I've been slow but steady on the progress of this grey wool and black velvet mid-1880s outfit. It's been about a month of weekends working on it, but I'm proud to say that I'm just a few bits away from completion.
In the last post on this project, I had made the underskirt and begun patterning the bodice. Since then I've gone on quite the journey of apportioning rulers, sprung bones, mad fitting, and sleeve boss-fights.
Bustle Fashions 1885-1887 by Frances Grimble for ideas and pattern layouts. This book is a reprint of The National Garment Cutter and Voice of Fashion publications, 1885-1887. It's a *fantastic* book full of primary source material for ideas, pattern layouts, and most importantly, the apportioning rulers.
For those of you not familiar with apportioning rulers, they are proprietary measurement scales that came with different pattern books. That is, The National Garment Cutter had its own set of rulers for use with its own patterns. To easily explain apportioning rulers, imagine a ruler where the "inch" isn't a true inch, but slightly smaller or slightly larger based on your measurement.
The patterns in these drafting and cutting books call for the use of one of the special rulers according to your bust or your waist measurement. In drafting the apron from page 93, I used the special ruler included in the back of the book for my 27.5" corseted waist. The units of measurement are ever so slightly smaller than a true inch.
|The pattern for the front pieces of the apron/overskirt. This is what a pattern using apportioning rulers looks like. Seems confusing until you know the very simple method to draft this out.|
And you know what? It did.
|The handy illustration showing what the finished skirt should look like. By studying this, I could determine where the pleats should be. Mine isn't exactly the same, but it's close|
|The second illustration shows a variation from a different publication. This also came with a description of how to make it, sorta-kinda. I used both illustrations and descriptions when fussing with mine.|
|My finished apron. Again, it's not exactly the same, particularly at the back, but it's pretty darn close and I'm very happy with how it turned out.|