Wednesday, 31 August 2016

1860s-1870s Aqua Linen Corset

This corset is made out of linen-look fabric I picked up from a remnants bin at my corner fabric store. I just loved the colour and had to get it for a corset project, either a pair of stays or a Victorian corset! Seeing as I'm planning a Victorian, late 1860s- early 70s project that I've bought metres and metres of aqua satin for, I thought I'd contribute to that project first seeing as I have a deadline, and college may get in the way after the summer holidays.

The pattern I used for this was Simplicity 1139, seeing as I already had it in my stash and couldn't afford to buy any more patterns. I'm guessing that it's 1860s-70s, though I may be completely wrong. I decided that I wanted it to be aqua, to mirror my future gown, with white contrast stitching, binding and lace.

It was relatively easy to put together, though rather long-winded in places, especially sewing the bias binding by hand. I'm quite pleased with it, for my first corset! I did take a few short-cuts though, such as using fray-check to finish the grommet holes, rather than sewing them by hand (how naughty of me, haha). I may regret this in the long-run, but for something that is going to be worn once or twice, I'm sure it will be okay. Famous last words!

Funnily enough, when I finished it and tried it on, the busk didn't want to line up properly, and it took a lot of coercion to slot the two sides together. Some of the loops fitted onto the studs, though a couple were a few millimeters out - I'm not sure why this happened, as when I tried it on before completion, it fitted together really well and without difficulty. Could it be the holes in the back not lining up properly when laced? Something else? Either way, it fits after a bit of fiddling, and gives me the silhouette I want.

Hopefully the bodice I make to go over the top of it will fit nicely enough!

Monday, 29 August 2016

1860s-70s Prague Opera Gown: The Planning Stages

It's official, my parents and I are going to Prague this October for my birthday! I'm going to see my dear friend Rosa and have fun dressed in Lolita and historical styles together with her and her sister. We're going to see a Czech opera called Rusalka, for which I have planned this aqua opera gown ensemble. Hopefully I will finish it in time!

I wanted something late 1860s to early 1870s to match her own sewing agenda, but also because the early bustle era is a new fascination for me, especially since I found this fashion plate on Pinterest. I fell in love with the colours of both of them, especially the aqua gown, which I based my design off. It won't be an exact replica, though I'm hoping it will have the feeling of the original design.

Thus, I have bought some early bustle era patterns from Truly Victorian - 1870s Trained skirt ensemble, a Grand bustle, and an 1860s ballgown bodice that was in fashion until 1873, which is when the fashion plate above is from. 

It's going to have lots of aqua self trim, and perhaps some silk ribbons to decorate - so very ornate, I hope!

It's going to be tough - I may not finish it in time, even though I'm way ahead of schedule - but I will make it wearable, at least... Currently I've already made the corset, which I shall be sharing with you soon, and the chemise.