Saturday, January 21, 2017

A Look back at my Victorian Past Part 3 – Debbie’s Dress

This costume uses the same polonaise pattern as I intend to use for the most epic project.  I do however want to point out how absolutely annoying it is that Debbie was so fantastic at fabric picking and trims that this one really was the standout in many ways and most of those ways had nothing to do with me.  Everything about this just matched.  Nothing was overdone, nothing looked cheap (even though like all of these it in many ways was, fabric would have cost $4-6/m at most).

Polinaise – TV
The original plan was to poofie up the back as per the pattern but I found once it was hanging on Mavis it just looked so good without it so the early bustle pattern ended up creating a late bustle look.  The hardest bit on this was matching the pattern down the back panels, an effort that was definitely worth it as it would not have been nearly as amazing had we not taken the extra time.

I want to take a moment here to talk about the Truly Victorian size system and just how awesome it is.  Without it I never would have been able to complete the costumes in time.  All bodice patterns have a system for working out what pieces you need to use.  You measure about 10 different dimensions, do some tricky math (take measurement a from measurement b) or in my case force your husband to do said tricky math (not actually tricky if you don’t suck at math like me), and it will tell you what you need.  For example when you take the across back away from the bust measurement and look up the remaining in the table it tells you your size for the front bodice is F but the measurements for the back piece equate to D.  In this way you build your pattern pieces to fit your form.  And 3 out of 4 fit perfectly first time.  In fact on all of them I ended up using the trial as a lining. (the other two are myself and Ange who both had ageless pattern bodices and the one that didn’t work didn’t use the system correctly – more on that later).  Anyway my advise if you have a TV pattern is to use their sizing system, yes it is more time consuming then just selecting all pieces the same “size” based on bust measurement but it is less time consuming than refitting pieces because your not perfectly in proportion.  The fit is beautiful and worth the effort and icky “mathsing”.

Underskirt – Simplicity 5457

 So the underskirt and “bustle” were taken from a butterick pattern, I just didn’t have the time to create proper cage bustles.  The bustle effect on this is made by a shaped pillow that gets tied to the waist.  It’s a good cheat if your just after a quick fix to get the right silhouette.  The pillow pattern is included with the skirt and a bodice that we didn’t use (two bodices and an overskirt pattern to be exact).

There isn’t much to be said about the pattern, it was very simple gored skirt with added fullness in the back.  Debbie chose a steel grey duchess satin and trimmed with black lace and ribbon.

All in all this was a very simple pattern, that yielded quite outstanding results.

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