Part III – Mantle and Accessories
This was a very ambitious project. I’d recently fallen in love with the Late Bustle era, and was invited to be part of a group of the same, inspired by Game of Thrones. (Which I’m not a huge fan of, but hey, anything to make fancy gowns…)
I zeroed in on three Worth dresses, and decided to go for the character Melisandre, as she wears only red.
I armed myself with three Truly Victorian patterns and one Black Snail Patterns:
TV416 – 1875 Ball Gown Basque (heavily modified)
TV361 – 1880s Butterfly Detachable Train
TV292 – 1893 Bell Skirt (this was a bad decision – it’s not made to go over a bustle!)
Victorian Underwear Sewing Pattern #1115 (this includes a trained petticoat and traveling bustle)
I had aspirations for this garment. I’d been eyeing a mantle from Le Musée Arts Decoratifs for a few months. This was going to happen. (Yes, yes, it’s 1870s, whatever. 1880s version of this.)
I got my grubby little hands on Truly Victorian’s TV500 – Talma Wrap and set to work.
Cognizant of the fact that I’d be debuting this very sleeveless evening gown in January and February and might have to deal with twenty degree temperatures or lower, I decided to make it very wooly.
The outside was a beautiful soft charcoal coating wool, which I interlined with some scratchier dark gray wool. (Did that make the seams hard to press or what.) I used a dark, soft cotton for the lining for comfort. This is a very warm garment. (Oh, the center back piece is black cotton velveteen for subtle contrast.)
Once I’d gotten the base all done, I started to throw decorations at it. Fringe, handmade droplet beading, trim, fur, applique – you name it. I spent more on the passementerie than I did on all the fancy wool.
But most importantly: soutache. I look forward to one day sewing with the thicker stuff, because the thin cord shows all your stitches and is very finicky.
The design is from the Arthur’s Lady’s Home Book, Vol 20-21, from 1863.
Harback Photography, Feb 2018