Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Victorian Tea Gown (1882)

I got a bee in my bonnet to make a tea gown 'round about June. I thought it would be great for comfy Sunday wear at Costume College. I was right :D

This was a very straightforward make from Truly Victorian. I made my usual adjustment to the bust area (removing roughly 3"), and lowered the necklines just a tad (half an inch or so). I remembered seeing a gorgeous tea gown made in the curtain-along fabric on Festive Attyre's round-up, so I used a similar looking print for mine, liberated from my mum's fabric stash in early 2014:

It's a very standard weight quilting cotton, and I have TONS of it, which is great because I love it.

This came together in just a few days. The bodice and hem are lined with a medium-weight natural linen. I polled my Facebook and Instagram feeds for button options. The three colours I had the most of from my Gramma's button stash each had their cheerleaders, but I went with brown.

I put the buttonholes too far into the gown and so had to put the buttons on the very edge of the front seam. Something I will keep in mind for my next Victorian make. Buttons and facings got sewn while watching Downton Abbey, and I had SO MANY pins for the facing that I got to make tons of flowers in my pin cushion!

The back neckline did not get a facing, and instead was covered by self bias-tape. I used a whole yard to make the tape, so I have a ton of that now too.

I haven't put darts into the bodice yet, because I'm still undecided on the fit! Without darts, the gown fits my uncorseted body perfectly (so great for lazy Sunday wear!), but if I want to wear a corset, I would need darts to fit it better. Hard choices! It also needs some trimming. The fabric is so busy, but I found this wonderful tea gown at the Met that would be perfectly matched to this gown. (oooh now that I'm looking at it again, I really wanna get started on putting that gorgeous trim on!)

On Sunday I wore it with a cami and leggings underneath, a petticoat (also by Truly Victorian), and accessorized with my pineapple reticule and the honeycomb shawl that I thought would be extra weight in my suitcase. It came in handy, as this was the least amount of layers I wore all weekend and I was cold!

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