Thursday, December 12, 2019

My First 1870s Gown

The early 1870s is one of my favorite time periods in fashion history. It's so poufy and skirty and big and fun! So when I was invited to a Victorian Christmas Tea and then a Victorian Winter Tea (only a few weeks apart), I decided to make a dress that would suit both events. These events were in late 2018 and early 2019.



I made this gown in a couple stages so it would look different for the two events. The basics are I added an overskirt, pleated trim on the main skirt, a butt bow, a proper transitional crinoline and petticoat, and fur accessories for the second outing.


I used the Truly Victorian bodice pattern dated 1871. Overall I really like the pattern. I had to make the sleeves smaller (as always with TV, which I find odd because I have thick upper arms). I only changed a couple things, mainly the front point and the neckline. The main skirt is a simple 1870s skirt, no pattern used. The overskirt is just a big semi circle. I totally admit I was going for a historically accurate Cinderella look, but I wish I had done a different overskirt. The shape just isn't what I wanted. Maybe I'll make another overskirt when I make an evening bodice to match.


The main fabric is icy blue silk taffeta from Silk Baron. The bodice is lined in thin cotton/silk. Future Victorian bodices have had and will continue to have more substantial fabric- this stuff was too flimsy. The dress is trimmed with a self fabric pleated ruffle, darker blue silk, and a silk fringe. I also made the matching buttons.

The next pictures are from the second wearing with the additions.


The fur accessories are all vintage from Ebay. My muff still has the fox face on it which I thought was a fun touch for the Victorian macabre!




All but one of the photos are by Gloria and Mike of In the Long Run Designs, as noted in the tags in the pictures.

Monday, September 2, 2019

1790s V Neck Gown

In February I attended the George Washington Birthnight Ball at Gadsby's Tavern in Old Town Alexandria. I made a new gown over the winter for this event. The fabric is from Renaissance Fabrics- it's a silk/linen blend with small embroidered metallic strips. The fabric can read as pink or purple depending on the light. It's whisper thin and feels like I'm wearing nothing.



I used the Queen Luise of Prussia pattern from Nehelenia Patterns. I would highly recommend this pattern! It fit very well with only the smallest alterations. It does have a very deep V neck- I actually raised mine a little because my stays are a bit high. I did alter the skirt to be just two large trapezoids.


I'm wearing my favorite bodiced petticoat underneath the dress. It's made from very thin silk taffeta and is extremely fitted, with bust darts, and opens at the sides with hooks and eyes. This way the front and back are smooth under any dress.


For my turban, I cut up a silk sari to make a very long scarf, and fringed the raw edges. It's simply wrapped around my head, and I added a feather for some drama.


My shawl is from Heritage Trading- wool with wool embroidery. My gloves are silk. Necklace from Dames a la Mode.


I was able to use just my own hair, curled with foam rollers overnight. I could use some more boost with 1790s hair but the turban does a lot of the work for me!


Thursday, February 21, 2019

February Costumer's Outing


The first week of February was the historical costumer's mini market in Williamsburg. I bought some jewelry from Dames a la Mode and tried on four corsets. The following day was a large meetup of costumers at Colonial Williamsburg. I think there were over 20 and perhaps many more. Some of us separated for lunch early on and some of us broke off at the end for more photos.

I made a new jacket for the occasion. It's a silk faille from Silk Baron in a deep eggplant color. I paired it with my silk/linen yellow petticoat. The jacket pattern is by JP Ryan. I've used it three times now to great effect. I added box pleated trim out of matching fabric.



I purchased silk mitts from Williamsburg Rose and a new hat from Fashions Revisited, both on Etsy. Once the hat arrived I knew I wanted to add more red to my outfit, so I added the red silk ribbons to the jacket. They tie the jacket closed over a stomacher.


 Jewelry was made by me. Kerchief is silk, from Dharma Trading. The white cap is from Flying Heart Millinery, bought at the Jane Austen Festival last summer.