Mauve 1880`s Day Dress & Accessories

Hello again!

Once more I have been neglecting this blog. I have been sewing A LOT. Sometimes I even took pictures. But sitting down and making a post about it was the hard part as I always tend to get carried away with further sewing. Well well, I´ll be posting projects I got done since my last post.

First one is this Second Bustle Era Day Dress. Main fabric is mauve printed cotton and contrasting fabric is mint green satin. I made this dress in February. Inspiration was again from the book Making Victorian Costumes for Women by Heather Audin. And again I drafted the pattern myself rather than scaling it from the book.
Sewing pleats on the back of the skirt.

Boning chanels on the back. I used 5mm wide spiral steel boning.

Sewing pleated peplum on the back. I first hemmed the satin rectangle, then pleated it and pressed it. Tacked it onto the back and sewed it. Then I used some overlocking stitch on my sewing machine.

Then trimmed the access fabric away.

Front view of completed 1880´s Day Dress.

Front and side view of the bodice which is fully boned.

Side and back view of completed 1880´s Day Dress. Bustle worn underneath.

Detail of the back embellishment. Sewed by hand.

Authentic closures on bodice front- metal hooks and eyelets.

Accompanying accessories are brand new projects, both made this week :)

Front and side view of the Bustle Era Hat. Pattern is from Lynn McMasters. Embellishments are mine :) This was my second hat project worked with double millinery buckram. I love making hats but I must admit it isn´t easy. Some force is needed. I stabbed my thumb with a curved needle for example. Something that wouldn´t  happen while embroidering...   

Back and other side view of the hat. It is supposed to be anchored with a hatpin into the high bum. 

Top of the hat. I love the outcome <3

Matching reticule I made. The dimensions I took from the book Fashions of the Gilded Age Vol.2 by Frances Grimble. Embellishments are mine again. Reticule is lined with mint satin.

Accessories next to each other. You cannot have too many hats or reticules! ;)

Thank you for viewing and see you soon!


1870's Day Dress

Moving forward! I finally sewed my way from 1840´s all the way to 1870´s a.k.a. the First Bustle Era! I love bustle dresses! It is my all time favorite attire both 1870´s and 1880´s bustle fashions.   

This dress is a replica project from a book Making Victorian Costumes for Women by Heather Audin. Again rather than scaling the pattern I drafted it myself. Bodice is flat-lined with cotton fabric and it is boned with 5mm wide spiral steel bones. It is fastened with tiny hooks. Skirt, overskirt and peplum fasten with larger hooks and bars. 

Materials used for this dress are: 

  • 4m lilac taffeta
  • 3m beige taffeta
  • 2m cotton lining
  • 14 self-cover buttons
  • 3m of cotton tape to tie up the bustle
  • and lots of various trims!

Front and 3/4 view of 1870´s day Dress.

Side and back view of 1870's Day Dress.

As the neckline of this dress is quite low, I had to make a chemisette to fill it in. Chemisette is a clever faux shirt which resembles a bib in front and back and it is tied with tapes on each side. This way a Victorian lady didn´t have to wear another layer of clothing.

Chemisette worn underneath the bodice.

Imperial Tournure worn underneath the dress. I still have to make top petticoat to go over the tournure =bustle.

Sleeves in 1870´s were wide and had large heavily embellished cuffs. Inside the sleeve is engageante from my 1840´s dress.
A detail of tassel trim.

Detail of peplum. 

Sewing contrasting border onto peplum. I aligned the strip with peplum´s edge and pinned it in place. Then I turned inner edge of the strip under and pinned in place.

Then I slip-stitched the strip onto peplum. I sewed short sides first and then the bottom edge separately.

 Peplum and bottom edge prepared for sewing together.

Bottom edge pinned onto peplum and ready to be slip-stitched in place. 

This project was largely time consuming and laborious but it was fun to make. It definitely won´t be my last bustle dress. ;)
 <3 Want more bustle dresses! <3


Imperial Tournure

Wired bustle has been on my "To do" -list for quite a while and I thought now would be a perfect moment to make it. Since I really need it, you know ;) I ordered pattern and supplies for this project as a kit. The pattern I used is the amazing 1887 Imperial Tournure TV163 from Truly Victorian. Pattern contains two bustles in Lobster tail style: Imperial Tournure suited for late bustle era (1880's) and Regular Tournure suited for early bustle era (1870's). I made the Imperial Tournure version. 

Materials used:
  • 2,5m cotton drill
  • 5m 13mm wide plastic coated steel boning
  • 14 U-tips
  • hooks and eyes
  • 6m cotton bias binding

I used coverlocker Cornelia for Front edges of the skirt and for top and bottom edges of the Inner Back. Quick and neat, plus I like the triple row of stitching :)

Sewed and trimmed darts of Front.

The Backs sewed together and seams trimmed with pinking sheers to prevent unraveling. The way they did it back then ;)

Bias binding pinned onto markings. This will form channels for boning.

And my little assistant Dottie couldn´t wait and had to get a picture taken. :)

Back with pinned channels prepared for sewing.

All pieces pinned together. Bottom ruffle attached and trimmed with wide lace trim.

How to fit 13mm wide steel boning into 11mm wide U-tips. Trim the edges. And wear safety goggles!

Finished Tournure, back and side view. I´m very happy how this turned out. It fits perfectly and it was fun to make! I was thinking of making another one in patterned fabric. In fact bustles were often made from patterned or dyed fabric in Victorian times.

A detail of the lace trim.

That´s all folks, have a nice weekend! <3


Victorian Corset

I finally got around sewing my Victorian corset! Corset is such an important undergarment for historical sewing as it alters the figure a bit and you should always take measurements for historical sewing wearing the undergarments needed for the outfit. 

Here are the supplies I used for this project:

Victorian Corset pattern by Laughing Moon (LM100), I made The Dore Straight Seam Corset. Pattern also includes another corset- The Silverado Bust Gore Corset , a pattern for chemise with three sleeve-alterations and a pattern for open drawers. As main fabric I used heavy cotton drill with no stretch what so ever. For lining I used plain cotton of quilt-weight. Straight busk, 7mm spiral boning, 7mm spiral wire end caps, brass eyelets, boning tape which I didn´t use, cotton tape for waist reinforcement, bias-binding, lace trim, satin tape. 

Pattern cutting with Lupi´s assistance. :) I altered the pattern a bit, added length as I´m tall and some basic fit-adjustments. I got plenty of fabric left, at least for one more corset. I was thinking of dying the fabric. 
I top-stitched a line of decorative stitching on my machine with viscose machine embroidery thread onto both fronts. It is in white so it blends into main fabric a bit. But the light catches the sheen nicely.
Tools for making eyelets: tape-measure, chalk pen, small scissors, leather punch, eyelets and eyelet-pliers. 
Setting the eyelets densely, 17 eyelets per side. I must say I really liked working with pliers, it is so much easier than hammering them and the outcome is smooth. Unlike the hammered ones that always had one side flatter than the other. 

 All eyelets set in. The pattern instructions suggested having them set before sewing the back parts to the rest of the corset and I must say it was a smart tip. It was much more easy to manipulate the backs without the rest of the corset.

With finished eyelets I got to try on the corset and make a crease for the waistline where the most pressure  will be. Here I pinned the cotton tape onto the crease to reinforce the waistline. Then I sewed it onto seam lines with stitch-in-a-ditch method.

Half of the corset without boning. I´m sorry for not taking any pictures of inserting the busk. I got so excited of doing that, that I completely forgot and then the job was done. 

Preparing for cutting the bones. Essential tools for this are: tin snips, I prefer these over bolt cutters, needle-nose pliers, you should have two of them, it makes it so much easier to apply U-ends, my other pair is for jewelry making and they do the job,but I will be purchasing another pair for corset-making. And a file in case you need to file off the sharp corners of the steel bones. 

Sewing the bias-binding onto both edges with bones inside. Using the zipper foot to be able to stitch near the bones.
Front and back view of the finished corset. I added lace trim and I embroidered flossing onto all bones. Flossing was widely used on Victorian period corsets and it´s function is to encase the ends of the bones and prevent them to tear through the fabric. It also has a decorative function.

Next three pictures are of the embroidery I embroidered by hand on my chemise. The pattern was from 1880 I think. It was great fun doing this. I used one strand of Mouline (stranded cotton). This is a whitework and I found it pretty impossible to take a clear picture of it! The camera just doesn´t know where to focus and all pictures are a bit blur.
Chemise embroidery.

Now that the embroidery is finished I feel anguish to start a new one. But which one?! I should have thought of it before I finished this one and I should have started a new project. That way I wouln´t feel so lost and I could have just continue my already started new project.

Top flossing. Flossing is made with 3 strands of Mouline (stranded cotton) in pale ice-blue color to match the lacing. 
Bottom flossing.

Front of the corset. Again this was difficult to photograph because the corset is white.

Back of the corset.

Overall I am happy with the outcome. The corset fits very well. I am able to sit and move in it but I can´t bend all the way to reach the floor. I am surprised of this as I used spiral boning that is known to be flexible. Well, I made a truly Victorian corset as ladies back then were not able to bend down hence they put on their shoes before the corset :)