Saturday, September 13, 2014

Cosette gown (1830s plaid silk gown)

My Halloween costume this year will be a brown/blue plaid silk 1830s gown. I'm trying to make it as accurate as I possibly can, so it really won't be a "costume". I'll be going as Cosette, and my best friend Abigail is going to be Eponine. Abigail already has her basic costume, but I'm going to make her a new chemise. She'll be wearing a skirt, a chemise, and probably some lace-up boots.
I'm going to have a full set of undergarments with my gown. These will include:
  • chemise- done, I have 3, but I can always use more
  • corset (a basic Victorian shape instead of a truly accurate corset)- in progress, just needs bones and busk
  • personal petticoat (narrow circumference, probably roughly 90")
  • bustle pad (this may or may not be worn, depending on how it looks)- done
  • corded petticoat (circumference of roughly 90")- done (and completely hand-sewn)
  • 1 or 2 plain petticoats (circumference of roughly 130")- 1 done (mostly hand-sewn)
  • sleeve puffs
After I finish my corset, I can start on my gown. I'll be using the TV455 1830s Romantic Era Dress pattern. I plan on using the evening sleeve pattern as my sleeve puffs, as recommended by Truly Victorian. I'll likely only use the pattern for the sleeves and bodice, and I'll probably have to reduce the size of the sleeves a tad, because I'm working with a limited amount of fabric. The silk was given to me by my lovely grandmother. I'm definitely going to have to piece some of it together, but it's a perfectly period solution, so it only makes my dress more accurate! The silk is a shantung, I believe, but there are very few slubs, and my inspiration gown has some slight slubbing as well. I'm planning on making either a brown, blue, or self-fabric belt. 
As for accessories, I'll be wearing some period-passable brown leather flats, maybe with some lacing ribbons. What I really want is the American Duchess "Gettysburg" Victorian Side-Lace Boots, but they're a little pricey at the moment. I'm hoping to get them early next year, though. Eventually, I want to make a gold or brown bonnet trimmed with blue ribbon (to bring out the blue stripes in the plaid, and because blue is my favourite colour), and maybe a reticule. 
My hand-sewn corded petticoat

A close up of cording

My silk draped over my dress form and pettis
 My inspiration gown

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