I’ve been in love with this 1880s costume for quite some time but I thought it almost impossible to find the shoes that went with it.
By sheer coincidence I stumbled upon them online one fine day. Of course, I couldn’t resist ordering them and immediately starting the project.
Finding the right fabric proved to be even harder. The original looks like silk to me. A pinstriped red and cream silk taffeta was nowhere to be found - at least not in my price range - so I opted for cotton instead. To make it look more authentic and less bright white, I dyed it a light crème color which the red stripes didn’t mind.
For underpinnings I had already made a 1880s corset that would account for the appropriate silhouette.
The pattern for the jacket was draped onto my corseted dress form, as well as the pleated blouse part which is sewn to the jacket on one side and closes with hooks and eyes on the other side.
I found a batch of lovely historic glass buttons on eBay to place all around the jacket's open front.
I love the ingenious way the blouse is neatly pleated on the neck but randomly ruched at the waist, as well as the cute striped bias tape for finishing the edge.
The skirt consists of an underskirt and two draped upper parts which were both draped on the dress form.
The fan pleating and rose details for the underskirt were a bit tricky to figure out but also a lot of fun to make. Two lines of pleated striped fabric were attached underneath to give the skirt its full length. For support there is a little bustle cage underneath, and of course a petticoat.
I chose to make a little steamboater straw hat out of straw braid to accompany the outfit.
I love this playful summer walking dress and will look out for more occasions to wear it.