Tuesday, 10 July 2018

1885 Indigo Cotton Dinner Dress

Patterns: TV261 Skirt, TV382 "Asymmetrical Add-on" Over-skirt, TV460 Bodice.
Fabrics: Waverly homespun collection cotton, indigo blue. Chemisette is salvaged antique net lace.

Measurements:
Chest: 35"
Waist: 27.5"
Hip: <38"
Hem: 40" at front.



Construction
I made very few alterations from the patterns on this one. I reshaped the neckline on the bodice and made the sleeves a bit shorter than the 3/4 length marked on the pattern. I also made the over-skirt as it's own separate garment with a separate waistband, rather than fixing it to the under-skirt as the pattern calls for.

I'm not a fan of complicated "compound" skirts because they're difficult to wash and iron later on. The downside of this is that the asymmetrical add-on pattern doesn't intend for you to have a separate waistband, so there's no convenient pattern piece for the waistband with markings for center front and center back. You have to a do a bit of draping and fitting to determine that.

The Bodice
As with most of the Truly Victorian bodices, I find that altering them to provide a wider hip is almost always called for, especially at the center front closure. Most 19th century bodices did not have a straight front edge. The front edge, rather, curves out a bit from the waist to the point, because a corseted waist usually produces a bit of a "pouch" at the front. This also makes it much more comfortable when sitting, because that straight front edge just want to roll up the moment you sit and it has nowhere to go. 

The bodice is fully interfaced in twill and fully lined in blue broadcloth. 














Chemisette
I also used the Truly Victorian pattern for chemisettes (or dickies, as some call them). I made some alterations to mine to accommodate the small amount of antique net lace I wanted to use. Rather than securing at waist level, mine ties just under the bust. I also had to add a bit of silk charmeuse on the bottom edge of the front to makeup for the missing length.



(below) Because I couldn't do a collar with just netting alone, I laid the netting over a piece of silk charmeuse, then further interfaced that with linen. The result is a collar stiff enough to hold its standing shape. The little buttons are antique shell, salvaged from a 1910s blouse.




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