1863 – Miss Annie’s Advice on Unmentionables

As the adnominal glories of the Colorado Territory fade into the short days of silvery winter, ladies will now focus their needles on their whitework. The scant light is best used for repairing your light-colored underpinnings. The muslin chemise with the lace insert in need of repair, the replacement of damaged drawer’s ties, and the restitching of the corset bone flossing.

Read in PDF Format: Miss Annie’s Advice on Unmentionables

The chemise worn close to the skin, is most oft laundered during the heat of summer. It will need mending and perhaps can be made anew with an embroidery pattern suggested from the November 1861 issue of Godey’s Lady’s Book.

Drawers are subject to accidents of a female nature and are often beyond repair. Trimmings of course must be salvaged. By carefully unpicking all the seams, the old trimmings can be used on a new set of drawers. The illustration below, from the November 1859 Godey’s Lady’s Book, offers design ideas for needle women with a modicum of skill.

Corset bones have an unfortunate tendency of wearing through the fabric. Miss Annie recommends stitching flossing patterns at each end of your corset bones to prevent wear and to keep the bones in place. The flossing also adds a delightful addition to a simple corset. Below are some simple, easy-to-follow, yet beautiful examples.

Daughters who grew over the summer have petticoats that need lengthening. Growing tucks can be unpicked and let out. Soiled trim is easily laundered, but damaged trim must be mended or completely replaced. The petticoat below, as modeled by Miss Annie herself, is an excellent example of adequate growing tucks and a fine lace trim.









  1. Godey’s Lady’s Book, November 1859, and 1861 http://www.uvm.edu/~hag/godey/images/s5911396.jpg
  2. Images on Flossing from: The Basics of Flossing, Foundations Revealed, https://www.foundationsrevealed.com/index-of-articles/corsetry/decoration/67-the-basics-of-flossing


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