Wednesday, 17 February 2016

1881 Day Dress with Train - Rose Pink & Black

Patterns: Truly Victorian #420 Cuirass Bodice.
                 Truly Victorian #225 "Fantail Skirt" & Truly Victorian #324 for the apron front portion.
Fabrics: 100% Cotton print, medium weight for outer fabric.
               100% rayon silky, black, for bodice lining.
               100% cotton sheeting, white, medium/heavy weight for skirt facings.
Available on Etsy HERE
Available on ebay HERE
*If you don't like using Etsy or Ebay 
for some reason, I also sell all my dresses
direct via paypal.
Chest - 36"
Waist - 27"
Hip - <42"
Hem - 39" at front
Back width - 14.5"

~Adjustable Train Height~
      This dress has a ring and bar construction inside the skirt that allows the train to be fixed up to walking height. The wearer can either make sure the ring/bar is fixed before putting the skirt on, or another person is required to help while the skirt is on.

Here is an inside view of the back of the skirt, showing the train held up to walking height. A plastic ring is stitched to the center back seam allowances, and the bar hangs on a ribbon from the waistband.

I originally thought about fixing the bar ribbon to the cinch channel, but the pull of the weight would have dragged that down and ruined the "puffiness" of the back of the skirt, so it's best that it hangs from the waistband.

The "bar" is a small piece of 3/8" round reed, wrapped in cloth, but you can use any stick-like thing for the purpose.

          I interlined all pieces with gray cotton and applied boning to all the seams and dart (11, total). The boning is 3/8" heavy duty nylon in cotton channels that are stitched to the seam allowances. I then sack lined the entire bodice in rayon silky lining.

       After making the skirt I was left with very little fabric. I had to eek out every inch, and that ended up requiring some piecing (luckily for me, piecing is entirely historically accurate ;) ). Of course, the key to good piecing is symmetry; you have to make sure you knew seams on one side are the same on the other.

       I've learned from making this skirt before that you have to add stiffness and body to the train to get it to hang well and hold itself up. A trained petticoat helps a lot too, but if you leave the train portion as fashion fabric only, you'll probably be disappointed by how it behaves. I flat lined the train portions with very stiff, high thread count cotton sheeting to add body and weight.

This is a two part benefit, because the lining can serve as the cinch channel too

In order to help hold up the side seams where the pleated apron is attached, I added boning. It keeps the seams straight in that area.

I placed the boning between the seam allowances and then whip stitched over and at the ends, using the seam allowance as the boning channel (not pictured, unfortunately. The camera batteries died just in time!)


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