Of course this means I needed a dress. I have always wanted a Victorian Mourning gown so this was the perfect opportunity. I have a Pintrest board for inspiration here. Although I have decided not to copy a particular dress, my favorite is this dress from the Met Museum here. I love the false front/split skirt look and decided I need this for my dress.
To start with I needed patterns. I am using several from Truly Victorian that I will modify as needed. I have always had good luck with their patterns. I will definitely make the bodice and the base skirt, but I have not yet decided on the butterfly bustle yet. It would be so lovely, but I worry about the train in the crowd.
The skirt plan: I will make this skirt with the bustled back and ruffle. I plan on only adding the ruffle to the sides and the back of the skirt. The front of the skirt I plan to make in different silk to appear as an underskirt and will add narrow partial front pieces of the main silk as a false opening.
|TV261-R 1885 Four-gore Underskirt|
|TV361 Late 1880s Butterfly Detachable Train|
|TV462 1883 Tail Bodice|
For fabrics, I bought silk from Dharma Trading company. I had originally wanted to use silk velvet, but they were out when I went to order. I settled on the 19.5mm Black Charmeuse as a substitute. Although this is one of the heaviest silks they carry it is still super light weight! More light weight than anything I have made Victorian with before. This makes me nervous but we will see how it goes. I also rummaged around in the stash and found some other silks for accents that should work well. For example, this sheer silk below to fill in the false front in the skirt.
|Sheer silk with lining|
|Skirt front no flash|
|Skirt front with flash|