That title should have readers running for cover. That’s truly frightening. LOL but seriously, I have been thinking for a while about a special project. And honestly, it feels like it’s going to take me a kajillion hours to finish. It involves ordering a corset from Damsel in This Dress. I seriously LOVE Michelle and her awesome work, she is nothing short of amazing at what she does, and I know that even though I CAN sew, it would take me SOOOOOO much time to make something that even held a candle to her work. She has all the experience and equipment to make these, plus I just don’t have the ambition to stick with something that would frustrate me like I know that would. Ha. I tried it once. ONCE. Never again. It’s so much easier to just buy one from her, and I know it will be a high quality piece. It’s totally WORTH IT.
Anyway, I have a treasure trove of wonderful schematics and diagrams… mostly in French (thank you 2 years of foreign language in high school that I have had no need for EVER until now). Basically it means I can draft my own pattern, accurately for the period because these wonderful diagrams are from the mid 1800’s. What does it mean? LOTS of work for me. Not only translating the pages of french, but piecing together old paper bags to draft my patter pieces on. Then transferring them to muslin (or something like it, probably and old sheet) and fitting them on my dress form. Oh man, I’m already starting to lose the ambition for this project. Ha. Not really, cause I know that the end result is going to be amazing! I’m a big dreamer, if you hadn’t noticed.
So, the plan is this. I need to calculate how much fabric I need. I also need to figure out what kind of fabric I am going to use. Should I use something that is period accurate? It seems silly not to, since the pattern will be. But cost is definitely going to be a factor there. I haven’t been able to grow a money tree YET. So what do I use? I guess I ought to at least tell you what the project is. Ha ha, I got ahead of myself. I am going to make myself an ensemble… from the 1870’s-ish period. It’s daunting for sure. I’m slightly intimidated, and I will definitely be making a mock garment so I can test my pattern drafting skills. So the ensemble will consist of the following (and I’m trying to include images cause I know that not everyone will know what I am talking about):
A Bustle Dress. Not the Long trained dresses, it has to be practical and I need to be able to walk in it. But I have always been in love with the fullness of the dress at the top on the back.
This is a good idea of the style, ankle length but with the fullness I was talking about.I also love the long sleeves, but is that a part of the dress or a separate “jacket”?
Here is another example of the fullness I was talking about. This one clearly has a “jacket” (I can’t for the life of me remember what they were called, I even tried googling it to jog my memory) that goes over the top, and has fullness at the back as well to accommodate the full bustle skirt.
Here is a better example of the front portion of the skirt. And again, the “jacket” that goes with it. I’m definitely going to include something similar, mostly for my own personal modesty standard. I don’t want the plunging neckline of the classic ball gown of that time period (I have had 2 kids, and that whole “process” wasn’t kind to my poor body…), but rather I will have the high neck and full coverage. There is something romantic about being fully covered in a gorgeous dress. Anyway, onward!
This is very easily my absolute favorite example of what I want my creation to be. The woman in blue, with all the frills and bows at the back. The trimmings are so much a part of the masterpiece. I love it. The shape of it, the fabric, the length, everything. It’s pretty much perfect.
So, there you have it, my idea. Undoubtably it will have a steampunk twist to it, I’m such a nerd for that stuff (Have you seen my pintrest!?). I am in the brainstorming phase, and hoping that all 3 of my blog readers will be able to help me out here. I need ideas for color, fabric type, “jacket” or shrug, long sleeves or short, there are SOOOOO many options! In the mean time I will be working on getting the skirt pattern drafted and tossing about ideas. I would sketch them, but I fail at drawing and it would surely be a train wreck of colors.