Tuesday, 13 November 2018

1872 Side Drape Overskirt - Red Homespun Cotton

Patterns: Truly Victorian #303 "1872 Side Drape Overskirt"
Fabrics: 100% cotton, red, homespun weave.
Available on Etsy HERE
Available on Ebay HERE
Chest: 34.5" max
Waist: 25"
Hip: free
Hem: 40.5" at front
Back Width: 14" max
Upper Arm: 13.5" max
Sleeve (top seam to end): 23"
Bodice length (back, not including collar): 16"

Between the skirt, over-skirt, and bodice, this ensemble used 7.5 yards of 44" wide fabric, plus the gold charmeuse used for the visible lining of the over-skirt, which was about 2.5 yards. The bodice is fully interfaced in twill and fully lined in black broadcloth. The wide cuffs are lined and attached at the end of the sleeves with hand slip-stitching. The cuffs can be removed if so desired without any damage to the sleeves. The bodice front darts and side seams have 1/4" nylon boning. 

The over-skirt (TV303) has a center back closure, is fully lined, and has gold/red braid trim along the edges. The skirt is a basic 6 gore style with no waist darts and width heavily fathered at the back. It is cut to accommodate to a moderate to large bustle. 

TV303 Overskirt
This is one of the oldest patterns in the TV collection, but this is only my second time making it. The last time I made it was in a much larger size, which had a rather different result. 

The large back pieces, which are pleated to create the undulating effect, only vary in size at the center back edge. The rest of the piece is unchanged for all sizes, which, unfortunately, has some negative results. In my opinion, this piece should be much narrower in the smaller sizes. That's just my opinion on the design, though. The pattern itself is doing what it's meant to do, lol.

I recommend finding pictures online from  people who have made this pattern, so you have a better idea of the final result. The pattern illustration, which I believe is from the original 1872 pattern this is based from, doesn't give the best idea of the final result. The layered pleats are much more over the hip, while the illustration shows it all rather close to the center back. That is not the result that will happen. 

Now, for my version, I did some things beyond the pattern. For one, I lined the front apron section and interfaced it with stiff netting. My cotton fabric was rather thin and flowy, so I needed the entra crispness of netting to make it hold shape. I also attached the front apron to the side pieces on just the outer fabric, leaving the lining free, so I could then come back and slip stitch the side linings over the side seam. That is not in the instructions, but it's much cleaner and means there are no exposed seams on the back of the overskirt. I don't have a serger and I really dislike finishing seams with overlock stitching anyway because it's not historically accurate and it's ugly, lol.

Finally, a note on applying trims to the overskirt: On the back sections, where the lining is intended to be visible, any stitching you used to apply trim through both layers would be visible, which is hardly what you want. So, I recommend applying trim to the drape sections before they are lined. This can be a bit frustration is you wanted your trim to be right up to the edge. Just to mark your seam allowance in and them make sure your trim just barely meets the marks. Or, you can use some kind of trim that looks best when placed inside seams, such as fringe. (I really wanted to use fringe for this, but the red I had on hand was too pink to go with this dark red). 

TV400 Bodice
I made this bodice with the straight waistline option, since I was limited on fabric and I intended for the over-skirt to go over the bodice anyway. As the pattern recommends, you will want to make a mockup first (I usually just use my lining pieces) so you can accurately mark your natural waist and/or where you want the front of the bodice to end. If it is too long, the whole bodice will ride up because the straight waist has no accommodation for hip. 

I tried a little something strange with mine. Instead of shortening the bodice to the waist height of my petite size dress form, I simply stopped the stitching on my front darts at the natural waist, creating four little pleats beneath that. In this respect, it has more of a blouse feel than a bodice, but having a little something on the bottom edge will make it easier to tuck in. If you do this, you will have to flat line, at least the front sections anyway. I imagine a bodice that ends right at the natural waist would be rather uncomfortable because it would have to be riding up a little just from your movements. 


1 comment:

  1. This is lovely. I'm trying to get into later Victorian now after mostly being 18thc, so it's very helpful to see people's finished products from different angles, and your tips about these particular patterns are invaluable.