to not cover the boot entirely; leave the tip of the toe and heel exposed
Bonnets were introduced in early Victorian fashion. Simply repurpose an old shirt into a bonnet by cutting it to cover the top of the child's head. Cut two long strips of fabric that can be sewn to the sides, and sew on a small trim of spare lace. Tie the strips underneath the chin. For a super easy alternative, simply use a doily or a large scrap of lace and pin it to the side of the head.
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