Sunday, July 20, 2014

1890s Victorian Suit

This year there are many anniversary's of townships and settlement in our state. While most are 175th and 150th, there are also some later ones. One township has asked us to take part in a reenactment at town hall that is set in the 1890s. This is not one of my time periods, so I wanted an outfit that would be easy, fairly period correct and still stand out and be different. My final chose was inspired by this red linen dress from Antique and Vintage Dress Gallery.

Jessie had given me a length of red cotton drill that she purchased from an opportunity shop for around $5.

Out of the drill I was able to make a full skirt and still have enough left over to make a matching bodice when I have more time. To decorate the bottom, I just used the sewing machine and some ivory poly thread that I purchased in bulk for $3. Sewing the lines on using a decorative stitch on a sewing machine worked wonders as it covers the extension panels that I had to put on the bottom of the skirt for added length. If I had cut the skirt out at full length for my 6 ft body, I would not have had enough fabric to complete the skirt on its own. Cutting and piecing fabric is an important skill in saving fabric and money.
 I really like the completed effect of the sewing as a bonus. It adds interest to what could be a very plain skirt. It also draws the eyes down and away from my height.
As I did not have enough time this holidays to complete the bodice, Jessie gave me this old blouse that she used to wear for 1890s. I was really not a fan of the colours or trims. I pulled all of the trims off and reused all of the lace to redesign the front of the blouse. Reusing items is also an amazing way to save money. Some items also have some very nice and good quality laces that can be salvaged. to finish I also replaced the plastic white buttons in the back with tortoiseshell buttons that I took off a modern shirt that I was being disposed of.
 The finished remodeled blouse.
 The outfit as it currently looks. Not bad for opp shop fabric, remodeled costume and salvaged parts.
The Challenge: #13 Under $10
Fabric: Free Cotton Drill (but costing Jessie $5) and Free Blouse
Pattern: A pattern that I borrowed from Jessie, but did not note the maker.
Year: 1890s
Notions: recycled tortoiseshell buttons. salvaged lace, poly cotton
How historically accurate is it? not very as it is not a time period I have researched or that I am interested in investing in
Hours to complete: about 20, the machine sewing of the hem took about 12 hours to complete on its own
First worn: Not worn yet
Total cost: $8 total, but $3 for myself

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