I acquired the patterns to create this gown from Truly Victorian, a very good and quite authentic pattern company for making Victorian reproduction gowns. They have a good variety of patterns for period clothing, both for women and men. The instructions are clear, concise and easy to follow, however, I would not recommend them for the beginning seamstress as they use techniques that were used during the Victorian era.
To create this gown we chose Truly Victorian patterns #TV225 – 1878 Fantail Skirt, #TV420 – 1879 Cuirass Evening Bodice and #TV328 – 1880 Split Pannier Over Skirt. We made a few alterations to each of them since we wanted a differing neckline in the bodice, and we also combined the fantail skirt with the split panniers to create one skirt rather then two. The panniers were also rounded instead of left square.
For Fabrics we chose, a creamy ivory satin matelasse, complimented by a matching 100% pure shantung silk for contrast. I used a variety of matching ivory trims and laces, both venise and bridal type as well as chiffon. I was careful (insomuch as was possible) to choose only laces and trims that were historically accurate representations of what was used during the Victorian period. The gown is fully lined and boned. I used Chinese knotted silk buttons also in a matching ivory for the bodice. The sleeves and neckline are trimmed with ivory venise lace and the sleeves also are ruffled with ivory bridal lace. The back fantail skirt is made of satin matelasse and has 8 layers of overlapping lace and chiffon on the fan, and is decorated with satin ribbon. The front section of the skirt is made of ivory shantung silk and trimmed with bridal lace and two layers of silk pleats at the bottom. The split panniers are made of satin matelasse and are trimmed with bridal lace and venise lace.
In order to get the fit required, I made up several mock up bodices and because of the distance between us, sent them out in the mail. She would try them on, pin them where alterations were required and send them back to me. Although in the end we were quite successful in getting the fit right, she did have to go to a local seamstress to have slight alterations made to the shoulders and waist. I would not consider this an unusual occurrence however, since almost all of us have to have alterations done when purchasing a wedding gown.
For accessories for this gown, I purchased a pair of vintage lace booties and decorated them with laces left over from the gown. I also made a matching reticule from left over fabrics and laces. This gown was created over a period of about 5 months
Don’t forget to click on the pictures for the full size and effect!