Museums are full of elaborate, high-end Victorian gowns, but working-class garb is more elusive. Joy takes an in-depth look at an 1860's day dress.
I've often been frustrated that there are wonderful Victorian patterns available (published in the period or drafted from extant dresses) but there is very little information on how to put the pieces together or on the other finishing details that go into making historical dress.
Here I'll address this gap by doing a photographic analysis of the construction techniques used in three Victorian evening bodices in my personal collection.
Due to the Single Pattern Project, I'm most interested in the elliptical style. Two of the bodices were either worn with elliptical skirts or with the early bustle style, the third was probably worn with the earlier circular hoop style.
I've often been frustrated that there are wonderful Victorian patterns available, but there is very little information on how to put the pieces together or the other finishing details that go into making a dress.
My goal with this article is to address this gap by doing a photographic analysis of the construction techniques used in three Victorian skirts in my personal collection. Due to the Single Pattern Project, I'm most interested in elliptical skirts, but I only have one in my collection. Therefore, I've chosen a skirt from the preceding Hoop era, and one from the following Early Bustle era to compare to the elliptical skirt.
Most in the reenacting and historical costuming communities spend countless hours and large amounts of money researching and executing the perfectly period-appropriate hourglass corset or bustle. We feel elegant and oh-so-Victorian with our suddenly-tiny waists and perfect posture.
It may be hard,then, for we, as modern women who don a corset for a few events a year, to understand the many difficulties presented by wearing these garments every day, and why there was a movement right at the start of the Victorian era to do away with them altogether.
While there are wonderful Victorian dress patterns available, either published in the period or drafted from extant dresses, there is very little information around on how to put the pieces together in a historically accurate way or complete the other finishing details that go into making a dress of this style.
If you're going to go for accuracy with your Single Pattern Project, Sunny Buchler redresses the balance for you this month with her photographic analysis and comparison of the construction techniques used in four 1860s bodices in her personal collection.
Nine pages and over a hundred large and detailed clickable images in this article alone will give you every minute detail you could ever want to know about constructing your bodice!
How to overcome the challenges of using original magazine patterns (in this case, from Peterson's), and pattern this interesting jacket.
If that isn't enough, also included are all patterns published by Peterson's in 1869!
1868-1875 is commonly known as "The First Bustle" period, but in fact it was one of several bustle periods in the 19th century, and it certainly wasn't the first!
This month we start a fashion review series, looking at the looping, shirring, pleating and draping methods that we now call a "bustle".
Making sense of ladies' underwear 1876-82.
2: What to wear over the corset and under the dress, plus fabrics.
Dating an historic dress is an involved process. Morgan shares her study of an impressive C19th dress owned by Mrs R. Hitchcock.
The Victorian tall hat ruled the fashion pages in the 1880s. Chantal teaches us how 19th century ladies made, trimmed and wore this striking style.
Good examples of 19th century ladies tailoring aren't always easy to find. Chantal walks us through a study of her new treasure, a Directoire coat from the 1880s.
Discussing authentic Victorian sewing methods, including 50 detail photos inside & outside an antique bodice.
Introducing the Boston Herald's fashionable paper doll, Mrs. B.S. Herald, and her spectacular wardrobe showcasing the latest styles.