More Victorian Summer Dresses!

This one is for Deb and everyone else who loves an Early Bustle Era summer dress. I’ve been meaning to post this all week, but things got a little crazy. Better late than never!

Summer dress ca. 1869 From 'Impressionism and Fashion' at the Musee d’Orsay.

Summer dress ca. 1869 From “Impressionism and Fashion” at the Musée d’Orsay.

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Summer dress, 1872-74 From the Musée du Costume et de la Dentelle via BrusselsLife.

Summer dress, 1872-74 From the Musée du Costume et de la Dentelle via BrusselsLife.

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Summer dress, French, ca. 1872. White cotton batiste in small floral print, silk ribbon. Photo Stephan Klonk. Art Library, National Museums of Berlin, via Europeana Fashion. (Very similar to the first dress, but different.)

Summer dress, French, ca. 1872. White cotton batiste in small floral print, silk ribbon. Photo Stephan Klonk. Art Library, National Museums of Berlin, via Europeana Fashion. (Very similar to the first dress, but different.)

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A blue and white striped gauze summer gown, circa 1870, the bodice with square neckline, flounced sleeves, peplum trimmed with blue satin, blue ribbon belt with later added bow.

A blue and white striped gauze summer gown, circa 1870, the bodice with square neckline, flounced sleeves, peplum trimmed with blue satin, blue ribbon belt with later added bow.

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Dress, 1872. Light blue cotton, broderie anglaise, grosgrain ribbon in light gray silk. (Too bad they didn't display it with a proper bustle.)

Dress, 1872. Light blue cotton, broderie anglaise, grosgrain ribbon in light gray silk. (Too bad they didn’t display it with a proper bustle.)

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 Organdy American, 1870s. (Apologies for the it blurry photo, it was the only one I found.)

Organdy American, 1870s. (Apologies for the it blurry photo, it was the only one I found.)

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Day dress ca. 1869. From the Galleria del Costume di Palazzo Pitti via Europeana Fashion.

Day dress ca. 1869. From the Galleria del Costume di Palazzo Pitti via Europeana Fashion.

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Summer tea gown. (No other information or source material available.)

Summer tea gown. (No other information or source material available.)

HSM #6 – Will the Stripes Make Me (and Everyone Else) Dizzy?

My lovely rose-striped fabric

My lovely rose-striped fabric

Now that I’ve decided to reproduce this dress, I’m pretty excited about how well this goes. The stripes were still nagging at my mind, though. There are only four colors. Were they going to be too much? Was it going to look ridiculous? Would I end up hating it? Only one way for me to find out – I am strongly visual and have to see it to know. So this morning I hauled out the (as of yet unpressed) fabric, unfurled the length and started playing.

Now, I know zip doodle about draping. I understand the concept but have no experience doing it. That’s why I’m calling this playing, not draping. But I figured it would at least let me see if I was truly headed for disaster. Remember, the goal is this:

I divested my dress form of the pinner apron and left it with a chemise, corset and two petticoats. Then I started wrapping. Vertical for the skirt, horizontal for the under bodice inset (is there a technical term for this part?), up and over each shoulder at a slight angle, then horizontally around the waist with the center pulled up into a point as it is in the original. I ignored the pleated underskirt for now. I just wanted “the big picture.” And here is what I ended up with:

Fabric Wrapapalooza!

Fabric Wrapapalooza!

Hooray! It’s not too busy and it’s not too dizzy. It’s just as I imagined it would look, only better. The dress form is too short, more about that later, so mentally add another 4 or 5 inches to the length of the skirt – that improves the proportions immensely.

Next, since I want to replace the lace on the original with a rose-pink that matches the darker rose in the fabric, I took the sample I had handy and draped it over the neck and down the front bodice. The final piece won’t be this wide, but it gave me a sense of whether or not it would work.

I’ll be using the solid pink around the bottom of the sleeves, which I’ll be making a bit longer, on the bodice fronts, as demonstrated, and for the pleated underskirt. Even though I like pink I hardly ever wear it. But I think the stripe and the solid are going to work well together and I’m really rather pleased. Now I just need an enormous white hat piled high with roses.

What do you think – does it look promising?