Sunday, May 22, 2011

THE STEAMPUNK DRESS PROJECT: PART X (Skirt Mock-up, More Fabrics, Boots)

Skirt Mock-up unbustled

Crazy fabric (can't quite see the weird bit)

After figuring out where to tie it up

Back has darts/space for bustle pad
This is a riding habit pattern, so the skirt is meant to drape and completely cover the legs while riding sidesaddle. I picked this one because I liked the drape (of it tied up for walking) in their fashion plate illustration.

So this pattern is just a draft layout with small blurb about the outfit/construction. Things looked dubious from just examining the pattern, but I figured I'd have to play with it a bunch to really figure it out. It ended up much easier to figure out than I had anticipated. Once the 8 darts went in, the shape definitely took form. There was a weird bump on the right side with three dart that seemed quite pointless, but I think that's where the knees would be whilst riding side saddle? Just pin it up against the sideseam (will attach ribbons in real version) and the drape looks pretty good. I pinned the skirt on the left sideseam drawing the bottom of the placket up to the waist for the drape (will attach ribbon/cord here as well).
Definitely needs Bustle pad.

I was surprised by this draft for several reasons. Firstly, I didn't want to try alterations straight off, because with all of the darts and whatnot, the waist measure was not obvious.  So I drafted as is/laid out (besides altering width of back piece slightly so I have the option of using 54"wide fabrics -since I cannot find any 60" I like, and no 100" whatsoever), thinking i would figure out the construction and then alterations. I had not expected it to even be large enough to fit my skinny-ass display form (it was much cheaper than a real dressform, but is thusly not my size) since Victorian patterns are generally very petite. Surprise, it was loose on my dressform. I tried it on, and it only requires about an inch at the waist in the front piece for the side seams to align properly. Otherwise, it fits beautifully around my waist. So if I had that inch, there will be room to spare in the back, which is good, since I believe the bustle pad ties will be at waist level.

And it definitely requires at least a bustle pad. there are three large darts in the back that cause it to billow in the exact shape. So guess I will get to try out my newly acquired bustle patterns :-)

Purple-Gold Silk Taffeta
Plum Silk-Cotton Sateen
Still trying to find the perfect purple silk. Well, in this case, I have to compromise with the width I need. 45" definitely is not going to cut it, since I had to alter the pattern so I could use 54".

The matte plum is probably much more classy/universal, but shiny bobbles attract me (hence the degree in archaeology).

I like the other iridescent silk dupioni's colouring better, but the Purple-Gold is a taffeta, which appeals to me in its smooth, crisp texture/hand. Not really feeling the Japanese Royal Purple silk, but it is much cheaper in price...
Royal Purple Japanese Silk

I have also come across a iridescent purple-turquoise silk, which appeals to me because my other colour consideration was turquoise. Their swatch is matte, however, didn't have the lighting for iridescence, I guess.

And Finally, I WANT these boots...
 Rather expensive, since they're leather. But frankly (no offense meant to PETA people) I want to know an animal died in the making of my shoes. I loathe synthetic materials. When shoes are marketed 'vegan-friendly' I instantly lose interest, knowing they're just cheap plastic things. And synthetic, chemical-derived products are far more harmful to the environment than using an animal hide (in my opinion, research, knowledge).


  1. Lovely mock up- I can't wait to see what it looks like completed. OMG WHERE DID YOU FIND THOSE SHOES

  2. I am embarrassed of how expensive they are, but they have been opened in a tab in my web browser for days, if not weeks now as I slowly talk myself into purchasing them.

  3. I already have a pair of suede shoes very much like that pair (the shoemaker near my mom's place did some magic to repair them after I wore them out, and for peanuts!) and a cheap plastic waterproof pair that have a warm lining (sometimes I compromise, if I have to look good on a short notice!), but those area indeed drool-worthy. :)

    It's almost a shame the next boots I need are a pair of proper riding boots. However, they give me an excuse to sew a riding habit! ;)