Year finished: 2007
To Do: replace all velvet parts
Updates since last photo: washed and whitened due to soot damage and dye leeching after a house fire
Inspiration: Tissot and other portraits from 1876-1880
Cotton voile with a repeating solid dot woven in the fabric trimmed with non-stretchy non-crushed panne velvet for extreme contrast. The dress was cut using an 1870s dress from Patterns of Fashion and inspired by paintings by Tissot, Toulmouche and even Whistler.
Dress made over slightly for a friend to wear to a Victorian picnic.April 2007 a house fire damages this dress and many others. The dress is currently being restored with replacement velvet.
I started by draping directly on my form using several cutting guides as a start (see tag “historic guides”) The bodice is a layer of calico and a layer of spotted voile.
And I made a basic gored skirt out of calico.
I then shaped the bodice hem and added a layer of ruched spotted voile over the front gore of the skirt.
Once the basic skirt was made I added narrow gores of velvet to the sides and ruffle edged with eyelet to the back. I also unpicked the front and back bodice panels and added a layer of velvet to these. I decided to not use the strips of velvet at the back as per the centre photo.
I also decided to lengthen the skirt with a narrow yoke that allowed me to add a drawstring to arrange the skirt folds on an as worn basis.
Finally I pinned velvet roses down the back of the gown and added heavy rayon guipure lace around the neckline and sleeve ruffles.
This dress is currently disassembled after a house fire rendered it sooty and stained. It has since been washed and more velvet has been set aside to repair the side gores and potentially add velvet bands back into the skirt.