Green and Gold Evening Gown, c. 1886

Evening gown inspired by an 1886 illustration from “La Mode Illustrée” (as well as various other illustrations from around this date), made of green and gold “shot” mystery fabric, and assembled using a combination of machine and hand sewing. I used the 1880s foundation skirt pattern from “Period Costume for Stage & Screen 1800-1909” for the underskirt, and draped my own pattern for the overskirt. The bodice started out as an 1880s bodice with tails from “Period Costume for Stage & Screen 1800-1909,” but I moved the closure from front to back, and did away with the tails. The trimmings so far are “silk” flowers, but I hope to perhaps add some velvet ribbon and fringe, and perhaps a bit of netting at the neck. The dress is shown with vintage necklace, gloves, and hair comb. (Thanks to Katherine for the picture of the back of my gown!)
Dress Diary
6/15/04
I've decided I'd like to make an 1880s ball gown, inspired by an 1886 fashion plate. I have some green and gold "mystery" fabric which is heavy and satin-like that I would like to use.
   
Now that my Truly Victorian bustle/petticoat is done (or very nearly so), I am able to start working on the gown. I decided to start with the skirt, since I know what I want the basic design of the skirt to be like, whereas I'm still back and forth about what the bodice will look like. I chose to use the 1880s foundation skirt pattern from "Period Costume for Stage & Screen 1800-1909" to begin with, and here is the muslin/pattern of that, over the bustle/petticoat:
      
Next, I draped the pattern for the overskirt. I think the sewing gods must have been smiling down on me, or else it was beginner's luck, because this was my first time draping this sort of thing and it came out the way I wanted it on the first try. (The puffs are a little different on each side, but they will match on the finished gown because I picked the side I liked best and made my pattern from it.
      
Next up is the bodice. Since I'm trying to be thrifty, I went through my costuming books and found a pattern in "Period Costumes for Stage & Screen 1800-1909" for an 1880s bodice, which even had the tails that I liked. The only thing I don't like is that it closes at the center front, and I really wanted it to close at the back, but I suppose then I would have to sacrifice my tails at the back. . .
      
6/17/04
Here are pictures of all the pieces together, just for fun:
      
7/17/04
So here we have it: a partially put-together skirt. I haven't added the bustle pouffs at the back yet in these pictures, and of course lots of things are just pinned/basted. . . But you get the idea!
      
7/18/04
I'm sort of on the fence with the bodice. I'm not sure if the darts at the front are a bit too angled, and I know for sure I don't like how long/low the pleated tail at the back is. I'm going to play around with the pattern and see if I can't get it more to my liking. . .
      
7/25/04
A few more progress pictures:
      
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