Sunday, January 9, 2011

Corset pattern and instructions

I made myself a victorian corset and it wasn't even hard ;)
Try for yourself with these instructions for drafting your own pattern and sewing it (or you can use my pattern if you have similar measurements).
As this is a pattern you may need to draft yourself, there are no seam allowances!
So there you go:

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Lady Jessica Wotton is finally decent

Because now, last but not least, I present to you the finished Victorian Dress.
Or well, the day dress that is. I am planning to do another bodice for the dress, so I have an evening outfit as well.
Okay, well, here it is:

I'm so very proud of the final result. And I'm so glad I decided to do this :)
I used the burda pattern No. 7880 for the bodice and the overskirt, for the basis skirt I used the pattern I had made for my petticoat (because my bustle was bigger and generally different from what burda suggested).
Also, the burda pattern is pretty high-necked, but the character (Lady Jessica Wotton), whom I had ub mind when designing the dress would find the original burda neckline utterly boring. So I made it a little more "daring" (in Victorian terms). If I put on my chemise sloppily, you can sometimes glimpse a bit of lace trimming! *gasp*
The skirts are made from tafetta, the bodice is velvet. And the basis skirt actually isn't all that blue, the camera flash makes it look brighter.
And now, get ready for a picture spam, because I just adore this dress and think it only right to show it off from every possible angle ;)

A back view:

And here you can see the lovely victorian silhoutte the bustle creates:

Close-up of the bodice:

And another close-up, where you can see the trimmings (and you can also see my hat quite well, more about that later...)

Close-ups of the sleeves, the overskirt and the decorative band on the hem

And because a victorian lady can't go walking around without a hat, I made one :)
Well, I didn't really make the hat, I bought one. But it was to high so I had to cut a big whole in the top and patch that up so it became sort of flatter and then I had loads of fun decorating it :) Thanks to the wonderful lady, who gave me all the feathers and flowers!

Now the flood of pictures is over...
I can't wait till it's dry and warm enough to take more picture outside though! ;)

Oh and a shoutout to Kathy at this point, because she gave me these for my birthday to go with the dress:
Thank you so much, darling!

And now, let me know: what do you think of it? :)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Way too much underwear...

Some time ago I posted my chemise and corset as the start of my project to make a victorian dress.
Now this dress has been finished for some time and now I can finally show it off ;)
But lets do this layer by layer...
A chemise and a corset are of course not all of the undergarments a victorian lady would have worn. Drawers were quite common but not worn by everybody and I decided against them, because I felt I had way too much underwear for this dress already.
So what was still left to do for me was the bustle to give the dress its characteristic shape and a petticoat to go over that.
I considered buying a pattern for a bustle, looked at loads of pictures and in the end decided that I could make a pattern myself.
And, to my own surprise, it worked on the first try :-D
Looks a little ridiculous on its own...

When constructing the pattern, I first made one test piece on my dress form, with some cheap fabric, lots of pins and some garden wire.
When I had worked it out, I made the proper one out of white cotton I had left over from the corset. There's boning in there, which in this case is the rather thin, plastic stuff you can buy in fabric stores. I know that's not exactly historically correct, but I had some lying around and wanted to finish the bustle without having to wait for more spiral boning (having that delivered took almost a week).
The plastic also has the advantage of me being able to sit with it, by the way ;)

The next step was my petticoat. Wealthier women would sometimes have worn two petticoats, but I had to draw a line somewhere and I made "just" one.

It's simply a wide and long a-line skirt, which is elongated and gathered at the waist in the back to accomodate the bustle.
Petticoats often had a sort of ruffle at the bottom to give it more fullness and I added some decorative tucks to mine (which was a real pain, considering the ruffle was six meters long!)

And now, FINALLY, I'm wearing all of my undergarments. In our modern world I would now be more than decently dressed, but walking around like this in Victorian England... oh, the horror! It would have been a proper scandal ;)
So I guess I will have to continue with my dress, won't I?


I made a lot of the Christmas presents I gave away myself. This way, no matter what you give someone, it's always special ;)
This scarf was for one of my aunts:

img 1

I have already made a few of these patchwork-like scarfs, they're always a great gift and also a great way to use up left over fabric!

And this apron was for another of my aunts:
I have made one other apron before and back then I made a pattern, which I reused here.

I made some more presents, those will follow some other time. :)