Friday, June 5, 2015

Historical Sew Monthly #5: Practicality

So . . . I fell off the radar for a couple of months. Again.

I actually had challenge number three done in time, but kept putting off photos until it became entirely too late to worry about it. #4 I skipped because I was sick and busy. A few weeks ago I realized I still had time for #5, and got to work. I decided to stick with the bustle era since I already had undergarments, thus saving me quite a lot of effort. After pouring over Pinterest I decided to make something similar to the plaid one on the right:

Or this:
From Museum of London
I picked up a nice red plaid, created a pattern (by laying out my bustle bodice pattern and taping the skirt pattern to it to remove the waist seam) and cut pieces. That's when the thought occurred to me: These look comfortable and practical, like you could get stuff done in them, but with no waist seam they take a lot of fabric. What if this is some high class thing and not the comfy robe I make them out to be?

Luckily, a few google searches later and I realized that they were wrappers, to be worn in the morning for breakfast, and completely acceptable to do housework in. Hussah! The dress came together quickly, and worked well with the trim I got when I bought the fabric. I tried to correct the armsyce using the notes I had jotted down previously, but they still need work. The shoulder point is good, but the front needs to be cut down and the back needs more fabric. I had to piece it to get a better fit, but it still needs to come closer to my arm. Anywhoo . . .

I found one wrapper with a v-neckline, which I copied for my own comfort. There will be frog closures down the front, but I haven't gotten around to that yet.

The wrapper is designed to be worn over my corset and bustle.

There is a pouf in the back to give it some interest, and some trim over the seam for the extra fabric.

My favorite part: pockets! There are two pockets, one on either side of the front. They have matching trim and are deep enough to eat my hands up past the wrist! BTW, close up of the trim:

The swoopy one is cotton eyelet and is on the pockets, neckline, back, and all the way around the skirt about 6 inches up from the hem. The bottom one is a satin polyester pleated ribbon with velvet strip right in the middle. That covers the machine stitched hem on the skirt and the cuffs of the sleeves. All in all I am satisfied with how it turned out. The perfect amount of the fancy and plain to be a proper wrapper.
The Challenge: #5 Practicality 
Fabric: Red plaid cotton quilting fabric
Pattern: The bustle bodice and skirt pattern from my Victorian Femme Supernatural Cosplay
Year: 1884ish
Notions: Cotton thread in red and brown, brown cotton eyelet trim, brown polyester ribbon trim, poly-cotton bias binding, brown cording for frog closures (not shown)
How historically accurate is it? Pretty close. I put too much fabric into the bustle portion, but all of the trim ideas came directly from existent pieces. Say 80% for the polyester content.
Hours to complete: 15ish? I didn't keep track.
First worn:  Right now, for because.
Total cost: $50 or so, but there's quite a bit of fabric and trim left over.

1 comment:

  1. I love it! I'm getting ready to venture into the bustle, and it's a little daunting, so it's great to see something less ornate, like a wrapper rather than all the lovely ornate gowns I've been seeing!