Tuesday, 22 December 2015

1870s Evening Gown - Gold on White

Patterns: Truly Victorian #202 "Grand Parlor Skirt".
                Truly Victorian #400 "Day Bodice"
Fabrics: 100% Cotton, printed gold pattern. Metallic thread lace.
Available on Ebay HERE
Available on Etsy HERE SOLD
Alterations: Yes, on both skirt and bodice. See below for alteration details.
Chest: 41"
Waist: 32"
Hip: free
Hem: 39" at front

~The Skirt~

The TV #202 Parlor Skirt is a wonderful pattern. Designed to drag slightly at the back, you have to be careful about your hem length and the size of your bustle. If your bustle has too much oomf, it will lift the back of the skirt too high and turn a graceful drag into a too-short obstruction just just ends up folding under itself and looking a mess.

The back piece is cut on the fold and will use the full width of a 45" fabric, so be careful about the width of your fabric. I ended up with the dreaded 1" loss that comes with these annoying manufacturer labels on a lot of quilting fabrics:

Since I was going to have to narrow the back piece by nearly two inches to get rid of those labels, I decided just to cover them. The print is busy enough that the "patch" is virtually invisible.

The Hem:

I have seen various scalloped and triangular hems on many extant dresses and have always wanted to do it. A word of caution, though: This style isn't for skirts with a drag or train. The little triangles just end up folding under or getting bunching under the lace. Walking length is best.

Below you can see the shaping facing and my stitching markings for the eventual points

Discovering that my hem design wasn't going to work with a dragging skirt, I had to improvise and devise a way to lift the back of the skirt into walking length. I thought about doing to typical puffs with inside tape, but it looked best when also pulled back. It's a little hard to describe, but I pinched up the fabric in three places at the back, forming loops, then fed a self made sash through the loops and tied it in a huge bow. It seems to work, and no need for inside tapes =)

~The Bodice~

I used the TV #400 bodice will no alteration to the general body shape except for the neckline. I cut it as a wide, rounded neckline to suit a ballgown application (Though I am no fan of the short sleeves so often associated with ball gowns. I hate little puff sleeves on anything).

The bodice is fully interfaced in plain white cotton and fully flat lined in white china silk. I faced the neckline and fronts and used a white bias binding from the bottom. the front darts are boned with 3/8" heavy duty nylon "plastic".


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