Seeking Adventure in 1879, But 1880 Will Do, Too

I’m having that…that feeling.  It’s an exciting but terrible feeling, the one that comes with being in the middle of one complex project, but wanting to start another complex project right away.

I’m in the midst of the big, blue LACMA Sacque-ma.  It’s going well, and I want to continue trimming and “improving” the thing to completion. However, there happens to be a Christmas Tea coming up on December 14th, and I haven’t a thing to wear (lies, of course I have things to wear, but I want something new!).

I’ve been musing on attempting to re-create something from the 1879/1880 Mme Demorest’s Catalog..  That desire and this tea seem to coincide quite well, but I haven’t any idea whatsoever of what fabric(s), what color, what patterns, what anything. I just WANT.

So in an effort to educate my eyeballs, I might have been up til 2 am last night ogling late 1870s, early 1880s gowns, and trying to figure out what the heck is going on in the back drapes. Here are my favorites from my Pinterest board on the subject:

The Museum at FIT – I love the coffee/cream color scheme, and the textures. I have an apron pattern that would work, perhaps
Vintage Textile – despits the hoards of trimmeries, this skirt makes sense to me, construction-wise
Glenbow Museum, c. 1878 – I like the color scheme, and the skirtings are very similar to those shown in Demorest
Philadelphia Museum of Art, 1876. Another grey/grey color scheme, with an apron that seems coherent to look at. I’m not a huge fan of ruching, but I love the peek-a-boo pleat detail on the underskirt.
MFA Boston, 1874-75. I like the color scheme and tons of texture.
The Met, 1878-82. gorgeous color and fit through the bodice.
Revue De La Mode, 1880, France. The dress on the right seems do-able.
Le Journal Des Dames et Des Demoiselles, 1876 – I love the grey, of course. A bodice pattern could be extended into those long tails quite easily.  The dress on the left is quite dashing too, though!

Of the patterns I have, I could put something together – my basic Truly Victorian 4-gore underskirt worked great for the Green Acres gown, when trained; I also bought Wearing History’s 1879 Dinner Bodice e-Pattern last night, and I have Truly Victorian’s Autumn Overskirt, which is a little late but could be swagged and worked into an earlier incarnation.

Now for fabric.  Hrm………


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