If you’ve been following this blog you might remember that when I got the Victoria winter boots from American Duchess, it got me thinking of wintery wool bustle dresses.
The shoes. I’m still in love (and they’re so comfy and warm!)
So when I was making sewing plans in September, an 1880’s winter wool bustle dress was put on the list next to the golden 1660’s gown. I had an event to wear it to in December, so a good deadline as well!
I decided on making it in burgundy, with black faux fur and black trim. This was the plan.
It’s strongly inspired by fashion plates and pictures. The main inspiration was this one, mainly for the shape and fur placement.
But as I also really love the loopy trim that became popular, I wanted to incorporate that.
This plate is awsome as well.
And this is a great example of swirly trim.
The fabric I’m using is a wool/polyester mix. Not accurate of course, but it is a nice quality fabric still and has the advantage of being a bit cheaper than full wool. The fur trim is black faux fur.
Main construction was relatively straight forward. I used the 1880’s underskirt from Truly Victorian, which came together really quickly. Only change was that I added the pocket from the 1870’s underskirt, because pockets are awesome.
Pleating the back. They’re cartridge pleats, so much width had to be fit into the back normal pleats wouldn’t have worked. Pretty!
The bodice pattern was adapted from the 1883 tail bodice from TV. I took away the pleats in the back and lengthened it a bit. That lengthening caused it not to close in the bottom (I should’ve also added more width), but I actually really liked the look, so I kept it. Make a mistake and like the result anyway: just pretend it was done on purpose.
Fitting the bodice. Another mistake: making the mock-up of cotton instead of wool, which makes it looser. The wool version was a bit smaller, oops. It worked out in the end though.
The eventual shape of the bodice, falling open at the bottom. We’ll just pretend I planned it that way.
The overskirt I ended up draping myself, because I wanted that particular shape seen in the fashion plate. Took some fiddling with old sheets, but I’m quite happy with how it turned out.
Rather bad lighting, but the base of the under and overskirt together.
Then it was time for button holes! I spaced them really closely together, as seen on the photo I showed above. I didn’t have much overlap, so needed small buttons, and those always look better without too much space between them.
With the fur trim on it already looks almost done, but I wanted more trim, and loops, and more loops. I eventually got 50m of the cotton cord for a bargain, because I needed 30 and the whole roll was 50 and the seller didn’t really feel like unrolling so much.
The overskirt first got a velvet ribbon next to the fur, and then the cotton cord next to that, with a knot in the corners.
The inspiration for the knot:
The underskirt also got a velvet ribbon, but then more loopy trim and another cord above that. I made a template for this one to get the sizing the same everywhere. And it miraculously almost fitted around the whole skirt without weird overlaps being necessary! (I’d like to pretend that was measured out and done on purpose, but I was too lazy do do that so it was pure luck)
Template and chalk marks.
For the bodice I took the photo of the original bodice shown above as inspiration, but omitted some loops as my cord was a bit on the thick side.
Playing with the trim to settle on the design.
Finally, I trimmed the sleeves, and then decided the back was too empty, so I trimmed the back of the bodice as well.
And then it was done! I’ll be wearing the dress next weekend, so proper pictures of everything finished and worn will follow!