Thursday, December 12, 2019

My First 1870s Dress

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.

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