Sewing – 1860’s bodice finished

The bodice for my 1860’s black velvet ballgown is done! This will be my entry for the Historical Sew Fortnightly (my first one actually…). So some details:

The Challenge: Bodice

Fabric: Black velvet. I think it’s cotton, but I’m not entirely sure. Black cotton for the lining

Pattern: Truly Victorian 400, with my own sleeve flares

Year: The pattern is listed as 1871, but it seems very similar to the dress I was imitating from 1866, so I’m assuming it’s correct for that period as well.

Notions: Black velvet covered buttons, black lace, bones made out of large cable-ties

How historically accurate is it? I believe the fabric is correct, though silk-velvet would’ve been more probable than cotton. The patterning is correct for the period as far as I know. Cable-ties are obviously not correct for boning, but whale-bone would’ve been a bit difficult. I’ts mostly machine-sewn, so that’s not correct, but most of the lace and the buttonholes were done by hand. 

Hours to complete: I didn’t really keep track, but I’d guess somewhere between 25 and 30.

First worn: Hopefully, in April. (I first have to finish the rest of the dress!)

Total cost: Again, I didn’t keep track, but I got a good price for the velvet at about 8,00 euros per meter. The most expensive was probably the lace. I’d guess somewhere between 30 and 40 euro’s.

And here’s the final result:

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Pictures of it being worn will come when the whole thing is done.

And some progress pictures. Since the last post I sewed the button holes and did the trimming on the dress. I spent a lot of time practicing button holes before I finally dared to actually start cutting in my dress!

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Practicing button holes. I kept running out of thread. I now know I need at least 85 cm 😉

Without trim & playing with rows of lace, 1 or 2? I settled on 2.

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Trim on the sleeves.