Wednesday, 19 October 2016

1860s-70s Prague Opera Gown: Part 1

Today's post will be focusing on the skirt of the dress. Originally I intended the gown to be late 1860s- early 1870s, but in the end it's turned out as less of a bustle skirt and more of a mid 1860s skirt, with a crinoline that I already have. The bustle isn't very big at all, and I don't think I have enough time to make a bustle petticoat/more underpinnings... This way I save time, though I'm a little sad that I have neglected to make it slightly 1870s, to match Rosa's frock.
My patterns from Truly Victorian arrived quickly, though it took a while to make my corset, and almost equally as long to get over my exhaustion, so I was slow starting on this gown. I started with the bustle skirt, which is worn over my hoop skirt from IKEA (of all the places, haha - it's made for children but only fits me because I'm so short), as you can see here on my mannequin.
The instructions were rather vague with few pictures, so I mostly relied on things that I had already learned from previous projects, such as embellishments and trimmings. This was rather disappointing, especially seeing as there was a couple of mistakes in the pattern itself that left me scratching my head (though don't let this put you off ordering from TV, as apart from these small things, it was very good - just perhaps not for beginners).
I used French seams for all of the seams, to make it extra sturdy and secure, seeing as I was working with a rather slippery and fraying polyester satin. This was long-winded, but I rather enjoyed it seeing as it is a new technique for me, and always ends up with beautiful, secure seams.
I trimmed with pleated burgundy, satin ribbon (which took forever) and some self-trim ruffles. Later on I may add some silk ribbon embroidery, but I'm not sure yet.
Aside from spending extra time on the seams, it did not take long to make, and actually felt rather simple after doing my Maude's Edwardian day dress. I had a lot of fun making this!

Here are some pics:

You can see my dog, Cleo in some of the pictures my granddad took of me, haha. Due to the camera settings, the fabric looks a little bit shinier than it is in real life.

Next, I'm planning on starting the bodice.

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