Sunday, 14 April 2013

Victorian Splendour

Yesterday my Victorian gown had it's first outing! And though there are many things that need to be adjusted on it, I am very pleased with how it turned out.

Of course, I forgot to take pictures as I was getting dressed, so instead you get a reverse showing of all the layers I was wearing. Otherwise known, I suppose, as a striptease ;)

Firstly, the finished costume in all its glory! To summarise once again, the skirt is made of taffeta and the bodice and skirt of cotton velvet. The bodice and apron are trimmed with a machine made black lace that I picked up for a bargain a few years ago. I used TV 462 to make the bodice, and TV 208 for the skirt and underskirt. The bustle is from the Lobster Tail bustle tutorial by American Duchess. The corset is the 1883 corset pattern from Corsets & Crinolines, the chemise from Simplicity and the drawers from Laughing Moon.

First thing to be fixed on the bodice is that gape at the front. I closed the bodice with hooks and eyes, but the lining is pulling away, producing the gap. I think I'll try to run a line of top stitching down the front edge, and cover it with more trim and some frog fastenings, and that should solve that issue.

Next, the skirt without the bodice. The tails on the back of the skirt were mostly hidden by the waterfall drapery of the bodice. Incidentally, the apron is actually part of the skirt pattern, but I ran out of fabric, so choose to make the apron to match the bodice, so I could mix and match the wardrobe pieces later on. Even the tails had to be lined with a contrasting fabric, I had that little taffeta. The underskirt was made to the same pattern, but trimmed to remove the train.

And finally, the undergarments. These, granted, I've shown off in a previous post, but here they are, properly mounted with the corset I made some time ago. Said corset just about fits me these days, but was very comfortable for the evening, and reminded me how much I missed being laced. The bustle was inclined to shift a little during the night, so I may need to look again at how it is closed and made it a little more secure. 

Overall, it was a huge success. Comfortable, even if so much velvet meant it was quite warm in a crowded room, though having a fan on hand helped immensely.  The whole ensemble received many compliments, and I very much look forward to being able to wear it out again. I just need to make myself a little top hat now, just for that final little something.

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