Friday, December 16, 2016

A Victorian Christmas Part 2, and Sleeves.

The last week has been characterized by a despondency relating directly to the systematic (temporary) demise of all my sewing machines, and the return of a faithful loaner.  However, I have been saved by a Christmas Miracle, in the form of an early present from my Lovey Dove, who researched, saved, consulted, and bought me the nicest civilian machine I have ever owned.
I truly believe this Janome DC2014 is going to be a paradigm-changer for my sewing life.  With an incredibly diverse and jam-proof machine, featuring an even-feed foot, one-step buttonholes, overcast options, and feed-dog adjustment, I was given the gift of extra weeks in the year (losing many to sewing machine frustration) and a pathway to cleaner, more professional sewing. 

Bodice, front on the left and back on the right.

First stages of skirt

I did a lot of studying of the late natural form/late bustle transitional period from 1880-1883, and wibbled a lot on what I wanted this skirt to convey. I decided to settle on the small perky bum and slim skirt of 1881.  
Speaking of perky bums, I thought this addition to Truly Victorian's petticoat pattern really helped.  For 1882-1883, I might add ruffles in the front as well, for that all-around, pre-bustle roundness.

In a reversal of the Early Natural Form silhouette (narrow hips, wide at the feet), the Late Natural Form is wider at the hips and narrower at the feet.

Finally starting to look like something!  Before filling in with paniers, puffs, and ruches.  And lots of elastic, so I can actually walk in a skirt that slim.  I'm quite sure they used elastic in the late Victorian era, I have a Godey's pattern that specifically calls for it.  

As far as sleeves go, I wanted to do tight elbow sleeves that were completely shirred, with small elbow flounces.  However, to save on time, I decided to reduce the number of gathering lines to create ruched mameluke sleeves, which I did not think were particularly period for the year.  Imagine my surprise when I found actual images of puffed or ruched mameluke-type sleeves in fashion plates of the time!  
Der Bazar 1882:
Faux elbow puff on right
I like the Napoleonic feel to the pink dress - the little bolero and the puffed sleeve caps with the tight-buttoned lower sleeve. Mode Vraies, 1882:
Upper puffs on the left, lower puffs on the right.

Le Salon de la Mode 1882:
Definitely mamelukes on the left

File:Freja- illustrerad skandinavisk modetidning 1881, illustration nr 17.jpg

And Voila! Ruched-bicep double-puff mamelukes just like I wanted!

Plus, the paperwhites are blooming.  Happy Victorian Christmas!

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