Join me in my adventures as I write romance novels and sew vintage and contemporary fashion.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Simplicity 1818--Done!

The  Victorian dress is done!

I finished this weekend and while I'm quite pleased by the way it turned out, I'm frustrated by the difficulties in photographing it. I have two choices in the dim winter light--a little too dark or the blazing effect of a camera flash reflecting off taffeta. I'm hoping to get better lighting this weekend, even if I have to haul Tillie outside.
Here's the bodice (displaying a moderately blinding flash effect) without the sleeves.

And here are the sleeves:
The elastic in the top rides comfortably just above the elbow, allowing the sleeves to billow out. Back in the day, the sleeves had ties instead of elastic, of course.

The Victorian silhouette is different than a modern day silhouette, so the bodice is padded above the chest.
The pad looks like this and is attached to the armhole. It's made of two layers of batting in a cover.
And since Tillie's jacket is open, this is a good time to take a look at the chemisette, which is kind of like a Victorian dickie. It allows for a collar and blouse effect without the bulk of an actual blouse.
The chemisette ties at the sides:
Here's the back of the dress. I love the point.
The center back, the side seams and the front darts are boned for the bottom 6-8 inches, to help the bodice keep it's shape.

I can't wait to post some photos of Rachel modeling the dress.

Now that I'm done with this project (except for the hem), I'm forging on into men's wear territory. The next project is a pair of Victorian pants to go with my husband's frock coat. I hope to finish by this weekend. Wish me luck.


  1. Wow! It's beautiful. And it photographed well. You are so talented.
    The dress made me think: historical romance writers should wear a dress from their era to really know what it must have been like to carry all that fabric around.

    1. So true about wearing the clothes, Christie! I wore my Victorian dress for ten hours and didn't find it that cumbersome, but I can't imagine climbing into all that fabric day after day. And the corsets...I just read where some women slept in corsets. I can't imagine that.

      Thanks for stopping by!

  2. This is gorgeous. I'm in love with Victorian fashion and have plans to make a few full dresses one day. And I definitely hear you on the difficulties of photographing taffeta.

    1. I love making these big dresses and recommend giving it a go. I'm thinking an Edwardian dress is next, even if I have nowhere to wear it. It'll probably be taffeta and I'll probably complain about photographing it. ;-)