The 1873 dress turned out exceptionally yummy. The poufy-ness. The gorgeous heliotrope/wisteria color. The kazillion yards of ruching….
It debuted at the Gala at Costume College 2011 and couldn’t have found a happier setting. Here are a few more photos and notes on the making of this delicious piece.
Remember, the inspiration came from the original dress held at the Victoria & Albert Musuem in London and also shown in Nineteenth Century Fashion in Detail. Don’t worry – I will be making a day bodice for the skirt like the original.
Here’s a look at those enormous back bustle poufs. They were flatlined with two layers of nylon netting. That, along with the natural stiffness of the silk taffeta, gave the poufs the 1870s silhouette I wanted.
Below is a close up of the gathering. I ran one machine basting stitch, pulled it up to my measured length (14″), then hand tacked the basting line to twill tape.
The lower ruffle on the back panel was 18″ deep with three sets of three ruching lines and a 4″ ruffle at the hem.
The bodice was designed from an idea (page 43) in Victorian & Edwardian Fashions from ”La Mode Illustree” by JoAnne Olian.
The sleeve puffs were altered from the Truly Victorian’s #442 1860s Evening Gown Bodice. (yeah, really – Cool how the shape can translate for a decade into the future!)
To not feel left out, the bodice, of course, needed its own bit of ruching too. So I made a separate ruched bertha collar and mounted it to the neckline which was then finished with bias. Both edges were piped with 1/8″ cotton cord.
The bodice closed with simple buttons along the center front which was an historically accurate closure. The bertha area was fastened with three metal hooks and thread loops. It was finished with a quick matching bow.
The “official” photos by Richard Man who was the official photographer at Costume College 2011.