Sunday, 5 May 2013

Corset is done, now what to put over it?

So I finished the Victorian corset:

However it looks much better on the mannequin than it does on me. It's a pity corsets are relatively expensive to make - boning, eyelets, hook and eye tape/busk etc etc - as I'd really like to make an early Edwardian one like this lovely example by The Laced Angel:

Edwardian corset by The Laced Angel

But that will have to come another time. For now, I need to decide what I will make now, ideally to go over the Victorian corset. As I said in my last post, I have about ten fabric/pattern marriages  to decide with, and I'd say at least half of them require a decent corset. Here goes:

1. Check cotton 1860s day dress

Ever since I saw Koshka's and Lauren's 1860s day dresses, I've always wanted to make one. Now that I have a Victorian corset that isn't munted, maybe I can. Anyway here was my inspiration:

Koshka from The Fashionable Past's 1863 day dress
Lauren from American Duchess' 1860s day dress

The fabric I'll be using is a cream with brown check cotton that I scored for cheap recently. For the pattern, although I'm sure I'll be heavily altering it, will be Butterick 5831.

2. A (rather inauthentic, but who cares) early Victorian gown

I immediately fell in love with Butterick pattern 5832 when it came out, and bought it as soon as it hit New Zealand shores.

It's kind-of Victorian, kind-of not, reminded me somewhat of the costumes in The Young Victoria, and something that I could easily get my hands on without paying ridiculous international shipping fees. It looks kind of like this dress c.1840 that I found on Pinterest:

I'm going to make it out of these delish mauve curtains I found, with trimmings of a purple-shot-with-green taffeta.

3. Epic lavish Edwardian gown with 100-year-old brooch

So my lovely Better Half brought me back a beautiful 100-year-old brooch originally from Bulgaria when he was in Europe last year, and I knew I had to make a dress to go with it.

I've been putting the project off so far because I wanted to make sure I had the time and resource to do it properly. I imagined doing something Downton Abbey-esque, kind of like these:

c. 1909



And of course inspiration wouldn't be complete without the costumes from Downton Abbey themselves:


Cora again
...and Cora again, although definitely not this frou-frou

Wish I could've found a better photo but - The Dowager Countess

Mrs Hughes
See what I mean about incorporating the brooch? Now, Edwardian patterns of this sort of design are hard to find, but I managed to find something similar at Past Patterns - a c.1912 ladies' gown that I'm going to have a bit of a play with. I have a lush deep chocolate brown velvet that I think fits the look I'm going for, and some silky cream gauzy stuff to embellish it with. But there'll be lots of other bits and bobs I'm sure.

4. 1920s day dress with velvet awesomness
So with season three of Downton Abbey came the obsession with the 1920s. I bought this 1920s pattern from Past Patterns because it was awesome -  Ladies' Dress with Separate Shirt Waist - and incidentally also found a fashion plate of the exact same dress (the green one in the middle):

It's going to made out of a royal blue geometric-patterned fabric for the main part, with turquoise velvet for the collar and sash.

As this is a long enough post already I'm going to leave the others for another day! And hopefully by then I would have figured out how to do my poll!

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