Currently working on a Not So Super Seekrit sewing project. It’s not on the 12 in 12 list though maybe it should be the one for February, but since the plan is to finish it by this Saturday, it feels a little rushed. However, I could always use the remainder of the month to work on extra pieces for the outfit or finish the things I had to skip due to time constrains. Especially since the Jane Austen Ball isn’t until April, which means I could move the Regency dress to March and skip on the WonderCon costume until later in the year. I’ve unofficially been talking about making my Costuming Goal to have at least one day dress and evening dress for every era I can find an event for, so the rest of the month could easily be working on building a late 1800’s/early 1900s wardrobe (at the very least I’d be prepared for next year’s Edwardian Ball). Something to gnaw on over the next week to be sure.

So. I’ll say it’s 1900-inspired because while I’m making everything based on pictures from a Catalogue of Patterns from that year, I don’t actually know much about period construction techniques or have the exact correct corset (my Victorian corset tends to bow a bit in the front and  it looks like the1900 silhouette was very flat in front and S-curved behind).

The outfit currently consists of:
Sleeveless bolero (you’d think they’d just call it a vest at that point)

Petticoat is kinda sorta necessary just so there’s something under the dress giving it the right shape, especially if I’m only going to have time to make a single one. I’d like to have one specific to the period for the event, but if it really came down to it I could get by with my lowest layer hoop-era petticoat. Although it wouldn’t have the same amount of ruffle oomph as my others, it also has significantly less bulk at the waist and the shape needs to be very slick and fitted around the waist and hip area.

The blouse is totally mandatory if only because of its awesomeness. I sat in the car talking to Joe about my plan as it first came to me and my colors, wishing out loud that I could find a nice white cotton with gold stripes woven into it and knowing I probably never would (nevermind in time) and he just looked at me and said, ‘Why not?’ Oh….. Oh. Why not indeed? If I can’t buy it, I’ll just have to make it. Make blouse pattern, trace pieces onto muslin, draw guidelines, machine embroider with gold thread I conveniently already had on hand, and sew it all together.

The underskirt is one of those things that I really want, but needs to come last. If I don’t have enough time or can’t get the fabric I want, I can make a different overskirt or adjust the one I have planned so that it doesn’t show anything underneath. If I don’t finish it this week, I’ll pick up the fabric on the next trip to Thai Silks and make it during the remainder of the month. If I do have time though, it’ll be a nice touch to bring the top and bottom of the outfit together. I really *want* to have time for this.

The overskirt partially depends on whether or not I’ll have time for the underskirt because the two designs I am looking at are cut differently at the hem. So, there’s a good chance I’ll start with my backup skirt, see if I have time to make the underskirt, and save the cutting and hemming until I’m sure. With or without the underskirt, the overskirt is going to be gorgeous. Seriously, that velvet moves so beautifully. Conveniently, I already have the lining fabric for this.

I’ll probably just reuse the pattern I used on the purple plaid for the basic fit and shape of the bolero, but there will be many changes in the shape along the edges. I’ve picked up the appliqués for the back and have the metal frogs for the front. Still deciding on what type, if any, trim I want along the neck/opening/bottom. I’m really leaning towards silk ribbon ruffles, but that’s also going to depend on the underskirt for matching fabric/color. I should be able to knock the basic shell out in one night easily. If I don’t have time to get the fabric for the underskirt,I’ll likely use up the extra time machine embroidering the edges of this and the overskirt for an extra kick.

So, order of importance:

  • blouse
  • overskirt
  • bolero
  • underskirt
  • petticoat

Fabric for everything but the underskirt has been acquired. I should have enough thread and the trimmings are all mostly on hand. the hardest part is going to be making the blouse and the easiest part will be the bolero.

Now that I’ve finished writing this and have mulled it over, I’m just going to go for it and make this my 12 in 12 project for February. Ready? Go!

Reference pictures: