Sunday, August 2, 2020

1870s Carriage Gown - The Plan

Travel back in time 100 years from my last post and we are in the Victorian Early Bustle Era and the era for my next project.  Inspired by these:

The entire time I decorated (and ate) these cupcakes I thought how beautiful these colors would be in a bustle dress.  Something frothy, floofy, and decorated beautifully - just like a cupcake!  I imagined I would be in buttercream yellow from head to toe, with mint green trim, yellow roses, a frilly chapeau, and, of course, a teacup and sweets.  I knew I had to make this dream come true!

Victorian Fashions & Costumes From Harper's Bazar:  1867 - 1898 has always provided inspiration as well as guidance as to what would be historically accurate for the four periods of the Victorian Era.  In this resource the periods are defined as  1867-1874 Bustles and Puffs, 1875-1882 Natural Form and Cuirass Body, 1883-1890 Return of the Bustle, and 1891-1898 Hourglass Figure.  I already know I want something graceful and flowing and find my inspiration on Page 56 with a Watering-Place Toilette (8.17.1872).

Now that I have an inspiration and colors, it's time to gather patterns.  Truly Victorian pattern offerings are where I begin as they have their patterns divided into the respective periods.  The pattern design will reflect the proper elements and details for that period and are made so that they are customizeable to your measurements through a selection of separate pieces that you cut to your unique fit.  There is a facebook group called Truly Victorian Pattern Sewists where any questions you have about a pattern, fit, fabrics, trims, anything, is answered by the pattern designer and other members in a very welcoming atmosphere.

After I find my patterns and know my fabric needs I turn to my favorite shopping places - the destash groups on facebook.  I'm serious!  I have found some of the most amazing remnants and trims, buttons, buckles, and accessories in those groups.  A few favorites are Construction Items For Historical Costuming Fabric/Trims/Books and Historical Costumers Bulk Destash-Fabric, Trims, Ribbon Etc..  I have a very strict budget for my hobby and these groups have allowed me to find items I would never have even seen at my local fabric shops.  Patience is key in this search and not everything will be a perfect match but that will make you all the more creative in your project.

It has taken me three long months to find everything I need and here are the patterns and fabrics, the classes I have to take, the skills I have to learn, and the accessories to make my Cupcake Gown a reality.

1.  The Blouse Waist - A cream linen with light yellow embroidery, cream trim for the v-neck version, and gold vintage buttons.


2.  The Skirt - Parisian Trained Skirt of buttercream faux silk by bangkokthaisilk on sale for $3.99 a yard.  Couldn't pass up that bargain!

3.  The Carriage Bodice - The same buttercream faux silk with buttons created by an Etsy artist located in Australia.  The buttons are an image from Vincent van Gogh's Roses. It was 8 weeks from order to receipt and well worth the wait!

4.  Silk Roses for Gown Embellishment - Created in the Japanese technique with fabric found through an In Search Of post in the facebook destash group.  The faux silk will not work for these flowers and these members had small bits of real silk which I purchased and they mailed.  Score!

5.  Belt and Reticule Combination - Goldwork learned from a kit by Lady Detalle on Etsy and beetlewing embroidery learned from an online class by Elizabeth Emerson Designs.  The reticle will hang off the belt and be in the approximate shape of the pattern shown.

6.  Bonnet/Hat/Headwear - There are several patterns by Lynn McMasters of Hat Patterns - Out of a Portrait that I think could be beautiful with this gown.  One is brimless, the other with a brim.  There are also two in Harper's Bazar that I really love including the hat in my original inspiration image so I will make that decision later.  Which do you prefer?

7.  Parasol - Using an inexpensive nylon pararsol available online and my own tutorial posted in my blog in 2019, I'll recover the parasol with the same embroidered linen fabric used for the blouse waist.

8.  And the final, perfect touch, a beautiful fan!  Lynn McMasters, Hat Patterns - Out of a Portrait, creates kits for fans from several eras and I have a kit for Victorian Roses.  I have a silk thread to create a tassel for the fan.  Lynn has just created a new design of the cockade fan pictured below which I made in her class at Costume College several years ago.  I have supplies for two colors and love the compact design of the new style fan which would fit in the reticule.  Which style is your favorite?

With the completion of the fan the ensemble will be finished!  Yay!!  But now it has to be worn and photographed and since I'm in Week 21 of Safer at Home there aren't any costume events in my forseeable future.  What to do?  Create a virtual event!  I'm hoping to organize a Virtual Tea for the Last Saturday of Summer which is September 19.  More on that later except for the cookies that I'm learning to decorate for the planned tea.

I'm in my second week of a class to learn to write more interesting and entertaining blog posts for you to enjoy.  My hope is to provide enough detail and inspiration for a new costumer to begin their own journey in this wonderful hobby.  As part of my own learning I had homework to create a facebook Live stream which I did yesterday.  It is in two parts and the links are here: