1910s Projects — Evening Gown prep work

I apologise for not updating this blog for the past two days, but I’ve run into a bit of a snag. The fabric I ordered for the undergown… well, it’s tragic. It was advertised as a silk satin/rayon blend with Lurex dots. Well, there’s nothing satin about this fabric. As you may or may not know, “satin” is a weave. And while 100% silk satin would be preferable, rayon is a fake silk and when blended with silk, it doesn’t behave that differently from 100% silk. This fabric was supposed to be 48% silk 28% rayon and the rest Lurex.

When I received the fabric, I saw at once that it was not a satin weave. More importantly, it is far too light and flimsy to be the base of this gown. This type of tunic and sheath evening gown needs a solid base, and this wasn’t going to work. So I sent it back and ordered some duchesse satin instead.

Of course this means I may not have the gown done in time to wear at Reenactor Fest. But remember that I have a Plan B and that’s coming along just fine. And it’s not like I won’t get a chance to wear this gown elsewhere this year, most notably at the Titanic Dinner at Dress U in June that RH is sponsoring.

So while I’m waiting, I thought I’d work on the mockup in cheap cotton muslin. Please excuse the fact that I didn’t feel like ironing my scrap fabric.

Here are three photos of the bodice mockup on my dress form over my 1910s corset.


Here are two photos of the skirt mockup on my dress form over the bodice mockup.

That’s all for today.

Okay. It’s not all…

It’s 3:30pm now, and I’ve been looking at my dress form all afternoon. Something was wrong.  You see, this gown is supposed to have a Directoire waistline.  As it is, I have the skirt joining the bodice at the bottom edge of the bodice, which is on the upper hips.  This creates a nice natural waist, but it’s not the waist position of the original gown.

So I moved the skirt to the Directoire position:

Et voilà!  I think the whole thing actually fits better!

Remember that we are now taking pre-orders for the pattern I’m doing this construction to test. You can order it here. It will ship in mid-February.

Tomorrow… Who knows?

Buy patterns for Downton Abbey and Titanic Era clothing here!

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