Historical Costuming

1870s April Bustle Gown Plannings

It’s been a year since my last personal project (The coral Prom dress) and finally I have a new one again!

From a creative viewpoint the last year has not been a good one for me. I finished school and had lot of time but no motivation/inspiration to sew. I think I got too comfortable and didn’t challenge myself enough. Plus, uni started in September, I moved to London and had to adapt to living without my huge fabric/notions stash (the thing I miss the most after my sister). I don’t wanna indulge too much in negativity here since i resolved to be more positive so let’s get straight into it ٩(^ᴗ^)۶

I started with searching for fabrics since that has proven to be the best approach for me. What I found were these beautiful silks:

These are stock photos, I’m praying that the fabrics are the same colour in person


The colour combination gives me strong spring vibes, I love it. This time I want to just make a beautiful dress for ME, not care about catering to other people’s taste or the occasion it is made for.

My sister will join me in this project and make her own dress using the same fabrics. The twist is that I’ll do 1870s and she will do 1880s. Also, we’ll be using the fabrics in differnt amounts: my main fabric is the green striped one, with a lot of yellow to complement it and pink accents. She will mainly use pink, combine it with green and add yellow accents.

As for the cut, I’m thinking something like this:

From Victorian Fashions, A Pictorial Archive by Carol Belanger Grafton (Dover Publications)

The pleating in the back of the bodice and skirt intrigues me and the design gives me the opportunity to use my fabrics in the quantity I want, it’s very nicely balanced. Also that  huge bow, yum! I feel like I’m really doing a design that I personally love and not just one that is convenient.

Following this burst of motivation, I ordered the fabrics in typical me manner, spending a ridicuous amount of money because it has to be silk taffeta and lots of it. All in all Luci and I got 21 metres between the two of us which resulted in an order of about 500 Euros. RIP my bank account but it’s so worth it (ʃƪ¬‿¬)

For patterns, I’ll most likely use these two from Truly Victorian. The bodice pattern is already in my possession, an with a few alterations it’ll serve the purpose. In TV I trust!




The ensemble is planned for 11. April. Tom Klein is having a collodium photography showcase at TUFA Trier and I will be there as the model. Apart from that, nothing else is currently planned but I will definitely organise some other photoshoots and occasions to wear it!

I want to put a lot of effort and money into this so that I’ll finally have a costume that shows the entirety of my skills, that I can be proud of and that I love wearing. Im even thinking of sewing a second bodice for evening wear in summer when I’ve got more time. We’ll see 。^‿^。


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s