sunnuntai 15. tammikuuta 2012

Natural form princess line dress

A month ago I saw a victorian portrait of a young lady sitting and holding a book, painted by Gabriel Schachinger. I loved it so much, that I spent the very evening patterning the dress. I had always overlooked the princess line as boring, but now I have changed my mind completely. The simplicity can be very dramatic.

The dress is made of dark ivory duchess silk satin and silk brocade. It's lined with cotton sateen and trimmed with marabou feathers. It is machine sewn and hand finished. The dress pattern is based on the 1878 afternoon dress from The Cut of Women's Clothes. 

The dress is a very simple without the short vest. Maybe even a little too simple for my taste.

Much better:

I wore it over my combination underwear and 1880's corset, a trained cotton petticoat and a corset cover.

The construction:

As it's a simple style so the construction is very straight forward. Each piece was flatlined with the cotton and after sewing the seams, the seam allowances were whip stitched to the lining. Then the hem was faced with the same cotton. The collar is the bias binding type that you see often in this and the previous era. The lacing holes are hand sewn by whip stitching. I decided to leave it unboned as it is meant to be just a house dress and because I've gotten an impression that leaving a bodice unboned was sometimes encouraged to get a natural, conforming look from some victorian writings.

For the little vest, I cut the top part of my dress mock-up in to two pieces an used them as a pattern.

The vest was also flatlined with cotton. I faced the edges with bias cut cotton, made the fabric covered buttons, stitched the button holes using button hole stitch and trimmed it with the feathers. The feather boa is whip stitched on the edges.

And the portrait. My dress ended up being quite modest compared to the one in the portrait. And somehow it has a completely different feel, but I don't care.

Gabriel Schachinger, Das Vergissmeinnicht, 1886