Thursday, July 12, 2007

Victorian Ensemble

Well, I have decided to finally create my very first Victorian outfit. Including full historical undergarments to match. I have a couple of historical costume patterns for Victorian, but I am not completely happy with the look. I want something a bit more elaborate with layers. So at the moment I am thinking that I will have to mesh a few patterns together to get the correct overall image. My inspiration currently comes from a bunch of fashion plates I found online of bustle dresses which is the era of Victorian dresses I want to focus on.

But now, my cousin tells me that she wants to go to a Victorian outing and wear a full outfit – in 3 weeks. Hmmm, we shall see. I have a corset that I could make do with (I want to make a new one now that I know what I am doing). But I could probably get most of the skirt part done. And make do with some other sort of bodice or jacket. I guess that the skirt is kind of the most important part of the outfit. (Considering that that is where the main shape of the era comes from).


So, it turns out that I am going to piece together a couple of patterns. Now that I have drawn up a design of how I want my outfit to appear, I am moving on to create it. I ended up deciding to stay away from a Victorian dress. Instead going for a two layered skirt with the top layer pulled up at the back. Then adding a corset and bolero jacket.

For the corset (I am really getting handy at making these now). I am using black lace over a blush toned delustred satin, with black satin boning casings. Under this I am wearing a thigh length chemise made from blush coloured lawn. For the over skirt and bolero, I am using a black pinstripe cotton.

In the meantime, I am wearing the skirt in on a Victorian Steam Train Ride. So, I have made it already. I was actually surprised at the pattern. Originally when I bought it I thought that it was a single skirt. However, I now know that it is basically two skirts. The long one with a train underneath (placket at waistline) and the over skirt which is only about knee length and gathered up at the back with a ribbon. So it really does not have a bustle. But in the middle of the Victorian era, the bustle just about disappeared, going into a natural form shape. The two skirts are then sewn to each other at the waist, to make one single garment. I did change the fact that the overskirt is supposed to be cut on the bias. But as I am using the pinstripe, it would have looked really odd to have it bias cut.

Anyway, for this occasion as I have not prepared the corset yet or the bolero (I still need to get some piping and a busk) I am piecing it together with my purple jacquard corset and I have made a black satin peasant blouse / chemise underneath. And I am adding my shawl over the top to stay warm. I even managed to find a lovely black lace parasol on ebay to complete the look.

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