While I edit and standardise some files I thought I’d also share some of why I decided on a mantua over a francaise: The Blue second Managers gown from Phantom of the Opera.
The 1870s had a heady mix of 18th century inspiration. Right across the Baroque to Rococo.
So there are times where self fabric or matched colour trimmings mimic or reference the latter part of the century, so too are there times the mantua is a clear inspiration.
This is especially true for the late 1870s as the waist dropped a little, and the bodice hem dropped further. The entire style was narrow, with a focus on the tablier (front of skirt panel) and a looped back train.
It’s possible to consider pannier style drapery as the extension of the front of the mantua robe, and the water fall as the back of the robe. The apron drapery can even be brought in separately though usually these seem to be of a different material.
I am quite enjoying the fact that my mantua can be used to illustrate the similarities and differences in cut and fit and in construction as I used my library of patterns for both my own Blue dress and Mantua.
I wound up breaking out the overlocker all day instead of working on horns. Which was probably wise. The rain is still leaving everything damp so curing would be risky.
So I zipped around the edges of my Worth sunburst skirt (the satin is so perfectly buttery that it was just nice to do!) and used the drafted bodice pattern from the 1876 tool to trace a new pattern for my new Phantom wedding dress bodice. I did use the vintage organza after all so that leaves some of the crepe for a potential Moulin Rouge dress. If I ever find a trim that works!
So that was tracing and transferring the pattern to a layer of twill, a layer of calico, and a layer of organza then overlocking all the edges tidy.
And then finally I cut the trim for my Cleves sleeves having removed the colour from the silk. And that leaves some softer trim for the undersleeves.
And finally, my last cast from my Ahsoka molds finally worked!
Sierra Boggess shared this image yesterday and can you see what has made me so excited? The fabric is thin. Well fairly thin- the flash and angle allows us to see her skin across the arm while the fabric looks more opaque closer to the armscye (where the fabric turns and follows the curve of her shoulder.) The sleeves are either unlined or lined with something very fine while the bodice is flat lined in a solid white.
I tend to double line my bodices and either not line or line my sleeves in a very thin material too.
Also if you follow the lines of the fabric on her sleeve you can see how very shallow the sleeve head is. This is both era appropriate and theatre appropriate as it means you can get your arms over your head. Notice the small wrinkles between shoulder and armscye? Yep. Modern patterns try to eliminate that by using a very tall sleeve head and that is what gives us limited arm range.
The effort to make a garment look good on the stand makes for a garment that is far less practical.
Anyway, just my thought process when I look at new/different images of the same garment 🙂 It’s all about the fit.
Oh and there is probably a bit of ease in the top of the sleeve head, I use three rows of stitches to do this rather than two as it does makes the fine gathers almost invisible.
I kept trying to find inspiration for making an Aussie version of the Rooftop dress, but I keep finding myself coming back to this:
(full file is 6M)
And a few tiny images of the German versions where the underskirt ruffles are gradient dyed/knitted and so create a wonderful play on light. It looks like the lace is more ruffled than it is. I don’t really have any of my own scans of that though.
And the wedding dress.
These are both from the UK c2000. The wedding dress especially is so classic in shape and details but more era specific with the beading. I made my overhaul to have that kind of decoration so I am desperately trying to get my old little discs to work. I think I need a better drive though. Even in compatibility mode the drive doesn’t read the discs. But I know there is a treasure trove on them.
This project is super long term and matches my Elissa gown for length of time since starting!
However the skirt is finally getting the lace flounces! I decided to just go ahead and make this like the show gowns which is to not use my delicate vintage lace but a lovely net lace that I removed colour from 🙂 This has left the net ever so slightly pink and the flowers arctic white. The dress is a very creamy crepe and there will be opalescent organza (vintage- it’s not the super slick stuff now) and there will be some pearled lace appliques and ruched ribbon headings
Amazingly the lace was pretty much in the perfect lengths for full ruffles (3 times for each row)
So I started by gathering and quickly decided tiny pleats made more sense.
Not to sure how I managed to make the left side flatter, but the florist pins at the top of the skirt in the last image is where that side will be raised to before the lace is stitched down. I’d love to have used my vintage lace as it’s much wider but really I think the lace will look much better once the pins are out 🙂
So this skirt is feeling very mid 90s UK in style. Funnily enough 😉
The bodice is very much mid to late 90s UK too 😉 But you can see the organza is more subtle than more recent ones such as used in Wicked 🙂
So this has undergone many changes, a few piccies from when i first made and wore it:
This was the last iteration. Notice the wooden doors behind? Yeah that means this was before the fire. After the fire the bodice had a lot of soot damage so a lot of the hard work got undone.
Yes, when I was well I did a quickie trip to Europe and saw the show in Hamburg, London, And Copenhagen. And wore this frock each time. Long before it has become okay to cosplay at events btw. In fact this was just a few months before Rheumatoid Disease became part of my life.
I’ve been adding more ribbon to the skirt so as to make it balance more with the extreme business of the appliqued hanging panels.
ANd this is what the inside looks like.
So why did I hand sew? I didn’t want to have to take the hanging panels off as they are just perfectly sewn down at the top under the two rows of ribbon. If I was to machine them I’d be either banging those about or have to take them off.
But the other reason is that hand sewing allows the two ribbons to appear to float over the fabric, creating shadows and depth of texture. It helps the green and purple to really pop over the gold.
I did machine sew all the ribbon on the pleated hem though. And that is partly the need to sew that quickly- the pleats are three times the full length so it was going to be bulky and time consuming to hand sew! The effect is now of a single fabric due to the machine stitches.
Now I can start pinning the extra appliques and jewels on the skirt 🙂
Except not because my boning poked through (so was removed) and I need to move the seams to actually work with the curves I do have and with the non curves. The boning sticks away from my waist, so I also need to knuckle down and nip in the waist again.
But I do still like my old rope skirt and I love the overall Aussie feel to the colour blocks and proportion. Also bodice is fully multifunctionsal- the bust applique snaps off too, so Carlotta style upper can be done 🙂
For an idea of why it took almost a decade from the last version? Each row of trim on the bodice took 15mins. That’s the vertical ones. So….
The scarf is the new tour version. Yes. That is what it is. Yes. Ehem. I need to remove the dye from the ends and then dip dye in green then black and see if I can also wrangle in there some glold bars (no dye areas- silk goes yellow in the dye remover) and then find somewhere in Auckland with long fringe.
I will add little forehead curls. But more old school than new school tiny ringlets. The curls of the wig are big and soft and need a more subtle hairline. But OMG! Widow’s peak lace front wigs let people see the full expanse of my giant forehead! This is new!
Wig is from Wigfashion on ebay. The same colour- lovely chestnut with deep red highlights- very subtle but it warms the whole wig.
Do you have any patterns for this dress (I LOVE POTO) I really want to make this costume. (I wasn’t on planning on doing the big skirt, just the ropes and bodice.) If you have any tips or help. Please let me know! THANK YOU SOOO MUCH. You are a costume genius.
Thank you 🙂 I originally used an 8 panel ball gown bodice as a base for my first version, which then was adjusted to make a 10 panel bodice.
A wedding gown pattern section is probably going to offer a good option as it will include instructions and material guides for making a self supportive bodice 🙂