Last week I shared with you the beautiful “Russian Seasons” coat from Armstreet.com, paired with an 1880s wool skirt I threw together for the occasion.
The skirt was made from my favorite Truly Victorian pattern, one I’ve used over and over again – TV261 1885 Four Gore Underskirt. In all of the original pattern books I have, this simple skirt design plays a role in a great many of the outfits.
Initially I thought a plain skirt best, but once I had it made I felt it was too plain, so I added the box pleated ruffle. Ruffles are time consuming and take up loads of fabric (I’ll have to go back to the fabric store for more of this wool if I want to make an apron for a full three piece ensemble), but the effect is quite grand. I’m glad I added it.
|The skirt without the ruffle and with.
For particulars, the skirt is faced in organza about 15 inches wide at the bottom, and then faced again in cotton flannel about 8 inches wide. This was a note from Directoire Revival Fashions 1888-1889 by Frances Grimble, and I do recommend doing some kind of hem facing, to give the skirt weight and durability at the hem, and also keep it from tucking in between your feet as you walk.
Now it’s on to the bodice! Here’s my inspiration, also from Directoire Revival Fashions:
|Bodice from “Directoire Revival Fashions 1888-1889” by Frances Grimble
I started with another Truly Victorian pattern, TV420, but this bodice is from 1879 rather than the mid 1880s, and quite a lot of bustle happened in those years. My pattern was also too small for me, so I made alterations for fitting over the bustle, and also across the bust.
|Slicing, spreading, adding, subtracting, pinning, marking, taping
According to my inspiration image, I redrew the hem, and added a small box pleat at center back. Fearing I had precious little wool to complete the bodice, I added in some black velvet elements to my design, and patterned the velvet front of the bodice by creating kindof a weird-shaped princess seam merging the shape of the velvet portion with one of the waist darts.
|A scribble with ideas for soutache braid as well
Final alterations were made to the armscye, and sleeves come later.
|Second pattern draft with more alterations
I’ve now cut and flat-lined all the bodice pieces, but I don’t have the 20 buttons needed to complete the CF closure, so that’s it for now!