|Me and Abby in our bustle gowns - totally different styles but we actually used the same pattern for the apron.|
Lucky for us, ladies in the past also went through these moments of fashion terror, and they've left us some pretty good records of how they solved the problems. It's well known that 18th century women would have gowns re-made, re-trimmed, re-fit quite often. Victorian women also had their ways and means, letting out darts, piecing in, and extending bodices in various ways.
One of my favorite methods, and the subject of this post, is the underrated plastron A plastron is defined as an ornamental front to a bodice decorated in contrasting fabrics and trims. I'll contest that solely "ornamental" definition, for plastrons are epic at extending a bodice that's become a little too small.
In my case, I have both gained weight and changed the corset I wear for late 19th century, resulting in a different body shape than the one I originally made the dress for. I had about a 2 - 3 inch gap where the bodice front edges wouldn't meet, so instead of trying to adjust the darts, I pieced in an extension.
|Shirring the linen with a gazillion lines of gathering stitches.|
|All stitched down - not perfect but good enough. The edges were serged (omg, best thing ever) and the bottom and top edges turned under and hem stitched.|
|Stitching buttons - I actually did two whole steps I didn't need to in re-stitching on the buttons. I didn't think it all through well enough - don't be like me!|
|The separate jabot collar, just a quick throw-together with a big impact. I made a band with linen gathered onto it, then whipped on an 18th century sleeve ruffle I wasn't using. Worked a treat!|
|Because it wouldn't be me and Abby if there weren't shenanigans ;-)|
- Abby's bodice is made from Truly Victorian #466.
- Our overskirts are both made from Bustle Fashions 1885-1887 by Frances Grimble.
- My underskirt is Truly Victorian 261.
- I am wearing "Renoir" Victorian button boots in black and Abby is wearing "Tissot" Victorian pumps in ivory.
- My bonnet was made by Liza of Eras of Enchantment.
- You can read more about the making of my ensemble here.
- You can read more about Abby's ensemble here.
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