01 October 2008 @ 01:56 pm
I've been thinking, with the plaid fabric is still on my dummy and me looking at it every day, that maybe I could drape the bodice over modern undergarments and then be able to wear it with jeans and a skirt.

Now, I may be smoking crack on this one, by simple virtue of the fact that the silhouette of modern undergarments is completely different from a corseted silhouette. A corset gives you a raised bustline and a smaller waist and a smoother line from waist to hips. A modern silhouette is . . . bulgier. But can it be done? Can a Victorian garment be made without a corset and then transition to modern wear?

[Poll #1270611]

I'm probably smoking crack.
27 September 2008 @ 03:00 pm
Yesterday afternoon, Mom and I went to the thrift store and I found a yard of brown, sage green and steel blue/gray wool plaid for . . . fifty cents! It's nice stuff -- soft, a little stretchy, a little fuzzy. I think, having spent entirely too much time watching Mad Men, that it's from the late 50s/early 60s. My initial thought, having watched way too much Mad Men and loving seeing Joan rocking all her early 60s clothes, that I'd make myself a little curvy, retro skirt out of it, but then a voice in my ear breathed, "Victorian."

Also, my god, what was I thinking, curvy retro skirt in plaid? I'd need a pretty aggressive girdle just to avoid looking like I'd gained 90 pounds all in my hips.

So, I threw the fabric on my dress form and got pinning, to mock something up and think about it.

Here are the images I looked at: 1880 walking dress with shawl collar (left), 1877 house or street dress with faux revers/collar, 1885 wine-colored dress with faux revers.

As a side note, it always amuses me how much of sewing something involves draping the fabric on myself or on my dress dummy or over a chair and going, "Hmm." If I could hmm my way into a dress, I'd have roughly a million.

My messing around )

Conclusions: It's definitely going to be Natural Form, and I might treat it as a mock-up for the unfinished pink/green burgundy gown. It's also definitely going to be a walking dress, rather than an evening/dinner gown or something fancy. Soooo, I might end up buying some cotton for the skirt, just because I'd have difficulty using velvet for a walking dress. It doesn't do dirt well.

I'm pretty much set on a shawl collar, which I think is pretty charming, but I also like the huge bow on this fashion plate. (I also think the print, which appears to be either roosters, bats or squirrels, to be adorable.) It's possible to have exchangeable collars, but I'm not sure I want that work.

And that dress on the right of the bow dress plate would work perfectly for some yellow/black changeable (synthetic) taffeta I have. And my endless supply of black velvet. But, no! I can only make one dress at a time.


1) Should I go with the burgundy velvet for the skirt and collar? I have another four or five yards of it, so I'm not worried about having enough for the flower embroidered bustle dress bodice (which I still want to make). Or should I buy more brown satin and go with that? Or blue to bring out the blue in the plaid? There's some for an affordable price at Fashion Fabrics Club, but ordering from them is always a crapshoot. Also, I'd like to use the cash kicking it in my PayPal account to order, so I'd probably have to order from eBay or Etsy. Another possibility is to use the burgundy velvet for the collar/cuffs and get a pretty cotton to coordinate with the plaid. A PRINT!

This is Victorian, people. If it appalls my modern sensibilities, I'm probably on the right track.

I don't think I have another question, really, other than to ask for your opinions.
Current Music: Loves Me Like a Rock -- Paul Simon