This is the event for which I busted my butt making my recent Natural Form gown – a Victorian Christmas Tea I hosted at our historic Capitol Hill house (built in 1908).
As hostess I didn’t really have a chance to take photos, but a couple of my guests, Gloria of In the Long Run designs (all her photos have her watermark) and Maggie (sans watermark) appear to have well taken care of that for me!
The theme for attire was Victorian but open to any part of the period to make it as easy as possible for people in a heavily 18th century/Regency-oriented region to attend.
This project was finished about a month ago, but I only just got photos of me in it this week, so waited until now to do a proper post. I started this early in the year and used it as my entry for the Historical Sew Monthly challenge for March: Stashbusting.
My teagown is a combination of this inspiration original piece (It’s dated 1886 but I don’t know by what authority and the overall silhouette looks comparable to Natural Form to me):
As part of my adventures in Natural Form foundations garments I also made a new corset. This is something I’d wanted to do for a while anyway. My previous Victorian corset was fine, but I wasn’t getting quite the curve in my figure or roundness in my bust profile I wanted. It also makes my hips sore because – and this was a big revelation for me! – there wasn’t enough fullness at the hips built into the corset. Duh! One of those things that seems so obvious once you realize it. The adjustability gained from having a lacing gap at the back will get you only so far!
Enter this beauty from Jill Salen’s book, Corsets: Historical Patterns & Techniques
***WARNING***Image-Heavy Post – I really love this outfit!!!!***
This was a very spur of the moment make. Only a couple of weeks before Christmas I decided to make it all of a sudden one afternoon to wear out for a holiday dinner with the same
co-conspirators friends as the Victorian picnic summer before last. I could have worn my Autumn 1880s ensemble, and planned to do so. But all of a sudden in the afternoon one week before our intended dinner I was struck with inspiration for a new ensemble specifically for winter and vaguely Christmas-y. Within the space of a few hours I had the fabric and design picked out. I don’t know when I’ve ever gotten a sizable project sorted so quickly!
I got most of it done in a week, but ultimately our dinner was postponed until after Christmas. That gave me time to finish it properly, make the hat, and add an extra piece!
In case you missed my year-end round-up post, I won’t keep you in suspense, here it is:
Today is Part 2 of a virtual tour through the V&A’s “permanent” costume exhibition, Romantic to Mid-Victorian.
And away we go!