Fabrics: 100% silk taffeta, light cian color. Wool/silk blend suiting, solid black.
Available on Etsy HERE
Available on Ebay HEREMeasurements:
Hem: 39" at front.
Back Width: 14"
Nap to Waist: 16"
Sleeve Length (front curve): 13.5"
An early 1870s ensemble consisting of 5 separates pieces:
The skirt and over-skirt are 100% silk taffeta, in a light cian color. The bodice is a tightly woven wool/silk blend, medium weight, in stark black. The collar is a separate piece with a single hook/eye at the center front. The bodice has a plain square neckline.
I am a huge fan of separates in historical reproduction clothing, although they tend to be less common in reproduction than whole uniform ensembles. This, of course, is a direct result of fashion plates and the more wealthy/fashionable photographs that have survived the era. Fashion Plates were--quite literally-- the Vogue and Harper's Bazar of their time, and as we all know today few people resemble the average runway spread in an current issue of Vogue. Fashion plates were idealized images, and so are Gucci spreads.
Now, the cool part is that realism in historical reproduction is often a financial/production burden on the costumer, but this is one the rare instances where adhering to historical realism is actually easier on us poor costumers. We all know how difficult it can be to get more than 10 yards of any single fabric if you're trying to shop off-line, especially when we're trying to be frugal. Most bolts have been depleted before they make it to the clearance table. So instead of having to order 13 yards of something at full price because everything on sale has less yardage than that, you can get 7 yards of one thing and and 6 of another, etc.
Not to mention that you get more than one outfit! This cian skirt and over-skirt would look good with a white blouse or jacket too, or the skirt alone could be matched to some other set, etc.
At first I considered doing the neckline trims directly on the bodice, but then I considered what a pain that would be to launder and iron, so a separate piece seemed best. Plus, it can be used with other garments! =)
I didn't need a pattern for the collar, as it's just a simple curved piece I drafted directly on the form. But, I did try to copy a similar collar from one of my Dover books. The idea is basically the same.
Bodice Again, I was trying to copy the general look of a jacket I had seen in a museum illustration, and I realized that my Truly Victorian polonaise pattern could be altered to be shorter bodice. You basically just omit the back skirt an cut off the front the match the height of the side-back piece. I then changed the shape of the front to be open below the natural waist and that was it.
The sleeves are actually front an antique pattern I have, one of the big pattern sheets from an 1871 issue of Harper's. The sleeves go with a wrap blouse from the same issue, which I had made before.