Tuesday, June 16, 2015
TBT: 1884 Cream Walking Gown (2011)
In May that year, I had gone out to get some fabric for another costume, and found some polyester silk-look fabric on sale for $2/m. TWO DOLLARS A METRE!! I promptly bought 10m of both cream and bronze, and went back for 1m of the third colourway (and wish I had bought more of all three, too). For that year's train trip, I made the bronze skirt first, the 4-gore (you're gonna see it a couple more times, too!), but I couldn't decide on a bodice style. So I started making a cream version. This time I managed to figure out the ruffle ratios, and I ADORE the look of them. I'd wanted to make TV's Wash Overskirt forever, so I finally took the opportunity to do so. The bodice is the French Vest, without a contrasting front vest. Some day I will put raspberry trim all over this puppy and make it fabulous!
This is one of my favourite outfits, despite some tweaks being needed. I need to remove the ruffle and rehem the skirt so that I don't need to wear 3" heels with it, and fix the fit of the bodice. This is where I first really noticed that the bodices would fit me well from the bust point down, and through the back, but the top of the chest seemed to have a "fallen souffle" look, where extra fabric just kind of... sat on top of my bust. We also discovered that by taking pictures in natural light filtered by a tree, my dress kind of... glows.
And of course, this is another one I was working on until the last minute. I had spent the day before the trip hand-sewing a hat while at my aunt's birthday BBQ, which took 8 hours, and since I hadn't figured out the use of a thimble, my fingers were so sore. I only managed to attach 16 buttons and gave up. The last 4 were sewn on in the car (again). The pleats on the back of the bodice were held in place with pin for a couple months, and the skirts still lack closures.
I wore this gown again in Reno for WorldCon/Renovation that year, and to a steampunk photoshoot at Fort Edmonton Park a couple months later. I was going to wear it on the train from Carson City to Virginia City in August 2011, and decided not to because my poor Canadian constitution is much more suited to surviving -40C/F than +40C! I so wish I had though, I would have looked right at home on their darling 1860s boardwalk!
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