A client had hired me to design and make a full mid-Victorian ear day dress, completed with a historically accurate bodice, petticoat, and top skirt. I began with collecting images from reliable sources, visiting the Victoria and Albert Museum as well as watching Young Victoria whos costumes were designed by Sandy Powell. After collecting all the information I felt I needed, I sent the client sketches of my ideas and went through what she did and did not like before coming up with a final design. After finalising the design I found period accurate fabric to make sure that the final costume would be perfect. Here I have the photos of the final costume I pattern drafted and made.
Close up of bodice detailing
This is a photo of the final bodice. To make sure the buttons matched the fabric perfectly I covered the buttons in a matching fabric myself. I was worried that the pleats would slide out of place and so to make sure it was stable I decided to slip stitch it into place to make sure it was perfect.
Close up of bottom of the Bodice
To make sure I had the perfect neat finishing as well as providing a divider between the bodice and skirt I decided to add some piping along the bottom of the bodice. This gave a seamless appearance and helped to give the dress a break from the blue fabric and make sure it flowed better and is more flattering.
Here is an image of how I designed the petticoat to be fastened. I used a hook and bar with a sewn in placket to make sure it had a seamless finish, no zips were used but it still allowed the client to get in and out of the petticoat easily.
To finish the petticoat I created a row of knife pleats to make sure that the volume of the skirt was maintained. These knife pleats helped make sure that the bottom of the skirt puffed outwards and stuck to the silhouette of the era.
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