Back in January 2013 I declared it was to be the Year of the Striped and Plaid Bustle Dresses. (Have you participated yet?) During the Fall 2012 session of the Bustle Day Dress Online Class someone had posted a link to striped fabrics over at Farmhouse Fabrics. [insert dream time and drool here…]
Through a Thanksgiving sale I gobbled up… sorry… ordered, 12 yards of 60″ shirting in a blue, white & raspberry stripe fabric that I’d been eyeing for several weeks. Now that the fabric was purchased, a design was decided on and off we traipsed into Strawberry Fields Forever.
With a stripe I knew I wanted a late bustle style with stripes going every direction. Not wanting to get too complicated I settled on making up the Truly Victorian skirt patterns as is then playing with a vest front bodice design. Miss Alice Austen was a big help in getting me off to a good start.
The foundation skirt is an ivory cotton twill made from the TV261 – 1885 Four Gore Underskirt. I debated endlessly over how to mount the horizontal stripe panel – should I cut a yoke? Should I cut the skirt whole and mount the stripe on top? Should I cut the yoke from twill only and sew the stripe to the bottom edge?
Through a brief series of emails with Heather McNaughton at TV she agreed with (and encouraged) me to make up the foundation skirt as is and lightly gather the horizontal stripe panel to fit around a parallel line at the hip level. (This ended up being a line 32″ above the floor marked by my willing-to-help hubby but with directions from me.)
The horizontal stripe was cut in length to match the hem, the top edge serged, then finished with a basic hem facing. It is unlined and lays flat on the twill underskirt.
For the overskirt I used TV382 – 1886 Asymmetrical Drapery Add-On and cut as-is. However, I flatlined both the front and back overskirt panels in silk organza to give them some poufy bustle support.
Being how the left side of the overskirt is finished and how it lays over the foundation skirt, I completely expected to see an non-striped section of the placket. See it there near the waistline?
I ended up cutting raspberry poly satin (Hey! It matched perfectly with the stripe and was on sale at Jo-Ann’s!) into varying bias strips, folding them and simply safety pinning them onto the waistband. I think they add a nice touch in addition to covering the “gap” in the stripe fabric. Their official name is Loopy Bow Things… 🙂
I struggled with the bodice design for weeks. Then finally came across this lovely plate (above) from the book Fashion Design: 1850-1895. Perfect.
The cut of the vest front seam is actually a bit different from the Truly Victorian 1884 French Vest Bodice. Because I had already made that pattern, I took it to make a new mockup where then I drew in new lines.
The vest starts much closer to the center front at the neck and goes straight down to the bust line rather than tapering out over the apex. After making both this bodice and the TV one I really think keeping the vest portion close to center front at the bust gives a much more flattering appearance to an ample bosom.
The lapel and mandarin collars as well as the angled cuffs were cut from the raspberry satin, but I used the reverse side for a more matte (read: less obvious man-made fabric) look.
Most of my Victorian bodices use self-covered buttons. The premier event was a few days away and I didn’t really have time to cover the 21 buttons I wanted for this project. So off to my little Jo-Ann’s store praying they had *something* I could use. (It’s not so much as NOT finding something as finding ENOUGH of what you find….)
The scrolled metal 1/2″ buttons presented 5 cards on the hook – I guess I’ll have 20 buttons then! Right-on!
Another “short-cut” I took because of the time crunch was to create a chevron with the stripes on the center back panels. The time saver came from not having to line up the stripe from the center back to side back panels. Although it can totally be accomplished I didn’t want to put in the effort (yeah, I know…).
After basting the center back seam I only had to rip the middle section apart to re-align. I think it came out terrific!
[Please ignore those horrible horizontal shoulder blade pooches you see on either side – those are where my metal boning ended. I will be ripping them out and putting in longer bones that go further up that seam stopping close to the armhole seam.]
The vest part is made from a striped cotton sateen – a VERY lucky find at Jo-Ann’s – flatlined to a white lightweight twill. It is cut as a full bodice front and attached at the side seams.
The striped bodice front was cut from the main bodice pattern, flatlined with silk organza then mounted to the stripe. The front edge is finished with bias for support. The two pieces (currently) are hand tacked together along the inner dart, but I intend to continue the tacking up to the dart point so the stripe stays in place better while wearing.
The hat was also covered in the white sateen which you can read about that project here.
To create the silhouette in the photos, I am wearing: chemise, drawers, 1880s corset, lobster tail bustle and petticoat. Then I put on the skirts (both foundation and overskirt were attached to one waistband) and finally the bodice.
Overall I think my first all-over striped bustle dress came out splendidly! I really do love it.
Have you made an all-striped dress too? How did it turn out?