Saturday, May 12, 2007

Victorian Sewing

Wow I actually do sew costumes still! It has been so long since I have done it I was beginning to wonder myself. This isn’t one of the fanciest dresses (well skirts now but will be a dress soon) that you would see at a large SASS event by any means but it is a big deal for me. I am not usually that good at going off on my own. If I have directions I tend to stick to them. I am fine if I start something on my own but if there are directions I am lazy & just following along like a lemming off a cliff. So for this one I really kind of took a picture of an outfit & made my own version from this & that, making it my own.

Let me give you a little crash course on Victorian Era Fashions. There are basically 5 periods; Pre-hoop & Hoop 1830-1869, Early Bustle 1869-1876, Natural Form 1877-1882, Late Bustle 1883-1889 & Belle Epoch 1890-1901. There are very distinct characteristics that set these periods apart & I do not claim to be an expert by any means. I just know the basics & just try to research the rest as I go along.

I like wanted to make a Natural Form dress. The big thing about the Natural Form period is that as the name suggested they primarily did not wear styles that required a hoop or bustle to hold the shape of the dress or at least nothing as elaborate as the earlier or later periods. When hoops & bustles could be huge! Also I should add that sewing patterns where nothing like what we have today they came in magazines all the pieces printed on one large page all over lapping in black ink, the lines of each piece in different combinations of dots or dashes. I will have try to find an example to show you all some time.

I drafted the overskirt from Fashions of the Gilded Age Vol #1 & the underskirt was made from Truly Victorian’s Fan Tail skirt, the trained version.

This was my inspiration from Fashions of the Gilded Age:

Inspiration for red black & white NF dress

Here are my fabrics: Fabric for  for red black & white NF dress

I used the diagrams in the book as best I could to get the general shape for the over skirt. Then I just pined & repined until I got the look I liked.

Here is the nearly finished product:

Victorian Natural Form Skirts - trimmed

Victorian Natural Form Skirts - trimmed

I still need to add a pleated ruffle to the underskirt & make a bodice, but I am so happy with the way that this turned out I had to share! I am still trying to decide what to do for the back. Here is a picture before I added the ribbon trim:


I will be sure to post some pictures of me wearing the finished dress hopefully at The SASS World Championships in June.


bekka said...

this is gorgeous! wow. i love the red. i have some of the fan pattern, but in green. you are so talented. i can't begin to know how i'd go about conrtucting a skirt this complex.

and i had no clue about all the different styles of dress in the VE. very educational, too.

btw, i got to ride out of the ring today. around so rolling hills. so i learned to go up and down hills. and at one point--i'm riding a new horse completely, too--he slid in a wet spot going downhill and we almost fell! big heart thumping going on. and then another time random dogs from across the fence barked at the border collie with us and my horse got agitated. but it was great knowing that i had a small bit of control over calming him down.

Shannon said...

Wow! This is just gorgeous!

stacy said...

Oh my gosh, it's BEAUTIFUL! I love the colors and the print....

LLA said...

OK - first of all - the fabrics that you chose are amazing! And secondly - how amazing are you??????

Seriously - I am just blown away by the clothing you create, it's so lovely that it takes my words away.

You've got some mad skillz there, girlfriend!

Lucy said...

I'd be showing my creation off, too, if I were you! It already is gorgeous---can't wait to see the finished version!


Renee said...

This is fabulous, you did such a great job you must feel so proud!

I love the back, can't wait to see the final piece.
Way to go this is fabulous just fabulous.

Rebecca said...

WOW! This is gorgeous. I am seriously in awe.

Chara Michele said...

Wow this is absolutely gorgeous!! I can't wait to see the finished piece:) You definitely will have to post pictures of you wearing it to the SASS event.

kimberly said...

Sewing is a great activity and we can produce any desing just using a machine. I really like it, like this blog.I usually like to read about interesting things, that is why i enjoyed too much reading.

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katty said...

I really like sewing in my free time and I really enjoy this practice, when I get my house through costa rica homes for sale I knew it would many space in my house like to take a room as a workshop. And now I usually invite my friend to sewing in the afternoon. We spend a funny time creating new things.